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“You need to do it w But you’ve absolute ell, or not at all. ly got to have fun.” interview with Nut rition Powerhouse, Grenad



2019 T LIS T R O SH e insid

Pip & Nut

from humble market stalls to supermarket dominance

TOP 20 ECO ENTREPRENEURS to watch this year


greatbritishentrepreneurawards.com Printed on recycled paper by

The duo bringing authentic Southern BBQ to the UK


who we are


The Great British Entrepreneurs Magazine is published by the organisers of the Great British Entrepreneur Awards, which celebrates the hard work and inspiring stories of British entrepreneurs and businesses in the UK. It celebrates the incredible stories that have taken entrepreneurs to where they are today, regardless of size or turnover. The 2019 programme sees the Awards held in eight regions – Midlands, Wales, South West, North East, North West, Scotland, Northern Ireland, and London & the South East. Central to the ethos of the Great British Entrepreneur Awards is being more than just ‘an awards ceremony’ – it’s a sense of community, a thriving eco-system of support all year round, providing opportunities for winners and finalists to connect and showcase their business. This magazine brings those incredible stories together in one place, helping to shine a spotlight on some of the biggest issues facing entrepreneurs in the UK today.

jonathan davies Co-Editor & Writer

adam stacey Awards & Project Manager

Taking centre stage in this issue are the entrepreneurial stories of some of 2018’s big winners, including Great British Entrepreneurs of the Year, Alan and Juliet Barratt of Grenade, London & the South East’s overall winner Pippa Murray from Pip & Nut, and Wales & the South West’s Great British Entrepreneurs of the Year, Sam Evans and Shauna Guinn of Hang Fire Southern Kitchen. We take a look at how Jo Ham made use of the MINI Countryman she won as a winner of the Creative Industries category in our MINI Diaries feature. We also introduce our new charity partner, MicroLoan Foundation, which provides small business loans to women in Malawi and Zambia, and learn about some of the women they’ve helped. We also dive into the day-to-day life of GBEA host and car insurance advertising phenomenon, Mr Wynne Evans. Plus, plenty more about the GBEA community. We hope you enjoy!

Hannah Richards Co-Editor, Design & Writer

chloe johnson Community Exec

*Front cover photographer: Murdo Macleod

Mac Smith Video & Content Exec


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FRANCESCA JAMES FOUNDER OF Great British Entrepreneur Awards In 2013, when we launched a new awards ceremony for entrepreneurs, we wanted something different. Not another business awards that looked at the balance sheet, looked at revenue and profits and gave a trophy to the one with the biggest number. We wanted to recognise the incredible stories of the entrepreneurs who started those businesses; the challenges they had overcome, the reasons they started the business and how they built the business. Seven years later, I’m honoured to say that not only have we done that, but also built more than an awards ceremony. In 2019, the Great British Entrepreneur Awards not only celebrates the hard work and inspiring stories of the UK’s great entrepreneurs, but has become a vehicle on a mission to unite great business minds, facilitate knowledge exchange and a platform that connects entrepreneurs. We’ve witnessed members of the community come together to do deals, collaborate on new products and projects, and seen a judge complete the crowdfunding campaign of one of last year’s finalists (during one of our events!). It has been a tumultuous year for so many businesses. Right across the country, uncertainty surrounding Brexit has made it difficult to make plans and set them in motion. However, against that backdrop, entrepreneurs have shown immense resolve and passion to continue growing and starting their businesses. We received more than 3,000 entries this year and I can honestly say that I continue to be blown away by the standard of entries every single year. It may sound clichéd, but with so many entries across the country it really is quite an achievement to even be named on the shortlist.

If you hadn’t realised, 2019 is a hugely exciting year for the Great British Entrepreneur Awards. For the first time, Team GBEA is packing its bags and hitting the road to Belfast, Newcastle and Exeter as we expand from five regions to eight. And the entire format has changed this year, as well. We’ve ditched the traditional black tie awards set up for something that is more laid back, more engaging and more accessible for everyone. Over the years, we’ve worked with some incredible entrepreneurs who have been there and done it. From the founder of Go Compare to a Dragons’ Den star, we have had an inspiring roster of judges committed to supporting and championing those earlier on in their journeys. This year, our judging line-up has got even stronger and I’m honoured to welcome the likes of Cath Kidston MBE, Dame Mary Perkins, founder of Specsavers, Rowena Bird, founder of LUSH, Nitin Passi, founder of Missguided, Justine Roberts CBE, founder of Mumsnet, Angus Thirlwell, founder of Hotel Chocolat, Sanjay Vadera, founder of The Fragrance Shop, Julian Metcalfe OBE, founder of itsu, Jon Wright, founder of Innocent Drinks, Dragons’ Den star Jenny Campbell, and Roger Saul, founder of Mulberry. We also have a proud record of bringing winners onto the judging panel, and this year we welcome Alan and Juliet Barratt of Grenade, Jo Ham of HAM, Alan Mahon of BrewGooder, Sam Evans and Shauna Guinn of Hang Fire Southern Kitchen, and Christine Chau of Charley Chau. Seeing these people take time out of their incredibly busy schedules to

judge entries, to attend events and offer support to our community is nothing short of humbling and reaffirming. As we prepare to crown a new host of winners, I want to take some time to reflect on some of the amazing things we’ve seen within the community over the past year. In August, our 2018 Great British Entrepreneur of the Year for Scotland and Northern Ireland, Alan Mahon of BrewGooder, teamed up with another former winner, 2014 Great British Entrepreneur of the Year James Watt of BrewDog, on Project 26 - an effort to fund 26 clean water projects in rural Malawi in six months. In May, GBEA judge and Poundland founder Steven Smith pledged £1,500 to complete the crowdfunding campaign of 2018 finalists Emeka and Ifeyinwa Frederick, founders of Nigerian tapas bar, Chuku’s, just hours before it closed. This, taking place in person at one of our events, made it all the more special and definitely one of my favourite moments of the year. On the subject of crowdfunding, a special mention must go to two-time winner and finalist again this year, Laurence Kemball-Cook, the founder of Pavegen, who smashed their target to raise over £2.4 million during the summer. These are just a handful of the fantastic examples we’ve seen throughout the year and I can’t wait to see more things like this with the new cohort of winners and finalists from 2019. It’s going to be an incredible year for the Awards and for entrepreneurship.





our HAM on the Road Tour – a special collaboration with MINI which came about as a result of winning the GBEA Creative Industries Entrepreneur of the Year Award. We spent the next three months travelling around the UK in the HAM MINI sharing Rabbit’s story, culminating in an exhibition at the world renown Hay Literature Festival. What is your most exciting news? We’re excited to have just launched a special collaboration with Choose Love x Help Refugees. We were asked by Print Club London to create a one-off piece of art using Katharine Hamnett’s famous ‘Choose Love’ slogan, the IP of which she has kindly donated to the Help Refugees charity. The piece then became part of a Choose Love exhibition alongside 30 other contemporary artists at Somerset House in London. Each artwork has since been auctioned off with all proceeds going to the charity. What does 2019 hold for you? We can’t wait to launch our latest HAM Rabbit range this Autumn along with a very different side project. Under the Joanna Ham name my new collection of fine art botanical prints will preview at Decorex London in October and I look forward to seeing how this will evolve. Back to HAM, we’re spending the rest of this year focusing on expanding our product line and are having lots of fun experimenting with new products and applications. 7

What does winning the NATIONAL Creative Industries ENTREPRENEUR OF THE YEAR award mean to you? It’s been a huge honour. It’s rare that I take breath to reflect on our achievements and so it was amazing to be able to step back and celebrate all that has been accomplished since I started the brand, quite literally on the kitchen table. It was also a great moment for the team – a chance to shine a light on all their hard work and passion for HAM. What plans do you have for the ham MINI? We’re halfway through our HAM on the Road Tour with MINI. So far, we’ve driven our bespoke Countryman around the UK visiting suppliers and retailers and taking part in events. It’s been a great way to lift the lid on the business, sharing more about the people and processes that bring our brand to life. We are just finalising plans for this autumn and hope to be ‘popping up’ with the MINI at London Design Festival - all to be revealed very soon! What was the inspiration behind the MINI design? HAM is about capturing the joy of the everyday, something MINI also very much channels and a notion we wanted to celebrate in the wrap. We brought this to life by applying five of our Rabbits happily going about their daily activities to the exterior of the car – carefully placed to compliment the Mini’s styling. Our colour palette is always monochrome which worked well with white and black lines of the Countryman. Our bestselling Superhero Rabbit adorns the bonnet, with a Wallpapering Bunny and Cake Loving Rabbit on the side and a DJ on the boot. We knew we’d be taking the MINI to Hay Festival so had to add a Reading Rabbit too! FOR MORE ABOUT JO HAM VISIT HER WEBSITE, AND FOLLOW HAM ON SOCIAL MEDIA - hammade.com // @ hamjoanna



meet your host WYNNE EVANS

What’s the first thing you do in the a.m? I get up at 7am, come downstairs, have a coffee, make breakfast for my kids on the days I have them, then they don’t eat the breakfast and I have to tidy up. 8:03 on the dot, they leave and go to school. I quickly get dressed and jump on my bike and cycle to work. I work at the BBC in Cardiff, so it’s not far. What is your daily routine? I don’t really have a daily routine because my day changes a lot. Usually on a weekday, I’ve got my radio show on BBC Radio Wales every day from 11 until 2. I usually get into the office for 8:30, prepare, read the papers, have a look at what has been happening, decide what we do on the show and then at 11 we go on air. I go off air at 2. If I’ve got the kids, I try not to do anything else and pick them up, grabbing some sausage rolls for my son and my daughter on the way. If I haven’t got them, I usually go to London, do some Go Compare stuff, or try to do the things I should’ve done already that my assistant nags me for. What is the highlight of your day? I like interacting with people every day on the radio. It’s great to do, they make me laugh, they make me happy. They say I make them happy. But it’s definitely a two-way thing. Do you ever listen to your radio show? I listen to it pretty much every day at some point, because I think it’s quite good to listen back and learn where you went wrong, how to tighten things up. I always did it when I was an opera singer. I used to record pretty much everything and listen back so I could make it better. I’d think ‘that was the wrong vowel sound’ or things like that. It’s the same

with radio - you’ve got to know when to get out of interviews. Sometimes they go on for too long, so it’s good to debrief yourself and try to make yourself better. What is your favourite thing about being Gio Compario? When I’m being Gio, it’s fantastic! I love it! I like the whole concept, as it’s spending time in the studio recording music and being out on shoots, or doing a PR thing. It’s really really varied, the work for Go Compare. Some days I’m presenting in the City because we’re a PLC. I could be in a big bank or the Newport office announcing the employee of the month or interviewing the CEO - I generally present and try to be the face of the company. What do you do for fun? I don’t have any fun in my life, it’s very boring! In all seriousness, when I want to have some fun I usually go out with some friends. I love food... obviously, but really good food! I go out with my girlfriend, drink nice wine, maybe go away for the weekend. I like going on holiday, I recently went to LA and San Francisco with my son. Who’s the coolest person you’ve ever met and why? It’s hard to answer because I’ve met so many different people, and loads of amazing people who aren’t famous. Just in Cardiff, there are plenty of people who are totally selfless and run social enterprises. I really admire social enterprise, they do things so selflessly to help those in need. I interviewed some people about the Homeless World Cup which took place in Cardiff recently, and

they were amazing because they said to me ‘normally when folks pass them in the street, they don’t look at them, it’s like they’re invisible,’ but all of a sudden they’re visible and representing their country in the Homeless World Cup. That was amazing! They’re the coolest individuals I’ve ever met. If you’re looking for a famous person, probably Barry Manilow! I’m a huge fan of his. I’ve interviewed Shirley Bassey and Tom Jones. I once shared a dressing room with Timothy Dalton, Michael Caine and Michael Parkinson when we were doing the memorial service for James Bond composer, John Barry. That was probably a cool night, for many different reasons! What’s your involvement with GBEA? I’ve been involved for about four or five years. I met Fran and she said I should come and host the Awards in Cardiff, so I did and that went well. I did it again the year after and went to sing at the London event. I saw what it was all about and loved the encouragement of entrepreneurs to develop their businesses and recognise that they’re doing fantastic things. I think there’s more to being an entrepreneur than making cash, it’s how you help the local economy. It’s great to celebrate those people and for them to realise that they’re not alone, because working on your own or in a small team, it can be easy to feel isolated. The Awards celebrates those people! What is your favourite part of Awards night? Definitely announcing the winner! When they come up on stage all excited, you can see what it means to them and their families that have supported them along their journey. You can see how thrilled they are and what a tight knit group they’ve created within their workforce, which is lovely to see. 11





SMOKIN’ PLACES You can’t talk about UK barbecue without mentioning Samantha Evans and Shauna Guinn. The pair have become synonymous with celebrating all things outdoor cooking. They started taking their cooking to the masses in 2013 following a six month pilgrimage to the southern United States to learn the art and science of ‘slow and low’ American barbecue. Following the popularity of consistently sold-out kitchen takeovers or street food events, they went on to win BBC Food & Farming Awards ‘Best Street Food’ in 2015. That year they wrote their first cook book about their adventures in the US, divulging the secrets behind perfect American BBQ. In 2017 they opened their first restaurant, Hang Fire Southern Kitchen, in Barry, Wales, which has been a fully booked restaurant for three years. In October 2018 they won the coveted ‘Observer Food Monthly Best Restaurant’ award and the Great British Entrepreneur of the Year Award for Wales and the South West. They also have three series of their own cookery show on BBC One Wales called ‘Sam & Shauna’s Big Cookout,’ celebrating communities of volunteers through a big outdoor cooking party. 13

We didn’t grow up slathering whole hogs with vinegar, or operating a pulley pit in Texas wilds. We ate burnt burgers from disposable grills and our idea of saucing meats was solely reserved to ketchup. So what can a couple of Celtic girls tell you about American-style ‘slow and low’ barbecue that you haven’t already read or watched on TV? Three years ago, we made a dramatic decision to quit our long-standing careers in London and embark on a six-month road trip of a lifetime across America, eating at every BBQ joint we could afford, and becoming increasingly possessed by the spirit of smoke and fire with every meaty mouthful. This is the story of the metamorphisis from occasional backyard barbecuers to an award-winning, smokin’ duo with an obsession for fire and meat. We fell in love with the Southern States and their attitude to food and gatherings. Southern hospitality really is the ninth wonder of the world. And as we travelled around we learnt that there is so much more to barbecue than just the grill. Barbecue is a serious business. After eight years of living the London rat race, we felt like we wanted to run for the hills. So that’s what we did. With limited cash and time, we dumped our day jobs and our old lives and headed for the United States, on a bid to discover the bounties of the American Deep South. Landing in Nashville, Tennessee, we were beside ourselves with excitement. This was it, the moment we’d dreamt of: the home of country music, old-time and bluegrass, and the start of our Southern road trip. With battered cowboy hats, guitars and massive rucksacks we looked like everyone else wandering wideeyed through Nashville city centre. We are massive fans of Dolly Parton and were thrilled and fortunate enough to be staying with a wonderful guy called Steve who is Dolly’s drummer. Steve and his partner Elizabeth introduced us to everyone and anyone in Nashville who were remotely involved in the restaurant business, had a food truck or owned a smoker. Together we sought out barbecue joints throughout Georgia and Tennessee. This trip taught us so much, not least that you have to bowl up early to have any hopes of sampling the best barbecue. Many neighbourhood joints were closed or sold out by the time we arrived. (‘Sold out’ is a concept that Hang Fire is now all too familiar with). From Tennessee up to the Carolinas via Georgia, on this trip, we stopped at any number of little neighbourhood barbecue joints. One of the best was Walkers Fried Pies & BBQ in Ellijay, Georgia. Delicious deep-fried, hot pockets of blueberry filling served with creamy ice cream that are to die for, and yes they are 101% sinful. 14

