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Maria Kempinska

Founder and CEO of Jongleurs Ltd

Maria Kempinska MBE, is a former teacher who in 1983 realised her dream to establish a national chain of comedy venues in the male-dominated entertainment industry. Jongleurs, which she opened over a Battersea pub in 1983 was the launch pad for such famous names as Michael McIntyre and Paul Merton. In 2000, Maria sold to the Regents Inn pubs chain only for Regent to go bust nine years later. Undeterred, Maria started again, relaunching branches in Covent Garden, Croydon and Piccadilly. She seized the opportunity to re-invent Jongleurs as a franchisor, providing the comedians and the brand to experienced partners.