IF anyone knows the definition of a juggling act it’s Ella Havell.
She runs five businesses alongside raising five children.
She had to cope with tragedy earlier this year when son Daniel died, aged 23, after suffering a brain tumour.
Ella, 44, of Lexden Mews, Colchester, is in the running to win a Mumpreneur Award – a national award dedicated to parents in business.
A mystery nominee put her forward in the courage category.
Ella said: “Daniel’s death shook the family, but it was my daughter’s fourth birthday party on that weekend and couldn’t be cancelled.
“I knew I had to keep working for the family and to keep everyone in work and to support my young children.
“I really want to make the businesses succeed so I can work from home and can keep the older children in employment and pay for the best education for my children.”
Ella set up her fifth business, Bespoke Cakes of Colchester, last May. It came about after people were asking her to make them cakes.
Ella also runs entertainment company Smile It’s a Party, Colchester Kids Kastles and EAH Embroidery.
She works from home, combining the businesses with looking after her youngest children, Gracie-May, four, and Rebecca, two.
Ella and husband John also have four other children, Lauren, 25, (Ella’s stepdaughter) Joshua, 25, (Ella’s son) Ellis, 23, (Ella’s stepdaughter).
All of the older children have worked or are due to work for one of Ella’s businesses.
She has also been nominated for the Boost Award, for businesses that bucked the trend during the recession.
And Ella is in the running for the Inspirational Business Award, for parents who are an inspiration to mums and dads.
Unsurprisingly, Ella admits to getting little sleep juggling the businesses and getting her two youngest daughters to school and nursery.
She said: “Sometimes I am up until midnight or 1am still making cakes or sealing letters, there is always something to be doing.
“I don’t really have a typical day. It can never get boring, there is something different every day.”
If life wasn’t hectic enough, in July this year Ella was at home with daughters Gracie- May and Rebecca, when a 20ft tree fell on to their house.
The house had to be evacuated while firefighters assessed the damage and the tree was removed.
! She will find out next month if she has made the finals, at the Heart of England Conference Centre, in Warwickshire, on November 8.