Posted: Wed 6th Apr 2022
Whether it’s winning awards, generating media coverage, gaining new clients, or seeing your products on the shelves, we think it’s important to pause, celebrate your successes, and recognise how far you’ve come in your entrepreneurial journey.
Here’s 10 members of the Enterprise Nation community with something to celebrate.
Whilst many of us kick-start our day with a cup of coffee, in some parts of the world, people wake up with a drink you may not be familiar with — yerba mate. Thanks to its nutritious health profile it’s becoming more and more popular worldwide. Charan Gill, founder of Hearth, explains: “Yerba mate is a herbal infusion that comes from naturally caffeinated leaves in the South American rainforest. It provides a balanced, sustainable release of energy.” And by combining the distinctive earthy flavours of mate with Austrian spring water and fruit juice, Charan and his wife have developed a pair of drinks with all the benefits of mate, in cans. “As soon as we got the first batch of our Lemon & Hibiscus and Passion Fruit flavours, we started to spread the word. Over the last year we’ve managed to get our products into Planet Organic, Harrods, BXR and lots of offices including Snapchat and Airbnb. We also had our first employees join the business thanks to the Government's Kickstart Scheme.”
Have you realised that plastic isn’t fantastic? Do you want to be a zero waste hero? It’s never been easier, according to Roots & Hoots founders Shiv Misra and Ram Krishnan. “We help our environment-conscious customers to cut out the plastic and lessen their environmental impact by providing accessible, affordable and convenient ways to shop sustainably using reusable packaging and refillable products.” The concept is quite simple: order your zero waste food and essentials, and the team at Roots & Hoots will deliver them to your door in reusable cotton bags, tins, or glass bottles - which are collected from the customers, washed and reused for the next delivery.
The entrepreneurs are now hoping to scale their business further. “Thanks to Enterprise Nation I learnt how to prepare for our first funding round and how best to answer questions from investors. I’m thrilled to say that we’ve hit our first funding goal in this round, meaning we’ll soon be able to expand the operations to a wider area and save even more plastic from entering circulation.”
Hailed as the must-have parenting product of 2021, the Whizzer is a revolutionary handheld portable travel toilet for kids, designed to make car journeys and days out easier and stress-free. The brainchild of single mum Zoe Chapman, it’s compact solution is leakproof and ergonomically designed to provide comfort and privacy, perfect for children of all ages, from potty training toddlers to big kids on the go.
With a string of successes under her belt, it’s hard for Zoe to pin-point her greatest win. “I’ve achieved so much in this last year, from launching my website to sending out my first batch of pre-sale orders. I won bronze medal at the Junior Design Awards, partnered with the UK’s largest distributor of children’s products, and I made the shortlist for Enterprise Nation’s Female Start-up of the Year. Parents often tell me that they won’t leave the house without their Whizzer. I’ve even heard stories of people using them in an IKEA showroom. Stories like that get me through the gruelling 16 hour days. This time 12 months ago I didn’t even have a product and now I have an award-winning invention with consistent 5-star reviews.”
Whether you’re looking for a birthday gift or a special treat for your family or friends, Mix & Rise has you covered. Launched as a letterbox kit during the first lockdown in 2020, Fleur Colville wanted to prove that there’s no need to sacrifice flavour when baking vegan. “Plant-based baking may not scream of rich, indulgent bakes. But our diets are changing to become increasingly plant-based – for planet, for health…for taste! Our hand-packaged baking kits include all the dry ingredients you need, plus muffin cases or parchment paper, and a recipe card."
In two short years Fleur has secured a Virgin Startup loan (which allowed her to grow and develop her product range), she exhibited at the Speciality and Fine Food Fair, she was shortlisted as one of ‘8 female founders to watch out for in the food and drink industry, has launched into her first wholesaler, and is also looking to get her products into retailers. “We also donated 15% of every sale made on our website in December to Trees for Life, a charity whose mission it is to rewild the Scottish Highlands.”
In 2019, determined to capture the Irish landscape, culture and heritage through the medium of photographs, husband and wife team Gary and Aoife founded SIAR Photography. Originally planning to target the wholesale market, they decided to pivot their business when the pandemic struck, and used their website to sell directly to customers. “We offer over 100 original photographs, captured by us, with each one printed, packaged and sold from our studio in County Clare on the Wild Atlantic Way. We also offer greeting cards and notebooks, and have collaborated with another local business to create our first candle, with a scent inspired by the Irish beach and coastline. To date we’ve made over 600 sales through our website, we were finalists in the Home category of the Irish Made Awards in 2021, and we exhibited at Showcase Ireland’s Creative Expo, an international trade fair, where three of our prints were nominated for the Showcase Awards. With restrictions easing, we’ve extended our product range to include A2 prints and postcards, and we’re focussing once again on developing the wholesale side of the business - and have already secured stockists in Ireland and the US.”