For the next few weeks, we travelled between North and South Carolina, seeking out restaurants creating distinctive, modern flavours as well as proponents of traditional, regional Carolinian barbecue. One of the stand-out places was 12 Bones Smokehouse near Asheville, where the Obamas are apparently regulars. We were lucky enough to grab a rack of their blueberry chipotle sauce baby-backs, plus a ‘Hogzilla’ sandwich which contained slices of brown-sugar bacon, a bratwurst, pulled pork and melted pepperjack cheese on a hoagie that was trying its best to hold together. Needless to say it was regrettably enormous - but as damn tasty - as it sounds.

se Barbecue Sauce

Hang Fire Smokehou 2 tbsp garlic powder 400g ketchup 1 tbsp sea salt flakes er 150ml cider vinegar 1 tbsp cracked black pepp ce sau ire 100ml Worcestersh r 1 tsp chilli powder suga sses mola n brow 100g dark e 3 tbsp fresh lemon juic sses 3 tbsp blackstrap mola tard 3 tbsp Dijon mus 3 tbsp smoked paprika 2 tbsp onion powder

a pan Put all ingredients in pan over and whisk. Heat the bring to a med to low heat and naly for a simmer. Stir occassio . Pour 15 mins until reduced lised jar the sauce into a stera . en at room and leave to cool Wh 24 te for temperature, refrigera . g hours before usin

Back in Tennessee, we had word that there was a barbecue competition happening in Covington, just north of Memphis: the ‘40th Annual World’s Oldest BBQ Cooking Contest.’ This was our first experience of competitive barbecue, and it seemed to us that the first thing you do aside from make great barbecue, is come up with a hilarious name (Old Dirty Basters, Serial Grillers, Two Men and A Little Piggy were particular favourites). From one particular team we got some great tips on their ‘Boston Butt’ entry. The only details the Pit Boss (we called him ‘Soda Pop Bob’ on account of his love of Mountain Dew sodas) would give us were the ingredients for the rub and flavour injection. We made some educated guesses while the pit master’s wife nodded or shook her head behind his back. In Memphis itself, Sam got out her list of barbecue joints and we headed straight to number-one on the list, Charlie Vargo’s Rendezvous, right next to our hotel (not a coincidence). Rendezvous is one of the most revered rib joints in the State. They don’t cook slow and low here, quite the opposite. However,

World’s Oldest BBQ Cooking Contest

the tenderness of the ribs and their famous dry shake is the thing you’re going for. We’d heard so much about this place and were dying to try it out, but it was Monday: restaurant closed. Gah! We witnessed a heated argument about the ‘best’ barbecue between a Texan and North Carolinian – where the Texan had his hand on his holster the whole time. In the US, barbecue is defined by its State variations and we wanted it all: mustard and vinegar whole hog in the Carolinas, sweet and saucy burnt ends in Missouri, long horn beef in Texas, and dry rub ribs in Tennessee. As a guy from Arkansas at one BBQ competition said to us, ‘So you’re one of these bar-bee-cue fence-sitters, huh?’ And I guess we are. We were so inspired by that taste of the South that we couldn’t go back to our old lives when we returned to the UK. For us, and so many others, barbecue has become a lifestyle choice. Our recipes may not be 100 per cent faithful to how the BBQ legends smoke a hunk of meat, but they are our take on what those inspirational pit masters taught us (and often the result of our own trial and error). The Southern States may be the birthplace of ‘slow and low’ but at last their style of barbecue has drifted across the Atlantic, smouldering into life in British back gardens and beyond. BBQ is now so popular that thousands of us eat at chains of barbecue restaurants up and down the country and we even hold KCBS (Kansas City Barbecue Society) sanctioned BBQ competitions. US-style barbecue is flooding the UK like a ‘meatwave.’ After arriving home in the UK we knew we had to share what we had discovered immediately. In fact, we’d decided on the name ‘Hang Fire’ and had even designed the logo whilst in Nashville – we weren’t messing around. Our first kitchen takeover was a weekly pop-up in a back-street pub, The Canadian, in Cardiff. We fed 10 people the first week, 40 the following week, and by the next month we were averaging 100 a night. Our dream was coming true – but that’s not to say it was all a breeze. Within our first couple of months, we dealt with grease fires in the smoker, badly smoked meat, burns up and down our arms and a trip or two to A&E. Sounds like hell? It was… but we loved every minute of it. That was back in 2013. Since then we’ve sold over 22,000 plates of barbecue in two years with just two people. We are on first-name terms with almost all the people who visit us, and many of our customer/friends have been eating our barbecue since the Canadian days. They are truly amazing. This snippet of Sam and Shaunna’s barbeque journey was taken from The Hang Fire Cookbook. To find out more: hangfiresouthernkitchen.com

DID YOU KNOW... The duo opened the Hang Fire Southern Kitchen in Barry in 2016.

Sam is from Wales, Shauna is originally from Belfast.

They cooked for a rodeo in Houston (smoking 50 briskets, 300 chickens, and 500 racks of spare rib).

Sam and Shaunna cooked a whole pig for Barry Town, in a smoker they made in the sand on Barry Island.


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CATH KIDSTON MBE THIS YEAR, WE WELCOME CATH KIDSTON MBE TO THE GREAT BRITISH ENTREPRENEUR AWARDS JUDGING PANEL. Cath Kidston MBE is one of the best-known entrepreneurs on the High Street for her self-named fashion and homeware brand, which is famous for its nostalgic floral designs. Cath started the business in 1993 in West London selling vintage fabrics and car boot finds, but soon began to design her own prints and products, giving vintage inspiration a modern twist. In 2010, Cath was awarded an MBE for service to business. In the same year, she sold a majority stake in the business, holding onto a minority share and staying in place as creative director. Now, Cath Kidston has over 200 stores across 16 countries around the world. Joining the judging panel, Cath said: “It sounds a cliché, but you [start a business] because you really believe in what you are doing. It’s always inspiring to see all the ideas and creativity out there - up and coming businesses are the future of retail and a great indicator of where the market is heading.” Describing why supporting entrepreneurs is so important to her, Cath added: “I’ve had an incredible journey in retail with many ups and down and it’s always rewarding to share that journey with other like-minded people. I really appreciated any help I received when I was starting out, so it’s important to give back.” Our founder, Francesca James, said: “It’s an honour to welcome Cath to our judging panel. She is someone who has an incredibly inspiring and relatable story for so many entrepreneurs. It’s fantastic to see her taking the next step in supporting the next generation with the Great British Entrepreneur Awards.”

DID YOU KNOW... Kidston worked as a window dresser for Laura Ashley before she landed a job with interior designer Nicky Haslam.

She opened her very first Cath Kidston store with just £15,000.

Cath was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1995, aged 37. The illness prompted her to close her interior design business to focus on developing the Cath Kidston brand.

In February 2010, Kidston was awarded an MBE for services to business.

She’s estimated to be worth around £250m.


“You need to do it well, or not at all. But you’ve absolutely got to have fun.” 18


Grenade: BLOWING AWAY THE COMPETITION “You need to do it well, or not at all. But you’ve absolutely got to have fun.” In one sentence, you understand almost everything you need to know about Alan and Juliet Barratt. They are two people whose names may not immediately spring to mind. They don’t have the fame that some entrepreneurs have today. But they are the founders of one of the UK’s most exciting and fastest growing businesses. They are the founders of Grenade. That opening sentence gives an insight into how the husband and wife team built such a strong and explosive brand. For them, it wasn’t about making money. They describe themselves as “fanatical” about doing things well. Many entrepreneurs will describe themselves as perfectionists, but Alan and Jules believe in passion as the key factor for success. “Grenade was actually a bit of a hobby,” Jules explains, looking back to

the start of the company. “It was supposed to be a bit of fun.” But, as Alan says, their passion combined with their commitment to create something of real quality enabled Grenade to become what it is today: “Unless your product or service is absolutely world class, don’t bother. It’s too competitive out there. If you’re only giving 90%, someone else is giving it 91%, and someone else is giving it 92%. If you’re not giving it 100%, someone else is doing better than you. You’ve got to be all in or all out.” It’s fair to say Alan and Juliet have given everything to Grenade. They admit they have never separated their time between business partners and husband and wife. “We haven’t had a ‘normal’ life - we haven’t got children, our whole lives have revolved around the business and there hasn’t been a cut off,” Jules says. “Work definitely spills into home, and that was normal for us. In hindsight, we should’ve made a bit more of an effort to have a balance, but then I don’t think we would’ve achieved what we have with Grenade.” The pair explain that Grenade has followed them wherever they’ve gone. They’ve agreed deals whilst with Sir Richard Branson on Necker Island and at the top of Table Mountain in South Africa. When did the explosion begin? Alan’s interest in an entrepreneurial life began when he was just 11 while his father worked as a mechanic on Mr Kipling lorries. With spare crates of cakes

destined for the rubbish, Alan’s father brought them home for the family. “After the first month we were sick of eating cakes, so I took them to school and sold them,” he recalls. Juliet never had any intention of becoming an entrepreneur, however. In fact, she began a career in education but always endeavoured to do more than the ‘job role,’ whether that was in terms of writing, or development and training. “I tried to make job roles my own. I’ve always worked hard to make the most of things.” As a teenager, Alan was a “poor eater” and never had an appetite for food. He remembers looking for a drink that would give him the calories he needed instead of eating food, but struggled with the sports nutrition industry almost non-existent compared to today. Inspired by his interest in strength training, and a desire for meal replacement products, Alan launched his first business in 1999 at the age of 23. Alan and Juliet met in 2003, with Juliet joining to help run the sports nutrition distribution business in 2005. In 2008, they sold the business and remained in place, running the company for a year after. By that point, however, the pair had already come up with the idea for Grenade. 19

“We spent four years working on IP and trademarks,” Alan explains, “because it’s a very copycat industry. There’s something protectable and brilliant about Grenade packaging, because it either looks like one, or it doesn’t.” Women who train At first, around 90% of Grenade’s customers were men. But women soon realised the products really worked, and now, nine years later, the company has almost an even 50/50 split. Jules says: “It does look like a ‘male’ product, particularly when you look at the Grenade Thermal Detonator. But, when it came to weight loss, women wanted the strongest product they could try. “They were sick of being sold to and patronised by the ‘pink trinket’ crowd, as we call it - brands that think putting something in a pink packet and making it look ‘pretty’ is going to get women to buy it.” Alan adds: “We actually saw overwhelming sales from women wanting our products. If you want to target women, you don’t need to ‘target’ women. Just create a desirable product. Making it pink just isn’t the way forward, particularly with women who train!” ‘You don’t know what you don’t know’ Alan and Jules talk almost with a sense of melancholy when they look back at the early days of the company. While they reminisce about the simplicity of being a tiny business, 20

they provide some very real insights into what it’s like starting a business. “To be honest, the early days were really, really good fun!” Jules begins. “We like learning and we had to learn to do everything. I was doing invoices on Word documents, we were learning how to get barcodes because we’d never done it before. We were learning all about trademarks and how to get products on the shelves in supermarkets. “It was really exciting because we were building something we genuinely believed in, and started to see people get enthusiastic about it. And that’s what really drives you as an entrepreneur.” Alan continues: “There’s something quite nice about not knowing what you’re doing, because you don’t know what you don’t know. It wasn’t stressful in the early days because there were a lot fewer things to be stressed about. “When there’s two of you, you know each other’s strengths and weaknesses and I would know if I didn’t do something Jules would, and vice versa. “I liked the simplicity of having a smaller business.” While all entrepreneurs strive for growth, it appears that for Alan and Juliet, at least, business becomes a lot more serious and a bit less fun when you start to achieve the big numbers. Juliet explains: “If we wanted to do something in the early days, we just did it. We didn’t really have to think too hard about it. But when you’ve got investors on board and you’re responsible

for paying the salary of 70 members of staff, there’s a lot more pressure to make the decisions you know will be right and come off.” “Nowadays, if we made a mistake in production, you’re talking millions of pounds lost. It’s all proportionate to the size and scale of the business, but I’m glad we learned what we did when we did, because those things definitely hurt a lot more as you get bigger. ‘We haven’t been successful’ Everyone has a different version of what success is. The perception of entrepreneurs is that success is determined by how much profit they make, how many countries they sell in, how much they sell a business for. Some might be surprised, then, to learn that Jules doesn’t believe her and her husband, who have built one of the fastest growing companies in the UK and sold it for £72 million, are ‘successful’. “I think ‘successful’ is a weird word. I don’t think we’ve been successful. We’ve worked bloody hard and have got a great business, but I don’t really think I’ve been successful,” she explains. It’s interesting how people define success. Many will say it’s the ability to buy a certain car or a big house. But Alan believes the definition of success is changing dramatically. He describes those sorts of things as “the icing on the cake.” “I don’t think entrepreneurs set out to acquire material goods. It’s very nice

to have, but I suppose how we define success is seeing our product in every retailer in the country. “Being able to buy things for my parents was big for me. We were never bothered about acquiring things for ourselves, but we like seeing others benefit from what we’ve created.” When they secured their first big distribution deal, both Alan and Jules bought their parents a new house and took them on holiday. In fact, when we asked the duo what their biggest achievement is, they said it was looking after family. Forward thinking Now, Alan and Jules have entered a phase of their entrepreneurial careers where they are starting to think about the future and what they can do to support the next generation. Alan says: “I guess recognition for what we’ve done and what we’re doing is fantastic. Young entrepreneurs wanting your advice is quite nice, it makes you realise how much you know. We’ve built something from scratch and created value.” Jules adds: “We’ve got no desire to be famous or well known - I can’t think of anything worse! - but it’s nice to be known and respected for being good at what we do.” Juliet left the day-to-day running of Grenade at the start of the year, but naturally still takes a keen interest in the business and helps out where and when she can. She has now turned her attention to smaller businesses as a consultant, helping them to build their brand and mentoring young entrepreneurs through the Princes’ Trust and Virgin Start-Up. Explaining why she has taken the decision, Jules says: “I take my hat off to anyone who has the gaul to start their own business, and it’s so nice to work with people who have done that. “It’s not about telling them what to do, it’s support, ideas and guidance, talking about our experience. We found it difficult at the beginning not having that person to go to and talk to. It’s really exciting and genuinely interesting.” It’s a path that Alan may follow in the near future. “I’d love to! We’ve both got a real fascination with business and hard work, and the thought of creating something from nothing. You’re not going to get as excited as building your own brand, but when you work with another entrepreneur who has got a really good idea, you get really excited for them.” For now, however, Alan’s focus remains on building Grenade even bigger than it already is. Currently, Grenade is

stocked in around 52% of possible stores across the UK. That may impress most, but Alan takes the view that Grenade isn’t stocked in 48%. He believes Grenade can keep doing what it’s doing and double the size of the company just by increasing its distribution to over 90%. And yet, there is a wider trend shifting how Grenade may be seen in supermarkets in the future. “It will be really interesting to see what happens in the not-too-distant future in confectionary, because we’ve led the creation of this space - the highprotein, low-sugar chocolate - to see if that becomes the norm in confectionary. At the moment, most retailers put us in specialist aisles, but it’ll be interesting to see if Grenade has truly disrupted the market,” Juliet wonders. At the start of the year, Grenade overtook Mars as the second biggest selling chocolate bar in the UK, which seems incredible given the country’s long-established love of chocolate. Juliet adds: “We’ve got a generation of young people who are growing up knowing sugar is the enemy, and wanting healthier options. “A lot of young people are eating Grenade products, but no one has really changed what children eat, confectionary-wise, for years. It’ll be

interesting to see what they’re buying in 5-10 years time.” Securing that second spot and battling for the No.1 place has come despite Grenade being stocked in the ‘healthy’ aisles, as Jules mentions. Alan believes that Grenade will grow even quicker, and firmly establish itself as the country’s most popular chocolate bar, if is stocked in the right place. “We’re winning at the moment from the back of the store,” Alan says. “Everyone we’re competing with and overtaking is at the front of the store. We don’t actually have a like-for-like fair fight. Very few people will walk into a supermarket, go past the chocolate bars at the front of the store, walk to the back of the store to pick up a Grenade bar and walk back to pay. “If we can be at the front of the store, we can grow even quicker. In fact, we just need supermarkets to keep us in stock because a lot are always sold out!” What’s clear to see from Alan and Juliet is a continued passion for the Grenade brand, even though Jules has left the day-to-day operations. When they launched the company in 2010, Grenade really did explode onto the market. But a combination of hard work, love of the brand and true entrepreneurial nous has seen Grenade’s initial explosion develop into a chain reaction.

