Posted: Mon 11th Jul 2022
We love it when small business owners share their successes. Whether it’s winning awards, earning rave reviews, or seeing your products on the shelves, it’s important to pause, celebrate those wins, and recognise how far you’ve come in your entrepreneurial journey.
Here’s 10 more members of the Enterprise Nation community with something to celebrate.
Natalie Binns, Natalie Binns
With a passion for sustainability, and having worked in the fashion industry for 15 years, Natalie Binns now helps purpose-driven clothing brands to design, create and sell products - without compromising on their environmental values.
“I loved my job, but hated working in an industry that I knew was incredibly polluting and damaging on a global scale. I thought about leaving the industry altogether but knew it was even less likely to improve without change-makers on the inside. So in 2019 I set up my consultancy and decided to use my expertise to help businesses BE the change that the fashion industry needs. Just last week I was asked to speak on BBC Radio 4's Woman's Hour to discuss what the new partnership between Love Island and eBay means for the fast fashion industry. When I got the call, I jumped at the chance - even though it was really nerve-wracking. The following day I was asked to speak on two more stations - BBC Radio London and BBC Scotland. It was great to be able to spread the message about conscious consumption on such huge platforms as my passion for these topics is what drives the work I do.”
Mahira Kalim, Spruce
We all love a freshly cleaned home. But just how safe are the cleaning products that we’re using? Mahira Kalim launched Spruce in 2021 with one goal in mind: to make cleaning, well, cleaner.
“It's about your health, as well as the health of the planet. For decades, we've trusted cleaning brands to keep us safe. But the truth is, we're still using the same toxic chemicals our mothers used to use. And then of course there’s the plastics that we're constantly ingesting, and pumping into our oceans. At Spruce we offer lightweight refills in plastic-free, biodegradable packaging that are simply mixed with water to create the final product. All our formulations are 100% certified vegan and cruelty-free, as well as being completely free of harsh chemicals, pesticides, and synthetic fragrances.
"We trade through our website, as well as select stockists. Every order we receive is a cause for celebration, but getting our products stocked in Planet Organic was definitely one of the highlights of our debut year. To receive recognition from such a large and prestigious retailer felt great! We couldn't have achieved this milestone in our start-up journey without the free e-learning on Enterprise Nation. It taught us how to create a strong and cohesive brand through social media and has undoubtedly helped us to garner the attention and recognition from retailers of all sizes.”
Grosvenor Street Physiotherapy Health and Wellbeing Clinic is dedicated to helping patients who have been affected by injury, illness or disability. Rob Kelly and his wife Vicky acquired the clinic three years ago and, alongside their highly skilled multi-therapy team, offer treatment, rehabilitation and advice tailored to their patients' exact needs.
The team is also extremely passionate about supporting their local community and they've been busy networking with and supporting other businesses and organisations in their area, including taking part in their local council’s ‘spring clean’ event, and collecting donations for the Flintshire Food Bank. “We feel this has not only helped us raise our profile, but also integrated us into the local community. Earlier this year we were honoured to be nominated for the Business of the Year award at the Mold Town Council Community Awards.”
Nadia Hussain, Hair Loving
Working as a hair stylist, Nadia Hussain would often meet clients looking for rejuvenating hair care solutions – so it wasn’t long before she started formulating her own. “I had both clients and friends who’d complain about lacklustre, broken, patchy hair. And so, in 2020, using only responsibly sourced ingredients from suppliers who have a positive impact on people and the environment, I launched Hair Loving. I knew launching during a pandemic would be a gamble, but it’s paid off. The team and I are so happy that our customers are raving about the product! Since launching we’ve run a NHS hero campaign providing discounts for our UK health workers. We have also collaborated with a charity, giving 30% of our proceeds to provide food and shelter to orphans. We have our own online shop, we sell on Amazon, and we’ve ‘popped up’ in a number of locations, including Fenwicks, Westfield, and John Lewis. We even made it into Stylist Magazine.”
Ashleigh and Michael Donald, Halo Business Consulting
With over 30 years of experience, Ashleigh and Michael Donald offer services to businesses in the key areas of customer experience, operations, marketing and communications. The Whitley Bay-based consultancy firm was established by the duo in 2019, and supports clients locally and globally.
“We’ve weathered many storms over the last two years”, explains Ashleigh. “We’re delighted to be here and are so grateful for everyone’s support. During the pandemic I attended many Lunch and Learn webinars on Enterprise Nation, which provided valuable insights during that turbulent time – and gave me the drive to continue. I’m thrilled to announce that we were recently awarded 'Professional Services StartUp of the Year 2022' at the inaugural StartUp Awards National Series for Yorkshire, Humberside and the North East. These awards highlight the dynamic start-up scene across the country. The room was full of creative, ambitious and inspirational entrepreneurs who have started successful businesses during some very challenging times. We were honoured to attend and extremely proud to have won.”