As a wellness and nutrition coach, Robert Huskinson works with a diverse range of clients, from powerlifters to stay-at-home mums. “I support anyone who wants help with their diet. I create recipes, cook, guide and advise…my priority is helping people to reach their goals.” And since launching Husk Nutrition, Robert has been reaching a number of goals himself - in business. “It’s been a busy few years. I was invited to cook onstage at the Great British Food Festival in the Cotswolds. I’ve featured in podcasts in Australia and the USA. And I’ve spoken on BBC Radio 2 and Radio 4. I’ve recently partnered with a nutritional supplement brand, HMN24, who are very much aligned with my own belief that our mental and emotional wellness is just as important as the physical, and I’m working with a company called Advanced Coaching Academy, creating resources for other coaching professionals too. And this year I’ve also been selling calendars to raise money for a local dementia charity, Open Door 1.”
Handmade by Tinni was founded in 2020 to address the lack of colourful, fun, biodegradable jewellery for fashionistas who love expressing their personality with unusual, statement jewellery pieces. Born and raised in India, founder Paulomi Debnath is heavily influenced by the bright colours of her rich heritage. “I specialise in the art of traditional rope knotting crafts and processes like macramé to create unique, bold, zero-waste designs.” And it’s been a whirlwind of successes for the London-based entrepreneur. “I was named as TechRound’s Top 26 Fashion Start-ups in 2021, have been one of Theo Paphitis’ Small Business Sunday winners, and featured in the f:Entrepreneur ‘#ialso100’ campaign’s Top 100 Female Entrepreneurs for 2022! I also hosted a session on how to start a business whilst you’re still employed at Enterprise Nation’s StartUp 2022 extravaganza. Having joined several Lunch and Learn webinars and taken part in a few of your e-learning programmes, I was truly humbled to be part of one of your events as both an attendee and speaker.”
OliveOlive is the brainchild of husband and wife duo, Rob and Pam Marsden. “We sell extra virgin olive oil from our family farm in Cyprus, using local olives that are hand picked and cold pressed within 24hrs. We also sell an award-winning halloumi cheese, made the old-fashioned way by our friends in Cyprus – it’s the best you’ll find on the island.” Selling primarily through their website, at food festivals, and to independent shops and restaurants, Rob and Pam have also published their own cookbook. “The OliveOlive Mediterranean Cookbook was a lockdown project, featuring 45 recipes created, tested, and tasted by our family, friends and the chefs that we supply.” Food fans can get a copy from Rob and Pam’s online shop and Amazon - and it can even now be found on the shelves of Waterstones Piccadilly."
Offering educational books for children aged 0-8, Super Personalised Books will make your child the hero of the story. Insert your child’s name, choose the gender, and then further tailor their overall appearance with hairstyle, hair colour, eye colour and skin tone.
“My 4 year old daughter, Sofia, is the CEO (Children’s Excitement Officer) of the company”, explains proud mum Khurum. "She brings the fun to the stories. Recently she was offered the chance to meet leading childrens’ book author, David Walliams. That was a big highlight for us all. We’ve also created our first wellbeing book called ‘You are not alone’, that helps children deal with the grief of losing a loved one."
Forget about Scandinavian design or the Danish Hygge concept. London dweller (but Amsterdam native) Allon Leever founded Lowlands Designs to bring Dutch beauty to the British public. “I believe that objects in a home should have meaning, warmth and be aesthetically pleasing. We’ve been trading for 6 years now, and sell mouthblown glassware designed in Holland, to the UK.”
Sadly, Brexit wreaked havoc for Lowlands Designs. “We used to trade directly from our warehouse in Holland, but after Brexit our clients became very hesitant and confused - and importing became a really slow affair. So I decided to start with direct importing and distribution. To do this I needed a warehouse partner, accounting software, bank & VAT accounts, and import documents. I also changed the legal structure of my company and became a limited company. Through Enterprise Nation I connected with an import consultant, who helped me get a government grant to pay for advice on EU/UK imports. They also spent many hours patiently explaining the massively complex import red tape. This has made business with my clients much easier.”
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