DID YOU KNOW... The name came after a friend told Alan and Jules’ that their first weight-loss formula was “like a grenade”.

Grenade has customers in over 80 countries.

In 2019, Grenade became the second highest selling chocolate bar in the UK, overtaking Mars.

Alan and Jules came up with the idea for Grenade in 2006, four years before launching.

Alan and Jules sold Grenade in 2017 for £72 million.

They were awarded Great British Entrepreneur of the Year in 2018.



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Ashleigh Watson | Copper Square Communications Dani McFerran | Done and Dusted Design Lucy Wallace | in klöver Niamh Taylor | Digital 24 Ruth McEwan-Lyon | NI Silver

Ashleigh Watson | Copper Square Communications Niamh Taylor | Digital 24 Ryan Farren | BPMBuild Thomas Glackin & Paul Nesbitt | Linenbundle Tricia McNeilly | Otzibrew



John Noone & John McColgan | Joule Group Michael Heaslip | Food Stories Scott Riley | Causeway Living Stephen Rice & Rowena Timms | Upskill Enterprise

Daniel McGlade | Oroson John Harkin | Alchemy Technology Services Louise Houliston | Ninjadry Mark Lilley & Richard McKnight | Groundswell Peter McCaul | Péarlaí

ENTREPRENEUR FOR GOOD AWARD Dave Linton | Madlug Leigh Carey | The Hummingbird Project CIC Oliver Jowett | Project 168 Scott Riley | Causeway Living ENTREPRENEURIAL SPIRIT AWARD

YOUNG ENTREPRENEUR OF THE YEAR Conleth McAlinden | Kaizen Strength Training Gym Joshua Neilly | Fat Fish Marketing Katie Matthews | The Mind Tribe UK Mark McGillion | Triex Stephen Haughey | Ireland Before You Die

Adam Ewart | Send My Bag Claire Loftus | EVOLVE Katie Matthews | The Mind Tribe UK Mark McGillion | Triex Michael Heaslip | Food Stories FOOD & DRINK ENTREPRENEUR OF THE YEAR


Carol Banahan | Carol’s Stock Market Michael Heaslip | Food Stories Michele Shirlow | FoodNI Noel Allen | Noisy Snacks Tricia McNeilly | Otzibrew


Conleth McAlinden | Kaizen Strength Training Gym Lee Havern | Platinum Training Institute Oliver Jowett | Project 168 Scott Riley | Causeway Living SERVICE INDUSTRIES ENTREPRENEUR OF THE YEAR Daniel McGlade | Oroson James Gumble & Matt Barnes | Xpand Group John Harkin | Alchemy Technology Services John Lorimer | FCS Services Sinead Sharkey-Steenson | Generation Women


MIDLANDS CREATIVE INDUSTRIES ENTREPRENEUR OF THE YEAR Clare Villar | Clare Villar Military Art Ed Hollands | DrivenMedia Elliott Johns | First Reunion Media Janet Gray | Feed My Creative CIC Nicki Capewell | Pedddle Nikki Millar | Silly Girl Club Sarah Field | Peach Wolfe Paper Co. Surlender Pendress | Love Writing DISRUPTOR OF THE YEAR Jeanette Wong & Tom Pell | The Clean Kilo Paul Morris | Addmaster (UK) Russell Watkins | Sempai Sophie Thompson & Dominic Barnard | VirtualSpeech Steven Williams | Drop Studio Stuart Anderson | eTravelSafety Stuart Mackintosh | OpusVL Waqar Shah | Supermeal ENTREPRENEUR FOR GOOD AWARD Alexander Seery | Shifts to Success Daryl Chambers | InPower Academy CIC Dr Asha Patel | Innovating Minds CIC Guy Schanschieff | Bambino Mio Mac Alonge | The Equal Group Rebecca Gill | VR Therapies Sophia Ferguson | Little Fox Clothing Wendy Tarplee-Morris & Simon Tarplee | The Little Princess Trust ENTREPRENEURIAL SPIRIT AWARD Anthony Davis | The Original Patty Company Derry Holt | OneUp Sales Gurjinder Singh | The Car Spa Team Jo Stroud | Fabulous Collections Jo-Anne Shellum | Sociability Care CIC Lucy Seeley | Equihandee Rebecca Gill | VR Therapies Simon Washbrook | popcorn FAMILY BUSINESS ENTREPRENEUR OF THE YEAR Adam & Kim Burrage | Trident Charlotte Russell | Pawprint Badges Cleo Morris | MyDine David Hallam | OrderWise Estelle Keeber & Leona Burton | Mums in Business Association Gill & Will Sherwin | Best of British Beer Heather & Sebastian Horton | Ecrubox Digital Sunny Mudhar | Family Secret FOOD & DRINK ENTREPRENEUR OF THE YEAR Bruce & Paramjit Nagra | Crazy Gin Geeta & Reena Salhan | Green Sisters Katherine Jenner | Burning Barn Noah Geeves & Harry Stimpson | LIC Frozen Cocktails Stefania Pellegrino | Purely Plantain Chips Steve Perez | Global Brands Tom Walker & Gaz Booth | Holy Moly Dips Wendy Wilson Bett & Ian Tencor | Peter’s Yard 26

HEALTH & BEAUTY ENTREPRENEUR OF THE YEAR Amanda Crofts | Move with Mumma Anita Hill | Comfyse Jack Gibson | Fitness Worx Kameese Davis | Nylah Kate & Tracey Redmond | Style Coaching Institute Louise White | Body Lipo Lincoln Maxine Laceby | Absolute Collagen Natasha Ryan | Trimz & Tantrumz Children’s Salon SCALE-UP ENTREPRENEUR OF THE YEAR Amelia Gillespie | ClubsComplete Mike Harris | SiFi Networks Steve Perez | Global Brands Theo Millward | Swimtime Wendy Shand | TotsToTravel SERVICE INDUSTRIES ENTREPRENEUR OF THE YEAR Abid Khan | Riverdale Insurance Amrit Sandhar | The Engagement Coach Craig McVoy | Beyond Brand Peter Brodnicki | Mortgage Advice Bureau Reiss Roberts | First Active 365 Stuart Anderson | eTravelSafety Suzanne Burnell | Accelerated Success Wendy Shand | TotsToTravel SMALL BUSINESS ENTREPRENEUR OF THE YEAR Javan Bramhall | Digital Glue Katie Clunn | Jiggy Wrigglers Franchise Michael Dorsch | FIFO Wireless UK Paul Bresnihan | Growth Partners Stephanie Bennett & Lyndsey Hellyn | The Curiosity Approach Tim Rookes & Neil Shaw | True MSP Veejay Lingiah | Learning Labs Yvonne Gorman | Essential Print Services START-UP ENTREPRENEUR OF THE YEAR Amy Dixon | iMOVEHOME.com Dominic Portman | DAPV Felicity Cooper | Tatty Head John Rosie | VetCare@Home Joseph Housley & Connor Watt | Narce Media Leo Scott Smith | Tended Neera Sharma | Gifts for Little Hands Sean Mason & Mark Green | Two Farmers Crisps YOUNG ENTREPRENEUR OF THE YEAR Alex Archibald & Bethany Tomlinson | LYFBAR Alexander Seery | Shifts to Success Elliott Lancaster | Utter Rubbish James Byrne | AccoutancyManager Leo Scott Smith | Tended Peter Watson | Distract Samuel Leeds | Property Investors Sophie Thompson & Dominic Barnard | VirtualSpeech




Food & Drink Continued...

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SERVICE INDUSTRIES ENTREPRENEUR OF THE YEAR Andrea Callanan | Inspire Me Craig Palfrey | Penguin Wealth Dayne Hodgson | RedKnight Consultancy Guy Last | Guy Last Recruitment Lucy Cohen & Sophie Hughes | Mazuma Nick Proctor | Amber Enterprises Group Rob Dance | ROCK Simon Bishop & Heather Morris | SHFoodie SMALL BUSINESS ENTREPRENEUR OF THE YEAR Ali Al-Mufti | Arcadia Care Homes Nigel Saunders | Sure Chill Ollie Noakes | Boulders Peter Ibbetson & Gemma Guise | JournoLink Sarah Callaway & Michael Pitman | House of Callaway Stephen Wornham & Carol Gillanders | Road Safety Designs START-UP ENTREPRENEUR OF THE YEAR Abigail Dymmock & Sophie Brown | Jack and Amelie Dan Swygart | Alpacr Gareth Jones & Mandy Weston | Town Square Spaces James Chiffi | Beyond the White Line Kelly Campbell & Sarah Symonds | Cardiff Pottery Workshops Foundation Louis Halton Davies | Web Marketer Malcolm Sloan | Sports Injury Fix Toby Townrow, John Young & Clayton Earney | Drone Evolution YOUNG ENTREPRENEUR OF THE YEAR Alice Ojeda | Authentic House Callum Griffiths | Clydach Farm Group Carly Thompsett | Anaphase Store Charlotte Wood | Charlotte Wood Design Daniel Huxtable | Fightwear Store UK Giorgia Rescigno | Letzshare Jemima Letts | Tree Sparks Joseph Ward | Smallspark Space Systems

FOOD & DRINK ENTREPRENEUR OF THE YEAR Cathy Harding | Cook Stars Charlotte Williams | Lily’s Bake Box 27


FOOD & DRINK ENTREPRENEUR OF THE YEAR Cecily Mills | Coconuts Organic Edward Lofthouse | Harbour Brewing Co. Lee Peacock | CUPP Nick Bildner, Ben Lewis & Simon Ashburner | Pulsin Paul Rostand | The Great British Biscotti Co Tom Honey | Stoned



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Essential Training Swanky Poppy’s Picnic Tobooka Rocketmakers Rin Hamburgh & Co

Alexander Young | Virti Frances Lucraft | Grace & Green Georgia Stewart | Tumelo Harry Dennis | Waterhaul Iain McFarnon | Socialight Nathan McGurl | The Study Buddy



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Food & Drink Continued...

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Adam & Victoria Cozens | Perky Blenders Gary & Alan Keery | Cereal Killer Cafe Jerry & Shelley Lawson | Frog Bikes Luke & Lisa Scott | Huski Home Adam Holmes and Marcus, Luke & Hugo Ellingham | Brother Film Co Olivia & Helen Collins | myza Rupesh & Alex Thomas | Tuk Tuk Chai Vivien & Howard Wong | Little Moons FOOD & DRINK ENTREPRENEUR OF THE YEAR Alessandro Savelli | Pasta Evangelists Charlie Bigham | Charlie Bigham’s Jenny Costa | Rubies In The Rubble Kevin & Kellie Bath | JimJams


HEALTH & BEAUTY ENTREPRENEUR OF THE YEAR Alex Doyle | Altr Charlotte Tilbury MBE | Charlotte Tilbury Beauty Dom De Vetta | Shay & Blue Jack Nicoll | Cel Jade Elliott | Iconic London Julia Yule & Christina Moss | Bloom & Blossom Stephanie Eltz | Doctify Stephanie Newport-Booth | GoSweat SCALE-UP ENTREPRENEUR OF THE YEAR Ammad Ahmad | Atheneum Avin Rabheru | Housekeep Ben Jeffries | Influencer Jonny Sitton & Daniel Price | My 1st Years Markus Stripf, Tim Allen & Simon O’Regan | Spoon Guru Paul Sulyok | Green Man Gaming Priya Lakhani OBE | CENTURY Tech Stephen Bourke | Echo Pharmacy SERVICE INDUSTRIES ENTREPRENEUR OF THE YEAR Alexander Limpert | GuestReady Ashley Lawrence & Ben Adams | Trinnovo Group Ben Prouty & Jan Vanhoutte | Shepper Clare Henson-Bowen | Bespoke Wellbeing Electra Japonas | The Law Boutique Jean-Henri Beukes | Ecocleen Services Matthew Connelly | ihateironing Ranzie Anthony | Athlon SMALL BUSINESS ENTREPRENEUR OF THE YEAR Damien Lee | Mr Lee’s Pure Foods Co Dr Emer MacSweeney | Re:Cognition Health Eloise Frank & Adam Chaudhri | The Big London Bake Emma Sayle | Killing Kittens Joloyn Bennett | Juice UK Lily Simpson | Detox Kitchen Max Henderson & Nick Higgins | Hotpod Yoga Nicola Skowronek | Sheepers START-UP ENTREPRENEUR OF THE YEAR Ari Peralta & Ramy Elnagar | Arigami Colleen Wong | Techsixtyfour Digby Vollrath & Hugo Campbell | Feast It Elizabeth Tweedale | Cypher Ishaan Malhi | Trussle Myles Hopper, Giles Humphries & Robert Grieg-Gran | Mindful Chef Nick Bennett & Gareth Fryer | Fika Tom Gatzen & Rob Imonikhe | Ideal Flat Mate YOUNG ENTREPRENEUR OF THE YEAR Frankie Thorogood | Thorogood Sports George Sullivan | The Sole Supplier Grace Beverley | TALA and B_ND Harry Hugo | The Goat Agency Kai Feller | Bark.com Peter Ramsey | Movem Ross Testa | Yakety Yak Sophie Lavabre Barrow | KINN Living


