Posted: Tue 19th Oct 2021
We love it when small business owners celebrate their successes. Whether it’s winning awards, generating media coverage, gaining new clients, or seeing your products on the shelves, it’s important to pause 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.
Amy Stevenson – Vamos Admin
Virtual assistant Amy Stevenson founded Vamos Admin 18 months ago to offer social media support services and productivity boosting process automations to small business owners.
Having set herself what seemed like quite a lofty financial goal when she started her business, Amy soon doubled her previous part-time job salary. “Realising I’d hit my financial goal felt like a big moment. It’s when I realised that this really is what I’m meant to be doing – and I’m good at it. It was empowering, but also slightly scary as it meant that my goals needed to be even bigger! I always take the time to read Enterprise Nation’s newsletters and seeing the list of resources available is a real motivator for me as it proves that topics that I like to teach are in demand.”
Kirstin Monaghan, Earth Refresh
Have you ever done your weekly shop and realised how much plastic packaging you’re taking home? In an attempt to reduce the single use plastic in our homes, Kirstin Monaghan founded Earth Refresh, selling plastic-free and reusable household products. “We offer a range of products with as little packaging as possible and we aim to source these within the UK to keep our carbon footprint low. I founded the company during the pandemic so until now I’ve only been trading online – but I now plan to start a mobile shop offering refillable cleaning products and dried foods. I have put my own website together and picked up a few product photography tips along the way. I’ve learnt some social media skills through Enterprise Nation too. I may have started small but I'm so proud of my business that will help to improve our environment and refresh the earth.”
Stephen Wilkinson, Choco Works
Through a number of cafes around his local area of Paisley, Scotland, Stephen Wilkinson has been delighting sweet-toothed fans with his mouth-watering creations since 2018. But it was after pivoting his business earlier this year, switching his attention to brownies and supplying customers directly through an e-commerce platform on his website, that he saw business boom. “At Choco Works we pride ourselves on using only the finest ingredients. We’re now selling high-quality, handcrafted brownies direct to customers' doors. We were recently nominated as a finalist in the Great British Food Awards for our salted caramel brownies. This was incredible because although we knew our brownies tasted magnificent, this nomination gave us additional validation and public credibility. We have also increased our Instagram following by around 600% in the last 6 months and have fulfilled over 120 orders since launching our e-commerce platform earlier this year.
Rachael Robinson, Magpie & Mama
After working in commercial HR for 10 years, Rachael Robinson started to feel unfulfilled. Taking some time away from the corporate treadmill, she soon found the headspace to incubate the business idea that would become Magpie & Mama. “I used to love up-styling clothes when I was younger and have always had a bit of a creative side. I also remember feeling constrained by what clothes I could buy for my daughter and feeling like clothing to reflect her personality wasn’t accessible. So, I followed my heart and bought a sewing machine. Before it even arrived, I start doodling things I could make… and Magpie & Mama was born. I’ve attended a number of Enterprise Nation’s Lunch and Learn webinars, and it was after learning PR tips from Amanda Fitzgerald that I was actually asked to feature in Liberty London – on their website and social channels. As a business that uses their fabrics, it was a huge honour.”
Karolina Ba, THEENK TEA
THEENK TEA is a set of multi-award-winning herbal blends designed to naturally support healthy brain function and mental wellbeing. Launching online in November 2019, it wasn’t long before Karolina Ba set her sights on physical retailers. And in April of this year THEENK TEA officially landed in Selfridges! “Getting stocked in Selfridges was a real 'pinch me' moment. I’d previously attended Enterprise Nation’s Wellness Exchange event and watched other small business owners pitching their ideas to a Selfridge’s buyer. I thought I’d never have the courage to do that kind of thing. A year later I was pitching to the exact same buyer – and 6 months later my products were on the shelves in their store. It made me feel proud, happy and excited for the future. It showed me that everything is possible if you put your mind to it and work hard.”
