Posted: Tue 26th Apr 2022
StartUp UK is Enterprise Nation's scheme to provide free tailored support to budding entrepreneurs.
Backed by the UK government and high-profile firm Monzo Business, the programme delivers initiatives such as e-learning, online training, national events and flagship annual conferences throughout the UK.
As the scheme continues to run, we're talking to some of the business owners who have been taking part, to hear how it's benefited them so far. Here, we talk to Kim Fraser, founder of swimwear company Half Baked London.
How did you come up with your business idea?
I was travelling a lot and felt unfulfilled with the swimwear that was available to me on my budget. I couldn't quite afford luxury items but I was certainly willing to pay more than high-street prices for something extra-special. At the time, I couldn't find it. So I decided to design and make my own.
I wanted to create pieces that made me feel good but were super-comfortable, without compromising on style. I realise now that wearing my pieces is an act of self-care, which is really important to me. Taking time out for ourselves and treating ourselves is good for the soul.
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Is that the underlying message behind your brand?
Yes. I'm a one-woman band, creating pieces that make women feel great and comfortable in their own skin. My mission is to make women feel good, always.
I want to grow the brand not only with a wider range of products but also with an element of wellness. My community is growing and that's very special to me – there's so much further to go on this journey.
You've taken part in Enterprise Nation's StartUp UK programme. What were your reasons for doing it?
I'm at a point now where I'm transitioning and trying to take the leap to work on my business full-time. For the first time, I'm putting myself out there and really trying to connect with people.
I also think it's important for founders at my stage to share where we're at and what it's like. I often read about businesses that are further ahead than I am, and although it's inspiring it isn't always easy to relate to.
Enterprise Nation has played a pivotal part in my understanding of running a start-up and what’s needed to move forward. The Lunch and Learn workshops have been like business school for me.
How has the StartUp UK programme benefited you and your business so far?
Since starting my business, I've found StartUp UK so helpful. I've watched several Lunch and Learn webinars and, as a result, have found trusted people and companies that I've approached to work with.
I have favourite episodes that I rewatch. I love that certain subjects are readdressed and that there are specific partners who sometimes return for new members, or to provide a refresher for those of us who've been signed up for a while. I also love that the emails are sent at the weekend, as it gives people like me plenty of time to sign up!
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