NORTH WEST CREATIVE INDUSTRIES ENTREPRENEUR OF THE YEAR Ben Naylor | Jack Badger Josh Gudgeon | Get Your Media Laura Bartlett | House of Coco Megan Jones | Curated Makers Oliver Miller & Conor Povall | Kelham Island Concrete Tim Hyde | TWH Media

Claire Harper | Muscle Moose Dirk Mischendahl & Josh Lee | Northern Bloc Ice Cream Edmund Wood | Belgrove Hazelnut Rum Lawrence Hill | Plant Power Liam Manton & Mark Smallwood | Didsbury Gin Maria & Mark Whitehead | Hawkshead Relish Company Matt Farrell & John Ennis | Graffiti Spirits Group Zach Pinfold | SODADA Kombucha HEALTH & BEAUTY ENTREPRENEUR OF THE YEAR Ailish Lucas | The Glow Getter Christopher Haddon | Take A Breather UK Kal Bulbul | R10 Labs Skincare Rob McGuigan | Firehouse Fitness Robert Hughes | Pivotal Drinks Sarwat Jaleel | Kushboo Soaps SCALE-UP ENTREPRENEUR OF THE YEAR Charlotte Smith & William Vaughan | Bluefin Trading David & John Barton | Quick Reach Powered Access Gary Gallen | rradar Jack Malin | Membr Jamil Mawji & Faisal Lalani | National Care Group Martin Port | BigChange



Chris Nriapia & Lee Fella | Sentrysis Jordan Appleson | Hark Mark Roberts | Beer Hawk Martyn Gould | yboo Matt Newing | Elite Group Somayeh Taheri | UrbanChain ENTREPRENEUR FOR GOOD AWARD

Beckie Morley | Musical Moments Beth Noy | Plastic Freedom Christina Colmer McHugh & Jonathan Elvidge | Moodbeam Emma McClelland | Kintsgui Clothing Francesca Hodgson & Andrew O’Brien | GoodBox Helen Bryce | Guilty Mothers Club Lynn & Richard Bye | Fat Lad At The Back Matt Latham & Tom McGillycuddy | tickr ENTREPRENEURIAL SPIRIT AWARD Cheryl Chan | Books About Who Delight Mapasure | K’s Wors Karl & Cathy Mason | Masons Yorkshire Gin Mark Robinson | Just Strong Melanie Parker | Graft Naomi Mwasambili | Chanua Nathaniel Birkett | The Swim Specialist Sean Ramsden | Ramsden International ENTREPRENEUR’S TEAM OF THE YEAR Reel Film Media Jack Badger Hark Raildiary FAMILY BUSINESS ENTREPRENEUR OF THE YEAR

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David Fidler | Front Row Music Gary Tyne | Pro-Reliability Solutions Jeremy Terry | Meesons A.I. Lee Ali | Expo Stars Interactive Marcus & Sam Naidoo | Shop Local Club Card Michael Asher & Anthea Morris | Better2Know Phil Eckersley | Bridgewater Home Care Tom Pickersgill, James Doyle & Nick Groves | Broadstone SMALL BUSINESS ENTREPRENEUR OF THE YEAR Ade Molajo | CompareChecker Daniel Owen | The Armstrong Partnership Howard Carter | The Smokey Carter Louis James Davis | VST Enterprises Nathan Alexander | BODA SKINS Nigel Barraclough | Qualsafe Group Sarah Turner | Little Beau Sheep William Forshaw | Maxwell-Scott START-UP ENTREPRENEUR OF THE YEAR Chris Renwick & Lucy Greenwood | Lucy and Yak Gary Woodhead | CurveBlock Heidi Adamson | The Last Staw Michal Szlas | OTTY Sleep Miriam Oldershaw | TubieeGo Paul Austin | Heard Richard Lang | Spok’d Sean Brown | Mercarto YOUNG ENTREPRENEUR OF THE YEAR Adam Chandler | Reel Film Media Charlotte Smith & William Vaughan | Bluefin Trading Emma Powell | Epiony Joseph Black & Oliver Jacobs | UniDosh Josh Turner | Stand4 Socks Lucy Arnold | Lucy Locket Loves Michael Johnston | Fed Enterprise Ross Davies | Grown Urban




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Cathi Harrison | The Verve Group Josh Gill | Everflow Group Louise Burns | Nineteen Recruitment Stephen Mallam | OnePoint Systems Steven Rawlingson | Samuel Knight International



Chris Reed | ProxiSmart Isabella West | Hirestreet Joanne Miller & Matthew Rees | The Wandering Dog Jonathan O’Halloran & Elaine Warburton | QuantuMDx Group Ryan Mottershead | Veritent

Brian Palmer | Cello Electronics Craig Smith | The Printed Bag Shop Laura Rothwell | Crystallised Melanie & Frank Taal | Prambibs Sophie Milliken | Smart Resourcing Solutions Steven Katirai | ProForecast

ENTREPRENEUR FOR GOOD AWARD Claire Goodliff | Community Fitness Network Marc Fenwick | Fundr Nicola Wood | The Wonderful Wig Company Pauline Grant | Smell the Roses Ruth Oldfield | Coffee & Kin ENTREPRENEURIAL SPIRIT AWARD Ami Davies | Brand Ami David Robinson | Robinson of England Gail Curry | Happy Planet Creative Arts CIC James Rutherford | Kick Cards Mick Armstrong | SeaPigs Tamma Carel | Imvelo FOOD & DRINK ENTREPRENEUR OF THE YEAR Alyson Archer | Simply Cheesecake Carly Morgan | The Shire Bakery Charlie Gibbs | Steampunk Spirits Niall & Vicky McKay-Mount | Screaming Chimp Chili Sauce

START-UP ENTREPRENEUR OF THE YEAR Carly Morgan | The Shire Bakery Charlotte Bailey & Sean Ali | Super U David Copple | Shine Interview Joanne Miller & Matthew Rees | The Wandering Dog Nick Danks | Madhouse Media Sohrab Vazir | Interhousing YOUNG ENTREPRENEUR OF THE YEAR Ellen Hedley & Henry Coggin | Vida Creative Isabella West | Hirestreet Jonathan Grubin | SoPost Jordan McCabe | Aztec Diamond Equestrian Louisa Rogers | Trendlistr Rachel Fay | Little Learners



Charlotte Bailey & Sean Ali | Super U John Grumitt & Professor Mike Trenell | Changing Health Jonathan & Antonia Philp | Better Health Megan Patrick | Brow Wow Bar Nicola Wood | Kitui Hair Design SCALE-UP ENTREPRENEUR OF THE YEAR

Fokhrul Islam | Northern Gas and Power Jonathan Grubin | SoPost Josh Gill | Everflow Group Sarat Pediredla | Hedgehog Lab Steven Rawlingson | Samuel Knight International 32


The National


Final 21.11.2019 DOCK X I LONDON





final accountancy exams at the same college as they gained their professional qualifications whilst working. “I’d already had this idea of an accountancy business, which stemmed from my family,” Lucy explains. “They’re good at what they do, but not so good with the tax and financial side of things. “I saw a gap for a way for someone to access professional accountancy without it being a big drama. I came up with a non-traditional business model, told Sophie about it and she offered to help out. A few weeks later, we quit our jobs to start the business!”


“ACCOUNTING: IT MAY NOT BE COOL JUST YET, BUT WE THINK IT’S A LOT COOLER THAN IT WAS.” If you type ‘Why is accountancy’ into Google, one of the autocomplete questions continues ‘so boring?’. When Lucy Cohen and Sophie Hughes launched Mazuma in 2006, they were told a fresh perspective on accountancy wouldn’t work, that it was the way it was for a reason. Accountancy wasn’t made to be “accessible and cool”, an unimpressed advisor warned them. Thirteen years later, Lucy and Sophie admit they may not have made accountancy totally cool yet, but they think “it’s a lot cooler than it was!”.

FATEFUL FOUNDERS Some things in life are just meant to be. Lucy and Sophie starting a business together is definitely one of those things. The pair met at high school in Cardiff, quickly becoming best friends, but never made grand plans to take over the world with different business ideas. Instead, Lucy grew up wanting to go into the media industry and Sophie saw herself becoming a financial accountant. By the time big decisions about careers and university came around, the duo had started to lose contact having attended different sixth form schools. “To be honest, I didn’t really know what I wanted to do,” Lucy starts. “I got into university then decided to take a year out, working in film and TV for a while. I then realised that I hated the career path I decided to go down. That gave me a bit of a shock at the age of 19!” A visit to a careers advisor led Lucy down the path of an accountant. By chance, she and Sophie were both doing their

Long before the likes of cloud software services Xero and QuickBooks launched their subscription models, Mazuma was the UK’s subscription-based accountancy model, and remains the UK’s only truly national accountancy service provider. The pair explain that they wanted to “create a way for the average small business to have a bit more visibility on their books without having to spend the time or money they had to at the time. “We wanted to create something that was really accessible to our end user. It’s a way for people who have no interest in filling out spreadsheets to use it. Our ethos has always been ‘send us the documents and we’ll do it all for you’.” Lucy and Sophie believe the early days of running Mazuma were very similar to the stories of most start-ups: “It was all very hands-on. You don’t really know what you’re doing. You go into business and make the classic mistake of taking any work that comes your way instead of clearly defining your message.” They very quickly worked out what they were good at, what they weren’t so good at, and what they should focus on, soon honing their new business model that would make accountancy cooler. Then disaster struck. 2008. Financial crisis. Recession. Credit Crunch. Mazuma couldn’t get an overdraft, not even a credit card. “We had to learn to be lean and profitable very quickly, otherwise we wouldn’t have been able to pay our bills.”


It was a big problem for thousands of entrepreneurs up and down the country, but it had a profoundly positive affect on Mazuma. “That has had a big impact on how the business is run today,” Lucy says. “That’s where a lot of our business model is generated from, where we learned what made us money and what didn’t. We always apply those principles to ensure the business runs efficiently.”

‘SUCCEED OR DON’T’ If being a start-up at the height of the financial crisis wasn’t a tough enough hurdle to overcome, Lucy and Sophie have faced plenty more adversity in their journey to bringing Mazuma where it is today. Lucy says: “We were first to market and went to see business advisors. The first told us the idea would never ever work. They said accountancy couldn’t be disrupted, that it was the way it was for a reason. They said accountancy wasn’t made to be accessible and cool. It may not be cool just yet, but we think it’s a lot cooler than it was!” 35

It wasn’t just convincing relics of the industry that Mazuma’s subscription-based accountancy model was the future that Lucy and Sophie had to beat, either. The pair describe their turning point as a negative that turned into a positive. They took on someone who they thought would be instrumental in growing the business, because they had convinced themselves that they weren’t very good at the sales side of things. “We were convinced by someone else, who was still quite inexperienced themselves, that we needed help,” Lucy recalls. This person encouraged Lucy and Sophie to take out borrowing on the business to get a big office space. Still a small team at this point, Mazuma used the funds to take out a six year lease on a 6,000 sq ft space in Bridgend in South Wales. “This person just disappeared. We couldn’t get hold of them. We had this huge office and not enough clients to pay the bills on it,” they say. “I remember sitting on the meeting room floor thinking ‘Shit! What have we done?!’,” Lucy remembers. “At that point we had to make a decision. We had two choices: succeed or don’t.” You can probably guess which choice Lucy and Sophie made. And it was that mindset that the pair say really forced them to get back to basics and turn things around. “It made us strong enough to carry on!”

“The two of us together means we get new ideas done from start to finish.” Now the accountancy industry has caught up with Mazuma’s business model, which Lucy admits creates more challenges. But it means the pair are constantly having to innovate to stay ahead of the game, and pride themselves on their ability to do that.


Lucy says: “I think our biggest achievement is that we led the way in changing the accountancy industry and how it works for small and micro businesses. “The fact that the rest of the industry followed suit means we were right that it was time to change, and we started that change. “We knew there was a new generation of people coming into business who were very interested in subscription-based services, and who realise the value of their time over the small subscription fee.” Where does Mazuma go from here, then, thirteen years into their journey, the company that revolutionised the accountancy industry and brought it into the 21st century? Lucy and Sophie have some aggressive growth plans over the next five years. They want to grow the company ten times, if not more. They’re also working on AI element to the business to enhance what their accountants can provide to customers. “That’s the big drive for us right now, to grow the company to be the leading brand in the UK in the next five years.”

DID YOU KNOW... In her spare time Sophie is a treasurer for a local charity.

OPPOSITE SIDES OF THE SAME COIN A lot of entrepreneurs will advise never getting into business with family or friends, and yet so many do. But how does it work for Lucy and Sophie, two people who cemented their friendship during their early teenage years and kept such a close bond now as business partners in their professional lives? “My mum often describes us as being opposite sides of the same coin,” Lucy laughs. “We’re best friends so spend a lot of time together. We’ve both got very different skill sets, which is why we work so well together as a business partnership. We both know what the end goal is, but approach it in different ways.” Sophie is the do-er. “If you want to get something done, she’s the person who will do it,” Lucy explains. “She’s got the patience to see things through to its conclusion.” Lucy, on the other hand, is the ideas person. The ideas come, she will start working on it and get the ball rolling but quickly lose interest, she says. 36

Lucy has competed in powerlifting internationally for both Wales and Great Britain.

Mazuma’s founders have been best friends since they were 11 years old.

You don’t even have to go into the office to sign up, it can all be done electronically.

Their signature purple envelopes are made from recycled materials and are fully biodegradable.



Susie Ma is the founder of Tropic Skincare, a natural brand which is transforming the way we treat our skin. we caught up with susie, to talk all things skincare, her partnership with lord sugar, and the future of tropic.