Dickie Kieswick, Dickie’s Big Boozy Bangers
Frustrated by the lack of quality sausages on the market, lacking in flavour and with meat content that was low and of poor quality, Dickie Kieswick decided to make his own. “Our sausages are the ultimate farm to fork experience. We use pork from my pal's award-winning farm in Essex. They use crops grown on the land as feed to create high quality pork with full traceability and sustainability. An enormous dose of booze adds even more flavour and moisture to our bangers.” After being embraced by BBQ fans throughout the summer, Dickie now has his eyes firmly on the prize. “We are cock a hoop to be a finalist in the Great British Food Awards. Top Chef Shaun Rankin is going to be judging our Prosecco & Apple Banger on the 28th October. It’s really exciting to be in the mix with some of the best bangers in Britain. Fingers crossed.”
Jarmilla Yu, YUnique Marketing
Jarmila Yu, a globally ranked Top100 chief marketing officer, knows what it takes to develop successful marketing strategies. Launching YUnique Marketing in 2016, Jarmila made it her mission to provide the CMO advantage to small businesses through her award-winning consultancy. The Surrey-based entrepreneur has now been shortlisted as a finalist in the Best Business Women Awards 2021, which are designed to recognise the achievements of exceptional women across a wide range industries. “It was a huge leap for me to start my own consultancy 5 years ago. And as every business owner knows, the past 18 months have been extremely challenging, and a real test of our resilience, creativity and innovation. Being named a finalist for this highly prestigious award has been like a massive ray of sunlight at the end of a very long tunnel. This is so meaningful for us and for our clients, business communities and causes we’ve supported through the pandemic and beyond.”
Thom Bennett, Thom Bennett Handcraft Bespoke Tailoring
Thom Bennett is a bespoke tailoring house based in the West of England. Trained in the tradition of Saville Row, Thom works with only the finest materials and he hand cuts, sews and finishes all his garments. “Every stitch is perfect, and I take into consideration my clients’ measurements, style preferences, and wardrobe needs. A major small win for me has been conquering my serious anxiety for networking. Thanks to Enterprise Nation, and in particular their Bristol local leader Dan Martin, I have found a new confidence for networking and I now belong to five different networking groups. Enterprise Nation was the first, and it just sort of snowballed from there. It seems I might’ve already met a potential new customer as a result of all this Zooming. I have Asperger’s Syndrome so these little things are massive for me. It’s been a boost both personally and professionally.”
Caroline Roberts, MAWish
Through a range of formulated powdered blends MAWish offers a researched, easy and versatile way to naturally boost daily nutrient intake - aiding energy, mood and recovery. Primarily designed to be drunk as an alternative to coffee, the blends contain no added sugar, artificial flavours, or sweeteners, meaning they can be added to both sweet and savoury recipes. Founder Caroline Roberts attended a bootcamp event on Enterprise Nation in December 2020. “It was a total game changer for us as it enabled us to get our products listed on Amazon. That, as well as working on our social media presence, has helped grow our follower base by 1358% - including cafes and shops around the UK and Ireland. We now have our products on the shelves of over 30 independent stores in London."
Christofer Fisher, Aztec Farms
Christofer Fisher founded Aztec Farms in January of this year. Through vertical farming - the practice of growing crops in vertically stacked layers in a controlled environment - the aim is to supply the people of Manchester with fresh, local and environmentally friendly produce. “Our promise is to provide our customers with only the highest quality and freshest produce. Sustainability is at the core of everything we do. We use no harmful pesticides, we only use compostable packaging and we only use high efficiency LED lighting in our grow space. I recently met with celebrity chef Simon Rimmer who loved my products so much that he’s going to be placing large, regular orders for his restaurants when I start trading in January. This has given me the confidence that I am on the right track and that there is a large market for my produce.”
We’ll continue to publish your small wins. If you’d like to share yours with the rest of the community, complete this short form. And if you're looking to start a business but you're not sure where to start, join Enterprise Nation for free, and we'll help turn your idea into a reality.