Bedminster young entrepreneur named as winner in national enterprise competition

Bedminster young entrepreneur named as winner in national enterprise competition

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."

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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