Case Studies

Smart Gym

Smart Gym is a gym run by parents, for parents! Its key goal is to help re-energise mums and dads through exercise as well as improve mental and physical health.

Founded by Dean Hardie, the gym is low-cost and runs fitness services and talking therapies whilst offering childcare for its users. 

Inspired through a combination of postnatal depression, Smart Gym recognised a critical gap in Scotland’s mental health system. Now on the LaunchMe programme Dean is looking for community support and social investment to scale his vision into various other areas of Glasgow.

After giving birth to my wee boy, my other half fell very ill – physically and mentally.  It wasn’t long before I followed her down that hole. Having noticed the benefits before (on a smaller scale), I decided to get back to fitness.  What they don’t tell you, though, is that, when you are parent, this is much easier said than done!  I googled the hell out of it, but couldn’t find one reasonably priced gym with childcare.

Having identified a significant gap in the market, Dean began drafting plans to set up Smart Gym.

Top Tips for others starting out?

I began learning that another great way to feel better was to help other people, and, if I was to maintain any sense of wellbeing, I had to be consistent with this practice.  I believe that a great social enterprise shares these principles in that, to be sustainable, it needs to have a purpose far beyond the needs of the entrepreneur.  Once these values are embodied, the funding applications write themselves… (Sort of!)


Telling people about my idea was probably the most challenging part at the beginning, partly because it felt like I was trying to sell myself, which made me uncomfortable.  This began to change as I started to develop my social purpose and make it about ‘them’ (our beneficiaries) rather than ‘me’.

What’s next?

“We’ve got lots of different plans for the future – some realistic; many optimistic!  Ultimately, we want to make wellness achievable and affordable for as many parents as possible.”