Local entrepreneur recognised for making a powerful contribution to society, the economy and communities

Valarie Jerome f entrepreneur

Dr Valarie Jerome from Newbury has been named as one of the UK’s most 100 inspirational female entrepreneurs by Small Business Britain’s f:Entrepreneur ‘#ialso100’ campaign.

Valarie, who founded Valarie Jerome Optometrists in 2019, is being showcased alongside 100 female entrepreneurs from across the UK as part of the campaign’s recognition of the multi-achievements of women who have proved critical to society during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Now in its fourth year, f:Entrepreneur was launched in 2017 to highlight female role models to help and inspire all small businesses through content, stories and events. It particularly aims to showcase trailblazing female entrepreneurs who lead small businesses alongside a roster of other responsibilities, such as volunteering, mentoring and community support activities.

Indeed, Valarie was also recognised for her work to help adapt to the pandemic and continue to serve the eye care needs of patients. Early 2020, she began offering virtual consultations to those isolating. People from Newbury and beyond West Berkshire used her Virtual at Home Eye Health Check to get relief and answers quickly. sometimes saving a patient’s eyesight by prompt hospital referral, all from the comfort and security of their own home. Also, Valarie began offering free spectacle repairs to those in the West Berkshire area – both in her practice and at their doorstep. She is also registered as an NHS responder – collecting prescriptions and shopping for those self-isolating in the Newbury area.

From beekeepers to PPE suppliers and from tech entrepreneurs to gin makers, this year’s campaign celebrates inspiring and resilient female entrepreneurs who have flourished despite Covid-19, with many still growing or starting new ventures.

On being listed in the #ialso100, Valarie said: “I moved to Newbury from the USA over 11 years ago and worked for various local opticians. In 2019, I made the bold decision to open my own practice. Having this recognition so early after starting my own practice is an absolute delight. I am truly honoured to be in the company of such inspiring female entrepreneurs.”

Both f:Entrepreneur and Small Business Britain were founded by Michelle Ovens CBE, who is also the director of Small Business Saturday UK.

“Congratulations to all the inspiring women chosen to join this year’s #ialso100,” said Michelle Ovens. “Despite the significant obstacles thrown at them in the last year, female entrepreneurship continues to grow and flourish. We need to continue, and increase, our support for these incredible women and celebrate their amazing strength and success in the face of huge challenges.”

“We have seen so many women embracing change, generating and exploring new ideas, rallying around their communities and supporting their peers. This resilience is hugely valuable and will set them up for success as they will be at the very heart of the UK’s recovery.”

For more information contact Valarie Jerome on 01635 528844 or valarie@drvalariejerome.com

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