Nurturing Safety: The Mini First Aid Journey from Kitchen Table to Dragons’ Den Success

Nurturing Safety- The Mini First Aid Journey from Kitchen Table to Dragons' Den Success

What is Mini First Aid?

Mini First Aid is the UK’s largest paediatric first aid training organisation. The initiative educates grandparents, parents, carers and young children on ways to offer medical help in case of illness and injury. Mini First Aid has more than 70 branches throughout the UK, providing a wide range of FAIB-accredited and CPD-recognised First Aid Qualification courses. Moreover, they offer award-winning training on courses covering critical topics like choking, CPR, bumps, bleeding, febrile seizures and burns.

You can join Mini First Aid’s Online Learning Program and purchase courses like Fire Safety, Risk Assessment, Safeguarding Early Years, Safeguarding Adults, and Safeguarding Children. Moreover, these online courses include Fire Marshal, Personal Protective Equipment, Workplace Health and Safety, Infection Control, Working Safely and Food Safety Training.

Significance of Mini First Aid

Mini First Aid solves the problem of limited childhood-focused and kids-friendly first aid courses available to children and adults. Mini First Aid provides awareness classes for adults where professionals teach life-saving skills to parents in case of emergencies. Moreover, Mini First Aid also offers private classes, in which the trainer goes and runs a class at the parents’ home.

Besides providing high-quality first-aid classes, the company sells Super Safety Bundle, Mini and Large Family First Aid Kits, and Hot and Gold Gel Pack. You can also buy their Bite and Sting Relief, Instant Cold Pack, Choke Tester Tool and Antiseptic Cream. Additionally, the brand sells multiple products under Value Bundles, First Aid Kits, Baby Healthcare Products, Travel Essentials and Bestsellers.

Moreover, the initiative effectively offers award-winning training and great workshops. The Mini First Aid workshops are highly beneficial for kids. These courses and workshops ensure teachers and parents that their children have the proper techniques and tools to remain safe.

Who is the Founder of Mini First Aid?

In 2014, Kate Ball introduced Mini First Aid from her kitchen in Leeds, England. She started the initiative to equip parents, caregivers and children with necessary medical care and first-aid skills to handle childhood emergencies. The demand for Mini First Aid grew, and after seeing the company’s enormous growth potential, Ball began franchising the business in 2015.

Kate states, “Simply, First aid is first aid. Medical treatment and first aid are fundamentally similar across the globe. People have children in every corner of the world. So, we focus on fulfilling the needs of that parent market to create numerous opportunities for our company’s and society’s growth internationally.”

Being a parent of six kids, including two sets of twins, born one year and eight months apart, Kate impressively organises her professional and personal life. She calls herself ‘very ambitious’ and plans to expand her business worldwide while doubling her turnover by the end of 2023. Moreover, the mumpreneur has a strong willingness to help people. She says, “I desire to be all things for everyone around me”.

“I am my biggest critic. People always think, how do I manage to do everything flawlessly? However, only Matt knows how I cry when things get too overwhelming,” she added.

The Journey of Kate Ball Froom Kitchen Table to Dragons’ Den

Kate launched Mini First Aid to help people. She was devastated in 2003 when her 23-year-old brother died from a heart attack. At that time, everyone on the scene panicked and didn’t know how to do CPR. Thus, Ball started Mini First Aid to ensure people of every age know how to perform CPR. The entrepreneur is on a mission to ensure CPR becomes a part of the curriculum in all primary and high schools. She also aims to make a defibrillator accessible in every community space in the UK.

She says, “Parents, grandparents or any person taking care of the children do not need any particular degree, qualification or expertise to learn and offer first-aid. They just need to learn what to do during illness, injury, or emergency and how to provide medical help until the ambulance arrives. Since I aimed to make first aid easily accessible, I initially taught the essentials to people at their homes for £20 per person for two hours. Thus, parents got an intense two-hour training in an informal and friendly manner.”

Kate Ball serves as the Director of the Mini First Aid. Kate’s husband, Matt Ball, is the Director of Operations of the paediatric first aid training organisation.

The Pitch of Mini First Aid on Dragons’ Den

Kate and Matt Ball appeared on Dragons’ Den in June 2021. The couple pitched the Mini First Aid to Sara Davies, Touker Suleyman, Theo Paphitis, Tej Lalvani and Deborah Meaden. They sought a £50k investment for a 10% stake in their business. 

During the pitch, Kate and Matt’s four kids demonstrated what they learned in the Mini First Aid Kids Classes. They informed the Dragons about the emergency numbers and showed them how to put someone in the recovery position. They also demonstrated how to use Actfast Anti-Choking Vest to perform abdominal thrusts.

The Ball family successfully secured an investment of £50k from Sara Davies for 20% equity (will be reduced to 10% if Kate and Matt return the investment within 1.5 years). Later, they renegotiated an investment amount of £25k for 10% of the company. The couple was delighted to successfully pitch their product and get an opportunity to work with Sara.

Kate said, “It was an incredible experience to pitch our product on Dragons’ Den. At Mini First Aid, we give the utmost importance to family. That’s why we included children in our pitch. However, it was difficult to take our youngest twins with us. Stay Tuned because Sara and I are about to implement some exciting ideas.”

Crafting Queen Sara Davies described the Mini First Aid’s pitch as “highly impactful”. She said, “I am excited and eagerly waiting to work with Kate. I am looking forward to making our plans come to life. Honestly, I was instantly impressed by the company and their pitch. I am happy and excited that Kate accepted my offer.”

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Where is the Mini First Aid Now?

Mini First Aid trains around 1,000 adults and children per week. It educates them about primary and lifesaving medical treatment. In October 2022, the turnover of the company was £3m.

Kate Ball says, “Our business got busier, and we started getting many clients after appearing on Dragons’ Den. The bookings of classes and demand for our products increased. Moreover, several people started enquiring about our franchise, which was a big success for us”.

She added, “Earlier, we used to expand at five or six franchises per year, but after appearing on Dragons’ Den, we grew 15 franchises within six months. Things are moving fast, and we are trying to manage that with six kids. This experience is exciting but challenging.”

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Mini First Aid aims to increase the number of individuals attending classes. In 2021, the organisation trained 80,000 primary school students in first aid and has included first aid training, home safety training and qualification courses for gap year children. Moreover, the company is expanding internationally, starting with China. The brand also has enquiries from the US, Europe and South Africa.

Mini First Aid has received several awards, including the Best Businesswomen, Loved By Parents Award, Every Woman Award and Northern Power Women Awards. The business has also obtained Family Awards 2018, Made for Mums Awards, 5 Start Franchise Satisfaction Award, Kids Activities Awards and Mother and Baby Awards.

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The company has also received recognition from Daily Mail, Metro, BABA, Daily Mail Femail, My Bump 2 Baby and the Sue Atkins Book Club. Since its establishment, Mini First Aid has partnered with several prominent brands, including Childs Farm, The Dadnetwork, Water Babies, Peanut, Nurturing Mums and Twins Trust. The brand has also collaborated with the Royal Life Saving Society UK, Meningitis Research Foundation, Scottish Cot Death Trust, Safe Sleep Scotland, and the list continues.

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Mini First Aid continues its journey to become a big success. To read about more Dragons’ Den successes, read our other articles.