A MUM-of-six who pioneered a cuddly toy to help babies get to sleep is vying to win £250,000 from Virgin tycoon Sir Richard Branson.
Lynda Harding, 50, has sold more than 100,000 Ewan the Dream Sheep sleep aids in the last four years.
Now the Waterlooville entrepreneur is hoping to take her business to the next level and has entered a national competition to win funding from the billionaire.
Lynda dreamed up the idea of Ewan to help tots – and parents – get to sleep.
The sheep emits a series of soothing sounds and a soft pink glow to help babies sleep.
He is only one in a long line of products that Lynda invented after giving birth to her sixth child, Bradley, who would not settle.
Lynda is now desperate for the local community to vote for her as she competes alongside some of the UK’s top companies in the ‘Pitch to Rich’ contest.
‘We are so excited at the prospect of meeting Sir Richard Branson and introducing him to our beloved Ewan the Dream Sheep,’ said Lynda, of Purbrook Heath Road.
‘As a new grandfather himself, we are certain he would see the benefits our product offers in an instant.
‘Sleep deprivation is experienced by most new parents and we know Ewan significantly alleviates the problem.
‘To have the opportunity to be in with a chance of winning the marketing campaign would be life-changing for our business.’
The £250,000 marketing campaign would aim to make it a global brand.
Sir Richard will short-list 10 companies based on their number of votes. If successful, Lynda would then have to pitch her business to him.
Ewan emits heartbeat and womb sounds – taken from actual recordings. There are options for vacuum cleaner, rain and harp sounds.
Lynda said: ‘It’s all about the votes, so any support we can get from our local community would be amazing and we would be so grateful.’
All votes must be in by midday on Tuesday.
Lynda is offering voters the chance to win one of five sleep bundles valued at £95 each. To vote go to virginmediabusiness.co.uk/pitch-to-rich/grow/sweetdreamers/.