Alison Hill, Alison’s Cake Creations
When Alison Hill set up an Instagram account to showcase her love of baking, she never dreamed that it’d become such a hit. In the four years since, she’s turned her passion into a business, and has built a loyal community of followers along the way.
“I bake cupcakes, brownies, occasion cakes and more. I never thought that my little baking account would be worthy of followers. I now have over 8000 and sell to customers directly through my Instagram page. Towards the end of last year I hit another milestone when I received my first large order: 48 vegan cupcakes! I felt so many emotions and was truly flattered that I was being trusted with this order. More recently I've finished a trial session of my 'mix and match' cake and cookie boxes, and I've also launched a new blog for baking and chatting. Anyone that follows me will know that it’s been a long journey to get myself and my family to where we are today. I'm 60 now and know that there is so much more to look forward to.”
Hortense Julienne, Miss Nang Treats
It’s no secret that nuts and seeds are great for your health. With a little imagination they can offer a mood-boosting treat for both your tastebuds and your brain. Miss Nang Treats is a collection of gourmet nuts and seeds, created by Hortense Julienne.
“The purpose of Miss Nang Treats is to show off these superstar superfoods by dressing them in a range of colours and flavours – healthy eating needn’t be boring. Have you ever tried cashews lightly dusted with pink caramel and beetroot flakes? Or black almonds with charcoal, nutmeg and orange? It’s a beautiful range, and they’re all suitable for vegetarians and vegans.”
It's been a busy few years for Hortense. She’s launched a stream of new products - including a range of fresh seed dips and sauces. She published a recipe book, Plant-Based Ideas For Carnivores. And she’s enjoyed an amazing run of PR opportunities across national press and foodie magazines. “We’ve featured in Speciality Food Magazine, Daily Express, The Independent, Financial Times, Conscious Being Magazine, International Confectionery Magazine… the list goes on. I was also nominated for a Croydon Business Resilience Award, taking third place. It’s all just been amazing.”
Dimple Athavia, All Things Drinks
Winemaker-turned-retailer Dimple Athavia has just celebrated the first birthday of her business brainchild, All Things Drinks. Her vision when she launched was simple: to bring delicious drinks from around the world to your doorstep, and to build a community that connects and educates people in one inclusive, exciting, digital space. Dimple travels the world and tastes thousands of drinks every year – and handpicks only the best for her website.
With so many ‘pinch me’ moments to shout about it's hard for Dimple to choose just one. “Our Summer Drinks Box – which contains ten fabulous summer must-haves and is packed with unique flavours to satisfy every taste - was recently featured in the Evening Standard. I was also featured in The Economic Times, where I got to share my story and insights. And I’m thrilled to announce that we’re about to start a funding round, which I feel really proves our product-market fit. It all feels like it’s just happening at the right place, the right time and - perhaps most importantly - with the right people in tow.”
Paul Needler, iParcelBox
Do you enjoy shopping online, but hate it when you get home to find a ‘sorry we missed you’ card through your letterbox? iParcelBox solves the problem of missed deliveries, providing a smart, secure and weather-proof parcel delivery solution that users can control from their smartphone. Paul Needler is the entrepreneur behind the brand.
“We’re a busy family who enjoy shopping online but aren't always home to receive deliveries. Having searched online and realised there was nothing available that met our needs, we decided to create our own solution. Feedback from customers has been amazing, but for some people our original model just wasn’t quite big enough. So last year we launched our XL box, increasing capacity by over 75%. And more recently we partnered with Telenet, the Belgian telecoms operator, who are now selling iParcelBox to their network of customers across the country.”
Leisa Pickles, Find Me The Leads
Find me the Leads founder, and Enterprise Nation’s Local Leader for Nottinghamshire, Leisa Pickles, is a huge champion of independent brands and helps food and drink entrepreneurs to get their products into more places and in front of more people. “I want to help brands secure their fair share of space in chillers and fridges, on menus, on shelves, and in stores. I’ve recently collaborated with a local artist to create a Newark Foodie Map, showcasing 19 independent businesses from across Newark. The map is available to pick up in 48 different locations across the region and is soon to be displayed in the Tourism and Travel centre in Nottingham city centre. And just last week I found out that Find Me The Leads has made the shortlist for Community Partner at the 2022 Food and Drink Federation Awards. My head is still in a spin. I entered on an absolute whim after I ran a poll on LinkedIn asking if I should submit an application. I cannot wait for the ceremony in September...bring it on.”
If you’d like to find out more about how Leisa can help your business to thrive, book a discovery call here.
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