Case Study: Sinead O’Meara Fitness


Mum of two, Sinead O’Meara is a Personal Trainer and Sports Massage Therapist based in Torbay.

Having battled with her weight, as well as depression and anxiety, Sinead was keen to exercise to improve her confidence and mental wellbeing. However, she had always felt overwhelmed and uncomfortable in a typical gym environment.

Dissatisfied with what was available locally for women, Sinead studied her level 2 and 3 Gym Instructor and Personal Training qualifications at South Devon College, whilst juggling her Dental Nurse job and raising her young family.

Once qualified, Sinead quickly started to receive enquiries for personal training, and after just two months, felt that she was ready to start her business, Sinead O’Meara Fitness, full time.



Although Sinead felt confident that her business would be a success, she had no experience of the paperwork side or ‘backend’ of running a business.

Having Dyspraxia made it almost impossible for her to be able to sit down and write her business plan by herself, and a lack of support network meant she often had nobody to discuss her new ideas with, leaving her feeling lost and overwhelmed.



The ERDF Growth Support Programme offers tailored business support and digital skills to small and medium size businesses (SMEs) in Torbay. Eligible businesses can receive up to 12 hours of fully subsidised business support, including three hours with a Digital Specialist from Cosmic.

Sinead enrolled on to the ERDF Growth Support Programme and with the help of TDA Business advisors and Cosmic was able to devise a Business Plan, implement a Digital Audit and apply for a Start-Up Loan.



Since meeting with TDA Business, Sinead’s business has grown and expanded. Sinead has been able to employ another Personal Trainer to help manage classes and in Spring 2019, Sinead moved into her very own gym premises based at Torquay Tennis Club.

Sinead was successful in her Start-Up Loan application and invested a portion of the loan into commissioning a professional promotional video.

Sinead said, “I would 100% recommend the TDA Business advisors to any small business owner. They provided me with so much practical support and nothing ever felt too much trouble; It was clear how genuinely passionate they were about helping small businesses like me.”

“They also provided me with a lot of moral support and encouragement, which helped give me the confidence and motivation I needed to push my business forward.”

Business advisor Nick said, “We love working with business owners like Sinead; passionate and knowledgeable, but just in need of a helping hand to get the paperwork side of things right. It was great news about her successful Start-Up Loan application and Sinead is both a successful Personal Trainer and Business Woman in her own right.”

Sinead is passionate about promoting a healthy lifestyle and loves seeing women of all ages, backgrounds and fitness levels, form a community through her classes.

Sinead is now focussing on growing her business, expanding her class offering and driving more business through her online booking App. New clients get their first class booking for free.

For more information on Sinead’s classes go to

For more information on the business support available at TDA go to







The Heart of the South West Growth Support Programme project is receiving up to £904,945 of funding from the England European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020. The Department for Communities and Local Government is the Managing Authority for ERDF. Established by the European Union ERDF funds help local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support innovation, businesses, create jobs and local community regenerations. For more information visit The accountable body for this programme is Devon County Council, working with the following delivery partners: BIP, Cosmic, North Devon +, Somerset Business Agency, TDA and YTKO

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