Susie Ma Q&A

What was it about essential oils, botanicals and natural products that captured your attention? I have been making my own skincare products since I was a child, and was taught our family recipes by my mum and grandmother. We used to travel to the local markets together, in Tropical North Queensland where I grew up, to buy artisanal ingredients from local producers. I have always adored natural ingredients, and find them so interesting. They appeal to me so much as they’re a multi-sensorial experience. Not only do the essential oils smell incredible and have the power to uplift your mood, but the textures of the butters feel so luxurious, and of course, the skin benefits are seemingly endless. I also love how innovative they can be; coconuts can transform into cleansers for your shampoo or body wash, and we can use CO2 extraction to get the best out of rosehip oil - they aren’t as basic as some people think! At what point did you think you were onto something, that it could be a viable career path? From the very first day I sold Tropic products at Greenwich Market! I was 15 years old, and had started the business to help my mum with the household bills. The first day I sold my freshly made body scrub at the market I sold out, and made over £900! When you’re a young teenager struggling to make ends meet, that certainly feels like a win. So, I continued, and sold Tropic products after school and at weekends right up until I went to university. I suppose it wasn’t until I found myself in the investment banking world (and totally uninspired by it) that I started to think about Tropic as a full-time career, and decided to focus solely on my business. With an abundance of natural ingredients available to you in Australia, what made you stay in London where these ingredients are not so readily available? My mum and I moved to London when I was 13 years old for a fresh start. Luckily, I could still get my hands on many of the ingredients I used in Australia and even further afield. I packed my products with ingredients such as macadamia oil, sea salts and essential oils of eucalyptus, lemon myrtle and citrus. Whenever I made my body scrub as a teenager I was transported back to Tropical North Queensland, and even today I feel hugely nostalgic whenever I smell it being whipped up at HQ. I stayed in the UK as I wanted to be close to my mum, and it has become my home. Thanks to easy transportation, I was always able to get my hands on exotic ingredients from Australia, and beyond, to supercharge our products even more. How important is it for people to understand where the ingredients in their skincare and beauty products originated? I look at skincare the way I look at the food we eat. If you shop for sustainably sourced, healthy ingredients to eat, why not ask the same of your skincare? Tropic sources every single ingredient sustainably, and lists them all in plain English alongside the traditional Latin INCI - on our packaging, so customers are able to easily decipher the ingredients they are 39

Have you noticed more people switching to natural products in recent years? Yes, definitely! The trend for wellbeing and living a healthy lifestyle has continued to grow, and I think using naturally derived beauty products is a huge part of that. Mintel have identified that 52% of beauty consumers in the UK now look for products with natural ingredients. How did your partnership with LORD Sugar drive your business forward? Lord Sugar invested in Tropic after I appeared on The Apprentice in 2011. I didn’t win the process, but after filming ended I was able to pitch to him and received £200,000 investment in return for a 50% stake in the business. His investment meant we were able to scale-up our production and take Tropic to new heights. The publicity from The Apprentice and our partnership was great exposure for the brand, too. What is your social selling initiative all about? In 2013, we launched Tropic’s social selling business model and have never looked back. Tropic doesn’t sell in shops or via third party sites; instead, we have a family of over 12,000 Tropic Ambassadors that sell our products nationwide. I started selling Tropic on a market stall, and learnt the power of business with a personal touch where I could tell the brand story, and talk the customer through the benefits of the ingredients we use, while also giving a product demo. Our Ambassadors work in a very similar way, and earn a basic 25% commission on anything they sell. They do a phenomenal job, and have helped take the business from strength to strength. What is your GREATEST achievement so far? I’m so proud of everything Tropic has achieved. It’s been a roller coaster of a journey, but we have come so far! After starting our social selling platform with 300 Tropic Ambassadors, we now have a network of 12,000 who have invested their time into growing their own successful businesses. I’m in awe of everything they have achieved, and they have really transformed the business into what it is today. Thanks to them, we’ve been The Sunday Times Virgin Atlantic Fast Track 100 fastestgrowing beauty company for three years running! We have also just moved into our state-of-the-art new HQ that is five times the size of our previous premises - it means we can accommodate the phenomenal growth we’re experiencing year-on-year. I’m also proud of our ethical achievements - for example, we’re a certified CarbonNeutral company, and offset our emissions by double for the past two years. Through this initiative, we’ve funded conservation work in the Amazonian rainforest and helped to protect 65,000 hectares of forest from unsustainable palm oil conversion in Indonesia. What does the future hold for Tropic? The next challenge for Tropic is to upscale and propel ourselves forward in certain areas of the business. One thing I’m investigating is upgrading the software our Ambassadors use to place Tropic orders and interact with us. As well as that, we’re working hard to ensure our products are as earth-friendly as possible, so we’ll be converting all of our core products to refillable packaging by 2022. To find out more about Susie and Tropic, visit susiema.com. 40

A beautiful S PA C E F O R big ideas 44 Great Cumberland Place | Marylebone, London, W1H 7BS | homegrownclub.co.uk

a p p i P y a r r u M x

Going nuts for business There are a whole host of reasons entrepreneurs start

their businesses, and there are often even more inspirations behind them. Running marathons, however, might not necessarily be the driving force you’d expect to see behind the creation of one of the fastest growing natural nut butter brands in the UK. But that’s exactly what sparked Pippa Murray to begin her journey as an entrepreneur and the founder of Pip & Nut six years ago. Pippa was one of the most successful entrepreneurs at the Great British Entrepreneur Awards in 2018, first winning Start-Up Entrepreneur of the Year for London & the South East, before claiming the overall Great British Entrepreneur of the Year award for the region. She then went on to win the national Start-Up Entrepreneur of the Year award. A few months after her win, we caught up with Pippa to talk about the Awards and find out a bit more about her story. “It’s actually quite overwhelming when you win something like that,” Pippa explains, recalling picking up her trophies. “You’re so focused on the day-to-day of running a business. When you get awards like these, it’s a bit of a ‘pinch me’ moment that makes you realise you are doing something really good.” Although the Great British Entrepreneur Awards recognise the incredible stories of the entrepreneurs, Pippa said it was just as important for her team. “It’s a great moment for the whole team to step back and think ‘Shit! We’re actually achieving and doing something great here’. It’s a massive pat on the back for everyone.” Post-run snack to start-up Having studied anthropology at university, Pippa followed her plan of starting a career in the museum and creative arts sector. In her early 20s, she was doing a lot of running in her spare time. By the age of 24, Pippa had already run seven marathons and was starting to take her nutrition more seriously as she began training for her next one in Paris. Pippa says: “I’d become much more aware of the stuff I was eating because I wanted food that was nourishing and helped to fuel my training, but was also enjoyable.” It was around this time that Pippa discovered nut butters and peanut butters. “It’s one of the best post-running treats,”

FEATURE she explains. “It was my go-to snack. It was good for me, high protein, so I felt like I was helping myself as well as being able to enjoy it”.

It’s a great moment for the whole team to step back and think ‘Shit! We’re actually achieving and doing something great here.

Living in London, Pippa started to notice a lot more independent, natural brands in retailers like Whole Foods. And then the penny dropped! There was very little choice available in mainstream, major supermarkets, particularly in the nut butter category. Those that were available were full of palm oil and sugar, she recalls - not very healthy for a runner training for a marathon. Pippa never had much exposure to the commercial world growing up, or that it was even an option to start a business; her parents both work for the NHS and she grew up loving the creative industries. But when she struggled to find healthy options in the supermarkets, things started to change. “There was a really good gap and it’s very difficult to find a gap these days. It’s hard to go into a supermarket and see where you can genuinely disrupt a market. It got under my skin and after six months of thinking about it, I realised that if I didn’t do it, someone else will, and that would’ve really bugged me.” It actually took Pippa two years to fully launch the business. Staying in her job at the Science Museum in London, she started off by playing around with different ingredients and flavours in her kitchen. She came up with several flavours and took them Maltby Street market in Bermondsey. “I used the market at the weekend to get a feel for what people liked,” she says, “and every weekend I sold out. People would come back and buy more the next week.” This was enough to convince Pippa that her idea, and her plans, were good enough to work. “There was enough in it, enough positive reaction, enough gut feeling to think this was definitely something that could scale. I stopped going to the market and went to find a manufacturer, develop the brand and raise some money. It probably took a year and a half to do all those things.” Pressure and urgency Pippa remained at her job part-time during the first year of working on Pip & Nut. She launched a crowdfunding campaign, completed it and quit her job to focus on the brand six months before officially launching.

I used the market at the weekend to get a feel for what people liked, and every weekend I sold out. People would come back and buy more the next week.

“It gets to the point when you’ve been plugging away for a year and a half, and you just need to work full time on it, to make sure you do get things over the line,” Pippa says. “It applies a bit of urgency to the whole thing. The crowdfunding campaign meant that, before launching, I could pay myself a small salary, just to keep the lights on!” With no experience in the commercial world, let alone running a business, Pippa had to navigate the difficulties of securing a 43

manufacturer and supplier in the food and drink space. She says: “Certainly, the supply chain aspect is absolutely the hardest thing to crack when you’re brand new to the industry. You really have to prove yourself. When you’re talking to factories, they’re investing in you and your product, development time, support along the way. I had to persuade factories to want to work with me. That was the hardest thing with no background or experience. I eventually found a great manufacturing partner which accelerated things and allowed us to make the product at scale.”

into different ways of building the brand. We’re a lot more structured in the way we go about doing things now. And the important thing to me is building a brand that is going to be around for a long-time, growing sustainably.

They really backed us with a great listing and seeing it on the supermarket shelves translated the vision I had for the brand into a reality.

Hitting the shelves An entrepreneur can so often pick out a single moment - a conversation, a pitch, a business deal, an introduction - that was the turning point for their business, the point they realised things were really taking off. For Pippa, it was securing Pip & Nut’s very first space in one of the four major supermarkets. It was Sainsbury’s that first brought Pippa’s range of natural nut butters to the supermarket shelves of the UK.

She says: “It was such a moment for us. Having not come from a food and drink background at all, there was so much uncertainty because my aspiration when I started was to have a national reach - a brand that would be seen and known up and down the UK - but you don’t know whether or not you’re going to get the traction. “When we won Sainsbury’s, it was a really big moment. They really backed us with a great listing and seeing it on the supermarket shelves translated the vision I had for the brand into a reality. It was an amazing feeling knowing our product was sold up and down the country.” She adds: “For a small business owner, those moments make it really tip the scales in terms of growth. That was when we started seeing engagement on social media platforms spiking, because we were now in so many people’s houses, and I remember thinking one morning how cool it was that so many people would have been eating our product for breakfast.” Big things to come Six years on from the start of her journey, Pippa now heads a team of 13 which she says is helping to push her out of her comfort zone and really learn new things every week. “We’ve got some great experience in the room,” she begins, “to make sure we have the right strategy and approach going 44

“I guess a typical day varies from going into a buyer’s meeting to pitch a new product range we’re about to launch, to working on a new product in the factory or working with the team to help decide the next steps. “I think that’s why I love it so much. There’s so much diversity in my job and every year my role shifts as new people come into the team - it doesn’t ever stay static. I feel like I’m learning something new every week about something new, and that accelerates when you bring people into the team from bigger businesses with different expertise.” A big focus for Pip & Nut for the rest of 2019 is to launch a number of new flavours, as well as some entirely new products. Now stocked in all major supermarkets, Pippa says the team’s goal is to grow their listings across those stores. A focus particularly close to Pippa’s heart, however, is her ambition for Pip & Nut to become a certified B Corporation, which is a business that has purpose at its heart. B Corporation businesses are legally required to balance profits against the impact they have on the environment, customers, supply chains, local community and workforce. “It’s a really lengthy project to gain certification, but it would be a really proud moment. It’s really important to me to build a brand I’m proud of, and that goes right the way through how we do business, and the impact we have.”


Pip created nutbutter to support her marathon training.

She secured £120k in crowdfunding.

It’s now stocked in 5,000 stores in the UK & Ireland.

Now available in Sainsbury’s, Tesco, ASDA, Morrisons, Ocado, Whole Foods and many more.

Pip & Nut has a predicted sales value of £25 million.


www.communicorpuk.com radio






DO YOU HAVE WHAT IT TAKES? Ask yourself. Do I really want to operate independently and be the person making all the decisions and shouldering the responsibility? Am I willing to put in the hours and make the sacrifices necessary to start a business? Do I have the selfconfidence and self-discipline to persevere and build my new business into a success? If you answered yes, then it looks like you’ve got the right attitude. We’ve all heard of famous successful entrepreneurs like Lord Sugar, JK Rowling and Sir Richard Branson. But for every famous business person there will be hundreds of other plumbers, shopkeepers, hairdressers and other small companies in your locality, who also run successful, profitable small businesses.


ARE YOU THE NEXT BIG THING? Many young people have dreams of becoming the next big YouTube personality, esports superstar or reality TV sensation. With the success of PewDiePie, Jaden Ashman (runner up in the Fortnite World Cup) and the popularity of Love Island, it’s hardly surprising. But the chances of succeeding on these career paths are very low. For most of us it’s a choice between working for someone or working for yourself. Being employed has benefits such as greater job security, a regular income and fixed hours. So, you can switch off at the end of the day, go home and relax. It’s also likely that you’ll be working with others which is a great opportunity to make new friends and network. This all sounds great, but you’ll have a limited ability to decide what you actually do. Your work will need to meet the expectations of your employer and your pay will be dictated by the pay structure of the company. Then there’s the boss. Great if you get on with them, but what if you don’t? For these reasons, many young people are choosing to forge their own career and start their own business. In the past five years, the number of young directors aged 16-24 listed on the Companies House register has increased by 35%. American writer, Mark Twain, is famously quoted as having said, “Find a job you enjoy doing and you will never have to work a day in your life” - and it seems more people aged 16-24 are doing just that by deciding to become their own boss rather than setting out on the search for a job after school, college or university. Being your own boss can be incredibly exciting and rewarding, especially if you’re turning your passion into a business. But it can also be risky and challenging. Before you start your business venture – or embark on your growth journey - there are a few things worth considering, to make sure the future success of your business empire. 46

Jack of all trades, master of none. When it comes to running your own business, you will need a wide range of business skills. You’ll need to run everything from marketing your goods and services to serving customers and preparing accounts. This is often a tough requirement for anyone. Budgeting, IT skills, telephone techniques, dealing with customers - the list is endless. Knowing the basics and polishing certain skills can help you be a better entrepreneur. You’ll also need a business plan. For any new potential venture, a business plan is a critical document covering the essentials of the setting and achieving business objectives. Although it may seem a tough exercise to undertake, it’s worth it in the long run. Many businesses fail in their first year without a well drafted business plan. A business plan is a written document that sets out your company goals, objectives and the strategies you’ll use to achieve growth. These are crucial to the success of any business; not only do they provide a clear path for you to follow, but they also help you keep track of your goals and allow you to make changes if necessary. If you’re a business hoping to secure investment from funding bodies or other entrepreneurs, you’ll need to have a business plan to convince them that you are worth their time and money. It’s a competitive market – thousands of businesses vie for the attention of investors across the UK every day, so if you want them to choose you, you need to give them a good enough reason. There are many resources and organisations which you can use to create a business plan, including the Business Support Helpline, Business Wales and the Prince’s Trust.

DECIDE WHAT TYPE OF BUSINESS IS BEST FOR YOU What type of business structure is best for your start-up? There are different types to choose from. The most common types are sole trader, a limited company or partnership. Each have their own pros and cons. Starting out as a sole trader is a popular choice because it’s quick and easy to start and set up, with minimal costs. Many businesses change their structure as they expand and grow. Being or becoming a limited company can bring increased tax-efficiency, as well as limited liability. Another key benefit of starting or becoming a limited company is the image in the eyes of your customers. Incorporation may give you more of a professional edge by showing everyone that you’re a legitimate setup. It’s important that you familiarise yourself with these so that you know what type of business structure will be best for you.



If you choose to become a limited company, there are a number of requirements you need before you incorporate. These include;

No matter what business structure you choose you will need a name. First impressions count, so make sure you put plenty of thought into choosing a name and brand for your business. Try to be unique and pick something suitable that will help differentiate your business from your competitors. It’s obvious that you don’t want to use something that is already being used by someone else. Checking the trade mark database on the Intellectual Property Office website and using the company name checker on the Companies House website is a good starting point. But there is also a chance that someone is using a name that they haven’t registered anywhere. So professional advice is worthwhile before you invest money in your new shopfront, business cards and stationery. When it comes to branding, remember that this is where your company personality shines through – so make it memorable! Think about the images, colours and fonts that will help attract customers and make you stand out from the crowd. Use your creativity while aiming to capture the essence of your product and yourself.

