Bedminster young entrepreneur named as winner in national enterprise competition

Bedminster young entrepreneur named as winner in national enterprise competition
Enterprise Nation
Enterprise NationEnterprise Nation

Posted: Thu 18th Apr 2019

An enterprising 30-year-old from Bedminster, in Bristol, who lived as a nomad during a three year-long global adventure and kayaked the breadth of the UK to protest about plastic pollution, has been named as the winner of nationwide competition to find the UK's most game-changing young entrepreneurs.

Bex Band won in the 23-30 age group in the Next Generation Awards 2019, a new annual set of awards run by small business support network Enterprise Nation in conjunction with youth enterprise charity The Enterprise Trust and leading challenger bank, TSB, set up with the aim of specifically shining a spotlight on the UK's young entrepreneurial talent.

Bex set up female-only travel company Love her Wild in 2017, and is on a mission to help more women have travelling adventures and explore the outdoors here and overseas.

Bex, who studied at the Royal Holloway, said: "In my mid-20s I was exhausted and fed up with life. I had undiagnosed dyslexia at school and was bullied. I then moved on to a succession of unfulfilling jobs, which was a really negative experience and I felt overwhelmed by it all and was left lacking in confidence.

"I took time out to travel and have a big outdoors adventure, deciding to hike 1000km the length of Israel - and I just found myself. It was incredible, life-changing and boosted my confidence. I felt I wanted to help other women experience the same. The outdoors is a very male dominant space. A lot of travel firms that offer adventures are very competitive putting focus on going fast or further - and that can be off-putting, especially for women that are new to getting outdoors. I wanted to see how far I could take Love Her Wild and winning these awards and getting the mentoring is so exciting."

Emma Jones, founder of Enterprise Nation, said: "Finding your point of difference is important, especially when you're starting out and you want to make an impact. Bex's idea resonates, has a great human story and the way she's approached it is smart.

"We wish her every success and hope to meet her and see real progress at the Festival of Female Entrepreneurs later this year."

Competition judge Helen Booth, CEO of York-based Enterprise Trust, set up by Richard Harpin, the entrepreneur behind emergency home repair firm HomeServe, said: "Bex's business has great back story, powerful social purpose and clear mission statement. Her strategy of building the community first to engage with the adventures is clever and an approach that is working well producing word of mouth recommendations.

"We found there was a good opportunity for the company to continue to innovate and offer varied travel experiences, whilst scaling up the business and taking on or training other travel guides."


For more details contact Liz Slee
07540 060112

About Enterprise Nation

Enterprise Nation is a growing small business network and business support provider with more than 70,000 members. Its aim is to help people turn their good ideas into great businesses - through expert advice, events, acceleration and networking. Enterprise Nation was founded in 2005 by Emma Jones MBE , also co-founder of national enterprReal Good Ketchupise campaign StartUp Britain. She is author of best-selling business books including Spare Room Startup, Working 5 to 9, Go Global, Start a Business for £99 and the StartUp Kit, Going for Growth. In 2016 she was announced as the Government's Trade Ambassador and SME Crown Representative.

About the Enterprise Trust

As part of its mission, the Enterprise Trust is investing in young talent on many levels, with a view to create 25,000 skill-based apprenticeships and inject £1m a year over eight years into youth enterprise support (up to 2025) with a target to generate a £1bn contribution to the UK economy.

The charity was launched in 2011 by entrepreneur Richard Harpin, who founded emergency repair firm HomeServe in 1993, now a FTSE 250 company valued at £2.6bn. The charity is run by Helen Booth and aims to create an impact and leave a legacy by helping individuals to realise their potential as independent wealth generators.

About TSB

TSB serves over 500 communities across Britain combining branch banking, expert advisors and online services. TSB only serves local customers and local businesses, to help fuel local economies, because communities thriving across Britain is a good thing for all of us. For further information about TSB Bank plc, please visit our website

Notes to editors

Finalists: 23-30 years old

Love Her Wild: Bex Band

Bex Band founded the Love Her Wild community to encourage more women to go on adventures, to reconnect with nature and grow in confidence. Love Her Wild runs all-female team adventures as well as offering a supportive online forum, free spaces to women in need and a mentoring program.

Paynter Jacket: Huw Thomas and Becky Okell

Paynter Jacket Co. sell limited edition jackets, online, three times a year. With each edition, we remake iconic jackets using the best material from across the world. By selling direct to our customers, we can offer a higher quality product for a fair price. The first batch launches on 11 May.

Turtle Pack: Michael Harkins

Turtle Pack makes learning to swim "turtle-y awesome"! We understand that the pool can be a scary place; that's why the Turtle Pack Swimming Aid turns kids into happy little turtles! Their arms are free (unlike with armbands) and the shells can be removed to reduce buoyancy as they progress

Enterprise Nation
Enterprise NationEnterprise Nation
Enterprise Nation has helped thousands of people start and grow their businesses. Led by founder, Emma Jones CBE, Enterprise Nation connects you to the resources and expertise to help you succeed.

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