Image Copyright: © Claire O'Connor

Claire O’Connor

Claire O’Connor is successful entrepreneur and female business leader who turned her own painful experiences of ballet into a global brand.

In Person

£4000 - £7500

Price based on UK delivery

Virtual Event

£3000 - £5500

Claire was born into the world of ballet as her mum Barbara Peters was a Royal Academy of Dance examiner and dance school owner. Claire attended traditional ballet classes but gave up at 14 because she felt she was the wrong shape and not good enough. It left her with her mental health badly affected including low self-confidence, low self esteem and a poor body image.

She didn’t want others to be affected in this way so had a vision to create a brand, which was confidence-building, fun and inclusive.

Claire built the brand from scratch with no business experience but what she did have was bucketfuls of passion, determination, enthusiasm and integrity! It is now one of the world’s leading preschool dance brands with over 100 babyballet® franchises globally and over 25,000 children enjoying classes every week.

Franchising the business has allowed her to develop over 100 territories worldwide and she is responsible for leading over 1000 people globally.

Not only does babyballet proves that shape, size and ability are not barriers to ballet, she has also given other women the opportunity to have their own business as a franchisee. With over 95% of franchisees and teachers being female, babyballet® is a wonderful advocate for women business owners. Claire has also been shortlisted Outstanding Entrepreneur for the 2023 Northern Power Women Awards.

Claire is an insightful, caring, compassionate and inspirational entrepreneur and leader who manages her company with openness and enthusiasm.

Claire is now a sought after, International motivational and inspirational speaker as she shares her story with raw honesty, humour and sincerity.

Founder, Franchisor and CEO of babyballet Limited(UK) , babyballet Franchising Limited (UK) and babyballet® PTY Ltd (AUS).

Claire was simply magic and we felt very lucky to have her on our stage at our Women in Franchising awards. She was able to craft a message for our audience that combined her body of expertise with a touching story. Claire’s warmth and down to earth personality shone through as she delivered a highly engaging presentation. Whilst speaking on the very important and emotive topic of mental health, Claire combined light humour with useful takeaways that left our audience feeling inspired. The feedback we received on Claire’s talk really blew me away, and we couldn’t have hosted such a fantastic event without her. Thank you Claire! – Helen Mansfield, Managing Director, EWIF, UK (Encouraging Women into Franchising)
Claire O’Connor from babyballet® delivers a heart rendering talk that I don’t mind saying left me in a teary mess at the back of the auditorium. Her story of Franchisor survival before, during and through Covid shone a light on the very real and unseen mental health challenge that a great many franchisors and business leaders suffer from. – Sean Goldsmith, Global Business Consultant
I was lucky enough to be in the audience at the EWIF awards in 2022 when Claire was the keynote speaker. To say she had the room spell-bound is an understatement. She MADE the event. Claire spoke with such honesty and raw emotion that she had every single person in the room hanging on her every word. She has the ability to make everyone believe that if she can do it, so can they. I couldn’t recommend her highly enough. – Louise Bruce, PR and Digital Marketing Professional
Claire came and spoke at our company off-site to help us gain insight into what it’s like being a small business owner and customer of GoCardless. Claire was articulate, engaging, and informative. She was well-prepared but still natural, and the feedback from the team was terrific. In the lead-up to the event, Claire was engaged and easy to communicate with; she never missed a beat. I highly recommend Claire and look forward to working with her again soon. – Hamish Wood, Senior Leader, GoCardless
One of the most amazing and inspirational women on the planet! – Sean Goldsmith, Groe Global – The Home Of Modern Franchising

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Claire O’Connor

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