• At least one director • At least one shareholder • Identifying people with significant control • A ‘memorandum of association’ and ‘articles of association’ • An SIC code which identifies what your business does • A suitable name (see below) Although it sounds complicated, the good news is you can use someone to do all of this for you (an accountant or formation agent, for example). But, if you’re competent on a computer and can perform administrative tasks, starting a company is a simple process if you follow the guidance on the Companies House website. Once you have become incorporated there are annual commitments that you have to uphold to keep the company alive. All limited companies have to file a confirmation statement This verifies that important information about your company is accurate and up to date including office address, information about directors, business activities, shareholder details and more. If you have no changes to report, you just have to ‘check and confirm’ and submit the statement with fee.

DEALING WITH LEGALITIES The slightly less exciting but equally important part of starting or growing a business is dealing with the legal requirements. It’s a good idea to research each part of your business and speak to experts (like those at the Business Support Helpline) about the legal issues you might face. There are plenty to consider, but here are a few of the obvious ones.

companies on the register

4.2 million



2.3m 1.2m











All limited companies must also prepare annual financial accounts, submit them to Companies House and make copies available to their members. The accounts are used to report the financial performance of the company during the accounting period, including (for example) information on assets and cash held by the company, creditors and debtors.

FUNDING In order for your business to survive, you need money to cover all your start-up costs, the costs of running the business and also have enough for you to live on. It can be months before a new business is profitable and generating a cash surplus. You may need alternative sources of income during this period, if only to cover your outgoings. Almost all new start-up businesses require some form of funding. Many entrepreneurs turn to their bank, but there are numerous options to boost initial working capital requirements. You could use savings, get a loan from family or friends or there may be government-backed schemes or loans available in your area.


Certain aspects of your business may need a licence - for instance if you are planning to sell food or alcohol. Or if you are a trades-person you may need to register with a trades-group, like the Gas Safe Register.

INSURANCE Employers’ Liability insurance is compulsory if you employ staff. If you don’t have this, you could be fined £2,500 every day you’re not insured. Just think of what you could spend that money on instead! Other types of insurance depend on your type of business. It’s worth considering public liability insurance and cyber liability insurance (especially in an ever-growing digital world).

THE TAXMAN When you’re running your own business, it’s almost a certainty that you’ll have to pay tax at some point. Depending on your structure, earnings and profits you will need to consider what is applicable to your business. Income tax, national insurance, corporation tax, VAT and business rates may be payable. If you’re in any doubt about what taxes your business might be subject to and when you might have to pay them, speak to your accountant or HMRC for help. 47

BEEN THERE, GOT THE T-SHIRT These days, you can operate a business from just about anywhere. All you need is a great idea, a WiFi connection and determination. Many well-known companies started out as concepts, conjured up in the minds of their founders. Figments of imagination turned into reality. Rose Dyson was studying for her GCSEs in 2015 when she entered a local enterprise competition. With her love of quality beauty products and frustrated by the cost, she recognised a gap in the market for ethical cosmetics at accessible prices. Pura Cosmetics was born and is now stocked by a range of local department stores, gift shops and salons. Pura cosmetic products can regularly be found at trade shows, pop-up shops, craft fairs and markets.

discover that unique product or service, but you also need the courage and strength to take it to the market. The Great British Entrepreneur Awards are an acknowledgement that all that hard work has been worthwhile. Companies House is proud to partner with the Awards as part of our #GetBizzy campaign. Our aim is to help inspire the country’s next generation of entrepreneurs and make sure 16-24 year olds are aware of who we are, what we do and how our tools and resources can help them take their business ideas to the next level. You can find more information about the campaign and a host of useful business information on our website, gov.uk/companieshouse. If you need any advice about starting out, growing or just want to run your idea past someone, you can speak to one of the advisers at the Business Support Helpline. Call today on 0300 456 3565 or send a message on social media.

ABOUT COMPANIES HOUSE Companies House is the government body responsible for incorporating and dissolving limited companies in the UK. We hold data for more than 4 million limited companies on our register and make it available to the public. As part of the government’s wider Industrial Strategy, we’re committed to playing our part in ensuring Britain remains the best place to start and grow a business. We’re proud to partner with the Great British Entrepreneur Awards and celebrate our nation’s entrepreneurial spirit and success. Keep up to date with the latest news from Companies House on our social media channels and website: gov.uk/companieshouse Follow @CompaniesHouse on Twitter and Facebook

Although her age has led to some stumbling blocks, such as being unable to open her own business bank account at the age of 16, her young years have also facilitated Pura Cosmetics’ growth. Having grown up with social media she knew how to use it to market and promote her fledgling business. Being able to overcome the age barrier is a challenge for any young entrepreneur but anyone can achieve success if they are committed to it, no matter how old or what gender they are. Jordan Daykin was only 18 when he appeared on BBC’s Dragons Den, securing an £80,000 investment for his device for fixing screws into plasterboard. Since then GripIt Fixings has gone from strength to strength being stocked in major DIY stores in the UK and abroad. A serial entrepreneur, he invented the gadget at 13 while trying to figure out how to hang a curtain rail on a plasterboard wall. After building a few prototypes with his grandfather in their garden shed, the idea was secured by filing for patent protection in 2011. Granted in 2012, the patent stops anyone using his invention for 20 years.

A WALK IN THE PARK It’s not easy starting a business and becoming a successful entrepreneur. It takes drive, determination, sleepless nights and a bit of luck to realise an idea. Not only do you have to 48

Feeling unsure is better for business Here’s something to brighten your day. Statistically, the least optimistic entrepreneurs are the most financially successful. That’s why we’re rethinking business with our Pre-Accelerator e-learning programme, helping all kinds of start-ups to take their first steps.

We are what we do Search NatWest Rethinking Business

Apply online. Claim based on findings of 2019 report published in European Economic Review.

Perfect cards, for perfect reactions

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HEARING A “NO” NEVER FEELS GOOD. Especially when you invest your time, creativity, and energy in something and you get a cold hard rejection. Unfortunately, in this competitive world of business, this is pretty much inevitable. What you need to do is to find a way to leave all of that behind and deal with those denials head on. If you are trying to get over a business proposal denial, here are some tips that will help you out.

LEARN FROM YOUR EXPERIENCE Getting rejected doesn’t have to be a bad thing. We learn about ourselves through different experiences in life. This rejection can actually make you better. Just take the feedback you got and use it to your advantage. They must have mentioned several things which they don’t like about your proposal or what should be improved. Use these comments and suggestions to make your business proposal even better and eliminate all the little imperfections. This is an objective and bias feedback. It’s not like when your mother or your best friend say that they have never heard anything better. It is a real opportunity to perfect your proposal.


y Just Wallowing won’t get you anywhere. Shake it off and start rsarythinking about your next move. One of the mind tricks you can use is to imagine how it will ulations be once you succeed. Put the accent on how you will feel then agement and let that be your motivation. Veronica Wright, a CEO at professional Resumes Centre is r Thank backing this up, “If you manage to overcome the past and only focus on the future, your perspective will completely change. Cheeky You will stop looking at yourself as someone who failed and start Wife looking at yourself as someone who will succeed.” denials and challenges are only steps you need to ns takeAllinthese order to get to that final achievement. or Him PUT YOUR MIND INTO GETTING BETTER ecause sbandInstead of feeling sorry for yourself, focus your energy on new ideas and how you can improve the existing concept. Boyfriend Try to redirect all your feelings into improvement. What can ouplebe changed? What needs to be omitted? Are you contacting the right people? you Funny If you think that one of the problems was how your proposal is composed, team up with some writing and editing service nniversary such as Flashessay.com. This company will connect you with ulations professional writers who can provide you with in-depth review of your proposal. agement r Thank DON’T TAKE IT PERSONALLY Cheeky Business is business. If someone rejected your proposal it doesn’t Wife mean that you aren’t competent or talented. You just need to on your project some more. ns work Taking business denials personally is one of the biggest or Him ecause

mistakes people make. By doing that, they put themselves down and start losing faith. The world of business can be a scary place, especially with this much competition. Just imagine how much people are going through the same struggle as you are. If you think that there is nothing wrong with your proposal technically and you start doubting your ideas and business goals – don’t. You probably just haven’t met the people who will understand your vision.

TALK TO EXPERTS An expert’s opinion can give you some fresh ideas and a different perspective on your business proposal. Pat Fredshaw, head of the content department at Essay Supply explains, “Experts in your field can give you useful tips and help you to improve.” You can even ask about their personal stories and how they handled denials. You’ll then see that it truly does happen to everyone. It can also help you learn more about the industry which you plan to target. Who knows, maybe you’ll even make a new friend and find the support you need.

IMPROVE THE CONTENT OF YOUR PROPOSALS Once you’ve managed to get over the denial of your initial proposal, the final step you need to do is learn how to be better next time. The best way to do so is to find ways to improve the content of your proposals and ensure your next time is a winner. In order to make your business proposal content better, try following these useful tips: • design a quality business proposal template or use one of existing successful templates • use a proposal software to make your sales process faster and more effective • think of it not as a trying to sell something, rather trying to evoke certain emotions in the person reading • make sure to include all the major points such as: introduction, timescales, proof. Learn more about the eight essential elements of a business proposal to ensure you’re nailing it. • write it to be responsive on all devices • make it up to six pages long In addition to that, you can check out the two courses of Proposal University (Proposal Design and Proposal Writing courses) which can help you learn everything you need to know about writing business proposals.

OVER TO YOU Rejection can paralyse you. Make you feel like you aren’t good enough. But it doesn’t have to be that way if you know how to deal with it. With these pieces of advice, you’ll be able to handle any challenge like a pro! As you can see there is even a bright side of denials. Ultimately, it all comes down to your perspective and if you apply these tips, you’ll see that business proposal denials aren’t such a scary thing. Send professional proposals at betterproposals.io/#_r_gbeawards. 51


The Entrepreneur Club is designed to support the risk-taker, the dreamer, the profit-maker and employer, wherever you are on your business journey. We recognise the unique characteristics of the entrepreneur and deliver a service tailored to address your personal and business needs. As an entrepreneur, you want to maximise the growth rate and valuation of your business. After all, success is driven by your passionate involvement with all aspects of your operation. This can be a lonely journey and it is often difficult to know who to turn to for support. We created the Entrepreneur Club to serve a community of high-potential business people, offering advice from experts in every aspect of SME growth. They share insights and help devise multi-faceted solutions to the complex challenges you face. Whether it’s a succinct monthly email, a scheduled telephone call, regular meetings or a dedicated adviser; you choose the level of support that you need. There are also networking events, briefings and opportunities to get together. Your needs are a unique combination of business and personal and this service is carefully calibrated to reflect these requirements.
















THE T YPICAL SME JOURNE Y Entrepreneurial journeys are rarely the same and there are a thousand twists and turns in the road. However, there are some tried and tested steps that you should take to keep your business on a firm footing and ensure you are always ready to take the next step.

S TA R T - U P


• Everything falls on you • Informed and exciting – you make all the key decisions • You sell to people you know and trust • Your financial focus is on paying the bills

• You should begin building a leadership team • Focus on winning and retaining clients • A clear strategy for execution is now essential • Invest in people, systems, sales and marketing, and funding growth • Prioritise efficient cash management and optimising working capital



• It’s time to develop your middle management team around skilled and motivated people • To create scalable IT systems and work processes • Focus on market trends, customer needs, competitor activity and acquisition opportunities • Is your shareholder structure fit for purpose? • Enhancing cash and return on investment will drive business success

• Decide if you are emotionally ready to sell your business • Review the business and prepare for due diligence • Identify and address any weaknesses • Ensure the management team enhances your business valuation – confirm they are aligned on aspiration and purpose • Review your professional adviser team • Review management and employee incentives • Review your shareholder and capital structure • Prepare your family members to take over the business • ‘Be ready’

The value of an investment with St. James’s Place will be directly linked to the performance of the funds selected and may fall as well as rise. You may get back less than the amount invested. Tel: 02920 348630 Email: jack.jp@sjpp.co.uk Web: www.jpprivateclients.co.uk Clients LLP LLP is is an an Appointed Appointed Representative Representativeof ofand andrepresents representsonly onlySt. St.James’s James’sPlace PlaceWealth WealthManagement Managementplc plc(which (whichisisauthorised authorised JP Private Clients regulated by by the the Financial Financial Conduct ConductAuthority) Authority)for forthe thepurpose purposeofofadvising advisingsolely solelyon onthe thegroup’s group’swealth wealthmanagement managementproducts products and regulated services, more more details details of of which whichare areset setout outon onthe thegroup’s group’swebsite websitewww.sjp.co.uk/products. www.sjp.co.uk/products.The The‘St. ‘St.James’s James’sPlace Place and services, Partnership’ and and titles titles ‘Partner’ ‘Partner’ and and‘Partner ‘PartnerPractice’ Practice’are aremarketing marketingterms termsused usedtotodescribe describeSt. St.James’s James’sPlace Placerepresentatives. representatives. Partnership’

736 million people around the world live in poverty.

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Survival is doubly difficult for women. They struggle to feed their families, provide accommodation, send their children to school and afford even the most basic elements of healthcare. By providing them with the skills and tools to start small businesses, microloan supports them to become self-sufficient for their daily needs. Over time the money they generate from their own effort helps to ensure food security, improve housing, access to healthcare, and an education for their children.



TURN OVER FOR Catherine’s Story 55

Catherine’s Story In 2002, Catherine Mbalaka was eking out a small living for herself and her growing family selling fish in the nearby market. She lived in a simple home in the village of Makuta near the beaches of Lake Malawi with her six children and husband, Ambrose, who worked as a fisherman, renting space on another man’s boat. Catherine was one of the first women to ever receive a loan and training from MicroLoan. She applied for her first loan to open a shop at the back of her home selling village basics that she was able to buy at the market. As her profits grew she was able to save, and use her savings to venture into another business - Catherine bought a fishing boat and a set of nets for her husband. Seventeen years on and after several loans borrowed and repaid, Catherine now has three boats, ten nets, and she has long ago ceased going to market herself but sends each fish catch to other sellers. Catherine’s entrepreneurial skills do not end there and she has bought a number of goats for food and sale later on, as well as still running the successful grocery shop she set up. She also used some of her savings 56

to buy and install a water tap outside her home not only for her families’ use, but to earn extra income by charging the local villagers to make use of it too. Her next plan is to buy a bigger fishing boat with an engine.

boats are not in use, Catherine rents the ten nets out to others, a business which her husband manages. He says he is so proud of his wife and the difference she has made to their family life. SUPPORTING FAMILY & BEYOND

TAKING THE FIRST STEPS Catherine is the treasurer of the Tadala group which has only four members. Currently, the members of the group each have a loan of around £200 which is paid back monthly over six months. They are one of only a select few MicroLoan groups which are offered this product, where the women have proved their strong business skills and have a long history of the best repayment rates. MicroLoan’s focus is on helping the poorest women take their first steps out of poverty. To do so they need to provide very small loans and the average start up loan in Malawi is only £22. This is the level that Catherine started on too and it has made a real difference. The growing business activity has helped to improve the lives not only for Catherine’s immediate family, but for her extended family and employees too. Her family and employees work for her to catch the fish and sell it on. When the

Now 52 years old, Catherine has been able to install electricity and piped water into her own home. She has also built five houses, all with iron roofs, some for her large family and a couple that she rents out for further income. Catherine has been able to support eight of her twenty grandchildren with school fees, as well as taking care of her four nephews and nieces after they were orphaned when their mother, Catherine’s sister, died of malaria. Her hopes are for all of them to finish their further education. “I hope you can continue supporting the women of Malawi because the small loans and training that they are getting changes their lives, just like mine. None of this would have been possible without the help of MicroLoan Foundation.” For more success stories from the MicroLoan Foundation, viit their website: microloanfoundation.org.uk/success-stories

We’re delighted to be partnering with the Great British Entrepreneur Awards to recognise the dreamers, schemers and the ones who don’t give up. Everyone on the 2019 shortlist should feel super proud of their achievements.



Hip hip hooray Hip hip hooray Hip hip hooray Earlier this year, the Great British Entrepreneur Awards announced the mobile network operator Three as its newest national partner for 2019! Three is the one of the biggest UK operators and was named Best Network for Data 2018 at the Mobile Choice Consumer Awards and Best High Street Retailer 2019 at the Mobile Industry Awards. Three is particularly committed to supporting small business and start-up entrepreneurs, and in April 2019 launched its first dedicated business offering, Three Means Business. Three Means Business is tailored to the UK’s brightest small businesses, start-ups and entrepreneurs; from dog groomer, gym owner or therapists, doll maker, taxi driver or taxidermist, Three is ripping up the rulebook to allow small business to concentrate on the things they love. Offering not just a mobile contract, Three is also giving these companies a ‘step-up’ by offering them additional free subscriptions to the some of the best business tools out there. Selected tools include website and logo builder Wix, accounting software FreshBooks, print and design company MOO, and office provider, WeWork. Francesca James, founder of the Great British Entrepreneur Awards, said: “We were really impressed with Three’s commitment to small businesses with its launch of the Three Means Business offering. In our eyes, there is no better mobile network to help us celebrate and champion all of the amazing entrepreneurs right across the country.” Shadi Halliwell, CMO at Three, said: “We were keen to join the Great British Entrepreneur Awards in its quest to support and recognise all the inspiring entrepreneurs, that are the backbone of UK industry. They are often responsible for positive changes to the way we live and work with their constant belief that anything is possible. We believe in them and their challenger mentality and this is a perfect way to encourage and celebrate every one of them and what they stand for.” 58

We were keen to join the Great British Entrepreneur Awards in its quest to support and recognise all the inspiring entrepreneurs that are the backbone of UK industry. They are often responsible for positive changes to the way we live and work with their constant belief that anything is possible.

3 things to remember when starting out “Don’t be in such a rush, enjoy the journey and each moment.” Holly Tucker MBE, notonthehighstreet.com and Holly & Co “Be a great friend, parent and partner as well as an entrepreneur. Get that balance right, it will lead to success.” Steven Smith, Poundland “Never lose faith in what you are doing. If you believe in something wholeheartedly, put all of your energy into it.” Kanya King CBE, MOBO Group

e e r h T

Things I Wish I Knew Before Crowdfunding Taking the decision to launch a crowdfunding campaign to start, or even grow, your business is a big step. But in recent years it has become a more attractive source of funding for a vast range of businesses. We’ve teamed up with our partners, Three, to ask our community for three things they wish they knew before launching their crowdfunding campaign.

*Respond quickly!* Laurence Kemball-Cook, CEO and founder, Pavegen. £2.4 million raised. Laurence is a serial winner at the Great British Entrepreneur Awards and recently raised over £2.4 million in the company’s latest crowdfunding campaign. “During our recent successful Crowdcube raise, we received hundreds of responses to our updates and media articles. It’s essential to respond to questions promptly or you can lose the interest and confidence of investors. Although we had prepared a lot of content in advance, we all felt that we could have spent a bit more time anticipating the more detailed questions we received. It just added a little unnecessary time during a very hectic and exciting few weeks!”

*Earn not burn* Will King, founder, King of Shaves Will is one of our longest serving judges and was inducted into the Great British Entrepreneurs Champions Hall of Fame in 2019. Will successfully crowdfunded to help support the launch of Code Zero, the new sustainable lifetime refillable range by King of Shave. “Conservation of cash, especially in the early days of burning it, as you scale towards earning it, is critical. I have seen dozens of start-ups which had the potential to scale, simply not because constant raising of money in pursuit of growth at all costs eventually burned them out. In my experience, it nearly always takes five years to get to a sustainable, profitable business. Irrespective of the market or sector, to be successful, you need a) repeat purchase, and b) scale.”

*Prepare and plan* Emeka and Ifeyinwa Frederick, co-founders, Chuku’s. £36,000 raised. Brother and sister, Emeka and Ifeyinwa, were finalists in London & South East in 2018, and launched their first crowdfunding campaign in 2019 to secure their first permanent restaurant. “What became very apparent is that we needed to do more planning than we expected, so we actually pushed back our timelines for starting. We can’t stress how important it is to have a robust plan - even though things will change - as when the campaign finally goes live it’s full steam ahead. And your plan should include pre-launch activities - the day the campaign goes live shouldn’t be the first time that people are hearing about it, as those first 24-48 hours are crucial for building momentum. Two weeks prior to going live, we told literally everyone we could that the Chuku’s Nigerian tapas restaurant crowdfunder was coming. It meant we had a strong first day and a solid base from which to drive towards our target.”

As Premium Partner to the Great British Entrepreneur Awards, Three is supporting small business and start-up entrepreneurs with their first dedicated business offering, Three Means Business. Find out more about Three’s exclusive package of benefits that give you the expertise you need, no matter what you’re creating. Visit: three.co.uk/business-tools


GBEA Reviews GRENADE The team behind GBEA sampled some of their favourite products from the Awards alumni. Companies supplied us with tasters from their collections. Here are a few of our top reviews.

Grenade sent us a generous amount of bars, including their new releases ‘Dark Chocolate and Raspberry,’ and ‘White Chocolate and Salted Peanut.’ The team were very excited to unravel the huge selection, all of which were packed up in enticingly attractive colours, labelled with their logo and signature Grenade depicting each flavour. With a range of taste buds in the office, everyone was quick to choose favourites, although most were torn between several for their top pick. Each bar is packed full of flavour, and stays true to the name depicted on the wrapper. For example, Jaffa Quake (Grenade’s chocolate orange offering) is truly reminiscent of the family classic, Jaffa Cakes.

Jon – “Jaffa Quake is definitely my favourite, the flavour is amazing! It’s perfect for when I’m in a rush and need to grab a quick, filling snack.” White Chocolate and Salted Peanut, a new addition to the Carb Killa family, exploded with flavour. The texture was different to its predecessors, more fudgy, with a nutty and chocolatey exterior. Two of the GBEA team were hooked; Adam - “Of all the flavours, this one was definitely the best tasting – you can’t go wrong with peanuts and white chocolate. I also think it would taste a lot better after an actual workout, not just as a snack whilst sitting in the office.” Cookie Dough was also highly regarded. There was a perfect balance of crunch from the chocolate chips and sweetness from the runny caramel topping, encased by a thin layer of milk chocolate. Perfection. None of us are experts in protein bars, but we were all in agreement that they are the perfect snack for any occasion. Deliciously tasty, and an ideal chocolate bar replacement if you’re looking for a sweet treat, without the sugar. It really is a tough choice to decide a favourite when they all taste that good.

ReviewS: Chloe: “Jecca Blac’s Correct & Conceal palette has quickly become a part of my everyday makeup routine. The palette is easy to apply, and provides the most incredible coverage, whilst helping to achieve a natural, glowy look. Jecca Blac have got this product ‘spot on’ (excuse the pun), and the fact the product is vegan makes me love it even more!”

JECCA BLAC Founder Jessica Blackler wanted to create a brand which offered a safe space for transgender women to explore and learn about makeup. The makeup is designed to cover up imperfections, from minor blemishes to 5 o’clock shadows, making it all inclusive and suitable for all. Jecca sent us two palettes to sample, the Sculpt and Soften, and the Correct and Conceal. 60

Adam: “I’ve never worn make-up before, but I was more than willing to give this a go! As someone who was recently diagnosed with eczema on my face, I do have some blemish marks - which the palette covered with ease (with Chloe’s help!). I am totally on board with the idea of gender neutral make-up, and Jessica has done a great job of creating a brand that everyone can use!”

FEATURE ReviewS: Hannah: “Pip & Nut is my favourite brand of nutbutter, but I’ve never had the chance to try the different flavours. I was blown away by the hit of flavour in both the Chocolate Orange, and the Maple, which will definitely be on my next shopping list. The only complaint I have is that they’re not available in 10kg tubs!”

PIP & NUT Nutbutter done right. No palm oils or added sugar; Pip & Nut stays true to the health food market by ensuring no nasties are added. The wide range of nutbutters are jam packed with flavour, without compromising on ingredients. Only Hi-Oleic almonds and peanuts are blended to make the spreads, ensuring only unsaturated fat content (the good fats that contribute to the maintenance of normal blood cholesterol levels). Whether eaten by the spoon, dolloped on porridge, or spread on some pancakes, Pip & Nut’s delicious nuttiness shines through. The Chocolate Orange has a fruity cocoa tang which makes demolishing the tub an easy feat. The Maple Peanut is also a lovely sweet treat, with a hint of syrup and gloopy texture,

Adam: “Now I am not a lover of nut butter, but I have to admit I did enjoy these. The different flavours were a nice addition and brought something a little different to the table – literally! I’m also a big fan of Pip and her journey!”

this is definitely one for your oats… if it makes it past the spoon! The classics do not disappoint either. The peanut and almond butters exude flavour, paramount to its competitors in the market. Tip of the cap to founder Pippa Murray for capturing the essence of the nut and producing a nutbutter that ticks all the boxes.

I was blown away by ” the hit of flavour Reviews: Adam: “I’ve been a fan of these guys for the last few years. The drinks really are tasty, with the Sweet & Sour Apple being my favourite. I also love the idea of using unwanted, but perfectly good fruit as the ingredients - plus all of their bottles are made from 100% recycled glass.”


Imperfect fruit transformed into perfect juice, served in 100% recycled glass bottles. Only wonky fruit is used to make these juices, but that doesn’t mean Flawsome! compromise on flavour, using disregarded produce, they cram several fruitilicious flavours into their recycled bottles. There are no added nasties either, marvellous!

We were sent a few bottles of Flawsome! still fruit juices, which were all refreshing and delicious, you could really taste each fruit! New to their zesty collection is a bubbly offering; sparkling water is added to make the drink a little more luxurious. We found this tasted best straight from the fridge and poured over ice, perfect for summer drinking.

Mac: “Every Flawsome! drink was flawless! Bursting with flavour and sweetness - I couldn’t believe this refreshing beverage was made from unwanted fruit. Not being a fan of beetroot, I was hesitant to try the beet and apple drink, but the pairing works surprisingly well and balances perfectly. Yum!” Jon: “As people become more and more conscious of their impact of the environment, Flawsome!’s drinks are pretty much ideal. Most importantly, they taste fantastic. But the core focus on cutting waste, using‘wonky’ fruit and recycled glass bottles are an added bonus.”


Reviews: Adam: “I was lucky enough to get the intensive daily hand treatment, and it is a lovely product. As I have a scar on my hand, a daily hand cream was already part of my routine - and this one didn’t disappoint. It smelled great, absorbed quickly and left my hands feeling nourished.”

BEAUTY KITCHEN It’s refreshing to see a beauty company taking sustainability seriously. Beauty Kitchen rewards its customers for sending back their empties to be refilled. They are also dedicated to reducing plastic waste, and support Plastic Soup Foundation, and aim to make beauty products a microplastic-free zone. Committed to 100% natural beauty, You won’t find any synthetic fragrances, ingredients, parabens or sulphates here,

only the very best ingredients that nature has to offer. We were sent a number of products from Beauty Kitchen to sample, we spread them out amongst the team so we could all try the range. What struck us all was the lovely scents and how dedicated Beauty Kitchen were to staying natural. The ingredient lists boast an extensive collection of natural oils and butters, designed to moisturise, cleanse and repair.

Hannah: “I was so happy when we got sent some Beauty Kitchen products to sample, the branding is really cool, I love all the bright colours. It’s impressive how they have encompassed sustainability with the ingredients and packaging, a very important factor with the current climate emergency!”

ReviewS: Chloe: “A drizzle of Hilltop Honey, and sprinkle of pollen, compliments my oats and berries perfectly. Creating a healthy and appetising breakfast, making me feel ready for the day ahead. Traditional tasting honey with a twist.”

HILLTOP HONEY Straight from the hive, Hilltop Honey ensures that no flavour is lost by producing flavoursome Welsh honey in its rawest form. Even if you’re not a honey lover, the nectar boasts so many health benefits, making it an ideal addition to your recipe repertoire. We tried a spoonful, just by itself, so we could experience the full flavour. We all agreed that we’d never tasted honey like it. There’s a wholesomeness, rather than an overpowering sweetness, a real essence of blossom. The slab of honeycomb in the acacia jar gives the honey a luxurious edge. Its 62

crystals give a satisfying chewiness when slathered on toast, or dolloped onto some Greek yoghurt and raspberries. We were also intrigued by the bee pollen. These nuggets are gathered by bees when out foraging wildflowers. Hilltop recommends sprinkling them over ice cream or blending them into smoothies. The nutritional benefits are endless, and they’re naturally high in protein. Bonus!

Jon: “As the parent of a young child, making breakfast exciting and enjoyable is something that we have been working on - and the addition of Hilltop Honey with some berries went down a storm! It’s a healthy but tasty breakfast that we can all enjoy!”

Traditional tasting honey with a twist ” “

Reviews: Mac: “The freshness of the Little Soap Company’s products is outstanding. The organic soap brand have really pulled it out of the bag and delivered a range of cruelty free products that leave you with it’s long lasting luxurious scents all day long. The Grapefruit and Orange handwash was my fan favourite!”

LITTLE SOAP COMPANY The hand wash smells good enough to eat! The zestiness filled the bathroom after each rinse, a lovely scent that lingered rather than wearing away immediately. We all found ourselves sniffing our hands after a visit to the toilet. Followed with the hand and body lotion, you’ll be catching a fruity whiff all day long.

Apart from the wonderful smell, we loved that The Little Soap Company products are all 100% natural, free from, vegan, organic & cruelty free. We recommend the Grapefruit and Orange range, however, there are other fragrances available such as English Peppermint or Lavender, there is also an unperfumed option for those with more sensitive skin.

Hannah: “The shampoo and conditioner from the Grapefruit and Orange range smells amazing. I am supportive of companies who avoid using sulphates and synthetic detergents in their products. Little Soap Company ticks many of these boxes, as they are free from alcohol, silicones and palm oils.”

Smells amazing” “

ReviewS: Mac: “Having only recently started a health kick, I was getting bored of plain store bought mixed nuts, so Superfoodio was a lovely break from my routine. Packed full of flavour and energy, these are a must for your shopping basket!”

SUPERFOODIO More than just nuts! They’re plant-based snacks that are the perfect combination of health and indulgence. Coming in packs of five varying flavours, Superfoodio satisfies hunger pangs whether you’re craving sweet or savoury. Cashews are paired with quinoa and covered with rich cocoa, a recipe of pure indulgence. If you fancy something a little more spicy, the paprika-flavoured, bite-sized clusters of nuts, seeds and sweet potato can be eaten straight from the pack for that instant protein-rich hit.

Hannah: “As someone who likes to snack - healthily of course - these products were right up my street. The flavours were great - especially the paprika clusters and I really liked that they come in both sweet and savoury variations. I’m always happy when I find a snack that tastes great and also offers nutritional benefits!”

All Superfoodio products are free from refined sugars and syrups, but that doesn’t mean they skimp out on flavour. Each of their recipes have been balanced so that the snacks not only taste good, but are nutritionally beneficial. We had a conflict of opinion in the office, those who enjoyed more savoury flavours were big fans of the Smoked Paprika whereas the Cacao Orange and Turmeric was a firm favourite amongst those with more of a sweet tooth.


Reviews: Mac : “Soft, chewy and delicious, what more could you want! The macaroons are colourful and bright, they would make an eye catching centerpiece for your wedding or party and would be a huge hit with friends/family. Finding out that Miss Macaroon also help others who are unemployed with training courses was a sweet surprise and a nice bonus.”

MISS MACAROON Pantone matching masters of cooking, Miss Macaroon, have created the go-to brand for the sweet treat. They are the only patisserie in the world able to pantone match macaroons exactly to a brand or theme. The company has also supplied some of the top international businesses, such as Karl Lagerfeld, Juicy Couture, Adidas, Pandora and Ted Baker, with branded macaroons.

They are undoubtedly delicious, but what gives these macaroons the extra edge is that they are empowering young people through care and commitment on their MacsMAD (Macaroons that Make A Difference) training courses, which enable long-term unemployed young people to build their confidence and skills to become work ready.

Chloe: “You can’t beat a good macaroon, and Miss Macaroon’s macaroons did not disappoint. A sweet snack with a mixture of flavours to treat all the taste buds, a pack of six was not enough!”

Soft, chewy and delicious” “

Reviews: Mac: “Seeing the excitement on my friends faces when I served them shimmery prosecco was priceless, they felt so fancy. It adds a lovely taste to what sometimes can be a very dry drink. Bursting bubbles in my gin was a nice addition, packing it with flavour and pizzazz, Popaball is a must for anyone having a party!”

POPABALL Make your evening beverage extra special, and pimp your drink with a spoonful of bursting bubbles, sparkling, shimmer, or both. Popaball has been a huge hit with consumers, especially for celebrations such as hen parties. These clever pots add a bit of razzle dazzle to a simple prosecco or gin, two of the most popular alcoholic drinks currently. Popaball were first to market with these drinking accessories, and have added a bit of glamour to pre-drinks and parties. The bubbles are colourful and flavourful, whilst the shimmer adds another dimension to your drink, the eye-catching colours are very enticing. Perfect for get-togethers, summer BBQ’s and parties. 64

Chloe: “I used these during a housewarming party, and the Bubbles for Prosecco were a huge hit. The bubbles are a burst of sweetness, tasted great and were a fun and refreshing change to plain old prosecco. “The shimmer was amazing, and made my prosecco look magical - I felt like a unicorn! It added a delicious flavour, and the element of fun is what makes these products priceless.”

ReviewS: Mac: “This sorghum treat is high in fibre and high in flavour. It’s perfect as a snack on the go or to share with a loved one whilst watching your favourite movie. It’s not a snack I would have thought to try but I encourage others to give it a go as you will not be disappointed. The cinnamon was especially tasty.”

NOT.CORN Guilt-free sorghum is popped in the same way as popcorn, but it’s a different grain. The snacking alternative is rich in antioxidants, vegan, high in fibre, and gluten free. Sorghum has been snacked on for years, however Not.Corn is the first of its kind in Europe. Hitting the market first with three tantalisingly simple flavours, the classic sweet and salty, cinnamon, and sweet chili.

The nuggets are tasty and perfect to graze on in the office, keeping the hunger at bay until lunchtime. You also don’t get those annoying kernels stuck in your teeth, which is ideal if your jumping from meeting to meeting.

Chloe: “Popcorn is my favourite food, so I was super excited to try Not.Corn! I love how Not.Corn has a mixture of classic and unique flavours, I could not get enough, they were absolutely delicious. The health benefits meant that I could snack without feeling guilty, and the best part - no bits getting stuck in your teeth!”

Reviews: Mac: “One of my favourite products that we reviewed. Not knowing what the biscuits were or what to expect due to the language differences made everything so exciting! I put on a couple of pounds, but it was worth it. It’s something different, a great idea for a birthday present.”


A great idea for a birthday present ”

Adam: “This one was a little different to review due to the language barrier on the packaging - but the mystery of not knowing what each biscuit was added to the fun, turning the process into a bit of a game in the office!”

The selection boxes from BB transport you around the globe with every bite. Unable to purchase the collection of country-specific biscuits anywhere else, BB offers you a unique biscuit experience. We were treated with samples from Romania, Italy and South Korea. We got to try snacks that we would otherwise, never have had the chance to. It was great for the office, as we were able to share each pack around the team, and share our thoughts about each one. Each box contained country fact cards, 5-8 packets of biscuits per pack, and score cards. A well thought out concept, packing ounces of fun into your morning coffee break. 65


TUMERIC CO The team were a little nervous about trying this one, Tumeric has such a powerful flavour and we were unsure of how this would lend itself to a drink. The little bottles were brimming with health benefits such as anti-inflammatories and the ability to lower blood pressure. They have been marketed towards elite level athletes but are suitable for anyone looking to boost their immune system.

The shots came in three flavours, original, ginger and coconut. The GBEA team were initially hesitant to try the drinks, however, every single person was pleasantly surprised. The Turmeric is not overpowering, and you can taste the fruity flavours flowing through.

Hannah: “I am aware of the health benefits of Turmeric, and have attempted to introduce it into my cooking as much as possible. However, as it is quite an overpowering flavour, I would prefer to have a way of experiencing the benefits, without all of my meals tasting of the spice. These shots are the answer, not only do they taste great (my favourite was the ginger as it packed a kick and tasted fresh), they also cram in so many natural, nutritional properties into one shot.” Jon: “I don’t think these shots will be for everyone, as they do incorporate some really strong flavours, but for me they were great. The shots tasted fresh (especially the ginger shot), they were full of flavour and each one is packed full of nutrients.”


MINDFUL BITES Changing the face of healthy snacking, Mindful Bites are on mission to end the nations reliability on sugary treats. The company is built on the foundation that the right snacks hold the key to improved wellbeing, an honest message to uphold in a world where we crave, and rely upon, sugar packed foods. The bars and nutbutters are crammed full of fatty nuts, supplying you with a natural source of energy. Mindful Bites go one step further than other nut butter companies, by adding superfoods such as maca to their recipes. This gives the nutbutters an extra boost of nutrients to improve your health, and functionality of your immune system. 66

The bars are a unique addition to the Mindful Bites family, the crunchy exterior compliments the gooey nutbutter, making it a tasty nibble for on-the-go. The nutbutter sachets are also a handy snack, a flavourful pick me up on the way to the gym or in between meetings.

Hannah: “The nutbutter sachets are ingenious, especially with the little pop out straw. Super easy to have in your bag in case you’re in need of a snack and some energy, they don’t take up much room and they satisfy that hunger craving, especially if it’s for something sweet. The brazil nut and cacao nibs flavour reminded me of Nutella, but without the nasties. The ingredients are simple, it contains no sugars, palm oil or sweeteners, and is made with the highest quality nuts and superfoods!” Adam: “As someone who feels the constant need to snack, I thought these products were great. As mentioned in my Pip & Nut review, I am new to nut butters - but the flavours were great and I really liked that there was a sachet version so that you didn’t have to carry the jar around with you.”

The nutbutter sachets are ingenious”

Reviews: Jon: “Savoursmiths describes its crisps as ‘audaciously luxurious’ and that definitely comes across in the taste. There’s a delicious snap to each bite which you rarely get from cheaper brands. The flavours are quite unique which helps to stand out and bring something different to the market. The Italian Cheese & Port was my favourite there is so much flavour with every crisp, but it’s not too overpowering.”

SAVOURSMITHS Bored of thin, substandard crisps that leave your fingers greasy and stomach still rumbling? Savoursmiths could be the answer. The flamboyant flavours are different, exciting and powerful and the crisps are thick and crunchy. We were sent one bag of each flavour, and none of us could decide which one we liked the most as they were all so tasty.

We were also massive fans of the branding. The characters on each packet are cleverly and humorously designed, and are specific to each flavour. Made with home-grown produce from the family farm in Cambridgeshire and handcooked in small batches, Savoursmiths have has re-invented and elevated the traditional crisp.

Mac: “Savoursmiths packs a powerful punch in terms of its flavour, with every bite you get what you asked for. By far the Wagyu Beef and Honey Mustard were my favourite. Thick cut and crunchy, these crisps are clearly a luxury and are to be savoured.”

Reviews: Mac: “Tea+ drinks had both delicate and flavourful qualities. I can’t single out one flavour as my favourite as I enjoyed each just as much as the other. Reading up about the health benefits of these drinks is mind blowing, I will be adding these to my daily routine and shouting about them to my friends and family.”

TEA+ A new range of vitamin-infused teas. The carefully balanced teas have been extensively tested to account for vitamin degradation in hot water, to ensure that you get the full level of vitamins in each cup. The teabags are brimming full of immune boosting vitamins and minerals, uncompromising on taste, the tea comes in several blends. Each box summarises the health benefits on the front, so if you are in need of an energy boost in the afternoon, you’ll know that you’ll need the Raspberry and Pomegranate flavour, which contains Vitamin B6 and 12, yerba mate and ginseng.

Adam: “I was a huge fan of these as soon as they arrived as I am a lover of tea, and the branding on the boxes is great. The flavours were all amazing, with the Raspberry and Pomegranate being the winner for me! It was just an added bonus that they have the added health benefits.” For more information about GBEA Reviews, please check out the website, or if you would like your product featured, please e-mail us for more information: hannah@greatbritishentrepreneurawards.com




Keith Abel Abel & Cole

Joel Remy Bamboo Bamboo

Arthur Kay bio-bean

James Butterfield & Tim Bouscarle Chilly’s

A subscription box for organic, seasonal and wild food created by founder Keith Abel. Focusing on organic produce that both tends for the land and is better for the environment, Abel & Cole is also committed to minimising its plastic use.

Bamboo Bamboo, a range of quirky tableware for children designed to reduce plastic, make mealtime more engaging and, most importantly for parents, stop the bowl from ending up face-down on the floor thanks to a grinning toddler.

Bio-bean is the first company in the world to industrialise the process of recycling waste coffee grounds into advanced biofuels and biochemicals.

Chilly’s is a range of reusable water bottles designed with an active urban lifestyle in mind through distinctive style and high-performance technology.

David McLagan Ecoffee Cup

Charlie Guy, Jack Farmer & Ben Crowther LettUs Grow

Toby McCartney MacRebur

Ina Plesca My Mantra Active

David McLagan is the founder of Ecoffee Cup, a range of reusable coffee cups made with natural fibre, corn starch and resin. Launched in 2014, David set about creating bright and vibrant designs to make reusable coffee cups stand out.

Leading the way in sustainable food production. Its aeroponic technology allows for crops to be grown indoors and in vertical glasshouse farms using a fine mist, resulting in greater oxygenation, better flavour and faster growth.

A company re-purposing nonrecyclable waste plastic destined for landfill for roadways. Sparked by something he saw on a trip to India, the plastic replaces bitumen, a fossil fuel used to create asphalt, therefore reducing environmental impact.

A range of body positive activewear made entirely from recycled plastic bottles and other materials. In addition to using recycled materials for its clothing, spare pieces of bikini fabric are used to individually wrap every order.

Mark Tremlett & Peter Tindall Naturalmat

Ryan Mario Petit Pli

Jenny Dawson Rubies in the Rubble

Krista Taylor Scence

Naturalmat produces 100% natural and sustainable mattresses that offer the ultimate comfort. Confused as to why the majority of mattresses are made using synthetic materials, the pair set about making a product that is entirely biodegradable.

Petit Pli uses recycled materials to produce versatile and rainproof products that allows them to grow with a child from nine months to four years, encouraging ‘slowfashion’ as children grow up.

A range of chutneys, jams and preserves made entirely from discarded fruit and veg, Rubies are ‘condiments with a conscience’ on a mission to reduce some of the 1.3 billion tonnes of food waste every year.

A natural skincare range for those who care as much about the impact they have on the world as what they put on their skin. Formulated using entirely from natural and organic ingredients.

Rodrigo Garcia Gonzalez & Pierre-Yves Paslier Skipping Rocks Lab

Tom Szaky & Jon Beyer Terracycle

Tom Pell & Jeanette Wong The Clean Kilo

Sophia Ferguson Tickle Tots

Skipping Rocks Lab is the company behind Ooho, the edible water bottle made from seaweed extract. Able to hold almost any liquid, Ooho can also be used for fresh juices and sauces at restaurants.

A company ‘eliminating the idea of waste’ by recycling the ‘non-recyclable’. Working with individuals, offices, schools and industrial factories, Terracycle is able to reuse, recycle, upcycle and compost almost every type of product it receives.

The Clean Kilo is the UK’s largest zero-waste supermarket selling everything from oils and vinegars to workout supplements, freshly baked bread and pasta, to cleaning products and freshly ground coffee.

A range of reusable nappies and accessories. In addition to reducing the waste of disposable nappies, Tickle Tots uses minimal, recycled and biodegradable paper packaging for its products.

Chris Wilson & Jamie Crummie Too Good To Go

Harry Dennis Waterhaul

Simon Griffiths, Danny Alexander & Jehan Ratnatunga Who Gives a Crap

Georgia Lovell Wyatt and Jack

A food marketplace designed purely for food that is set to be wasted. The app allows customers to order food at the end of the day when a restaurant, or similar, is about to throw it out.

Starting with its sunglasses, Waterhaul works with the fishing industry to provide an alternative to landfill or abandoning fishing nets in the ocean.

Who Gives a Crap is a range of toilet paper using entirely recycled materials and bamboo, one of the world’s most environmentally friendly materials.

A brand of sustainable bags and accessories. Made entirely from the vinyl PVC of old bouncy castles, discarded inflatable beach toys, and the canvas of old beach deckchairs.



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The Great British Entrepreneurs Magazine brings together the incredible stories of entrepreneurs in the UK and shines a spotlight on some of the biggest issues facing them. If you want to be featured in the next issue of the Great British Entrepreneurs Magazine, please get in touch with the team at: editor@greatbritishentrepreneurawards.com

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Profile for GBEA

Great British Entrepreneurs Magazine (Autumn 2019)  

Great British Entrepreneurs Magazine (Autumn 2019)