Posted: Mon 23rd Aug 2021
We love hearing about the successes of the Enterprise Nation community. Whether it’s winning awards, growing your team, generating media coverage, or launching a website, 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.
Richard & Angela Barker, The Chocolate Cottage
“Whenever we tell people that we make chocolate for a living you can see their eyes light up”, says Richard Barker who, alongside his wife, Angela, had an idea for a chocolate shop after stumbling upon a small cacao farmer in the Dominican Republic. Seven years later and, using single origin & blended chocolate from The Caribbean, Africa & The Americas, the Cumbria-based couple are still hand producing every individual chocolate – over 4000 each week! “All our pre-Covid goals took a sharp knock at the start of the pandemic. But with investment in staff, marketing, packaging and product we’ve managed to gain our first listing in a retail outlet. We’ve also quadrupled our online sales, developed our vegan offering, and introduced a new range of handmade fudge. I wish I could describe how great it feels, but we’re so busy making chocolate that we’ve not yet had time to reflect.”
Shivraj Bassi, Innermost
Innermost is an award-winning wellness brand on a mission. From muscle-building protein powders to anxiety-reducing capsules, they use evidence-based science to craft nutrition products ‘that address your health and fitness needs across body and mind’. “We believe better health doesn’t need to be complicated”, explains Shivraj. “We’re cutting through the confusion so you can take control of your health and feel great. As well as our nutrition products we offer access to experts, education and advice – and we’ll make personalised recommendations for you too. 2021 saw our products being stocked in Harrods, John Lewis, Oliver Bonas and Liberty. Just one of those retailers would have represented a huge milestone for the brand, so the fact that we managed to get stocked in all of them is just incredible, and is testament to the determination and efforts of the whole team.”
Katherine George, Oh So Social
Oh So Social are a multi award-winning social media marketing agency, offering social media management, training and advice to small businesses.
Earlier this year Oh So Social was named as a finalist in the Best Small Agency category at the UK Social Media Awards. “It is fantastic to be recognised nationally among some of the top social media companies in the country, especially after such a turbulent year and one where social media has really been crucial for businesses. It’s an honour to be shortlisted.”
Katherine was also a finalist at the Digital Women Awards 2021, was named one of ’40 digital women to watch’ at the Digital Women Awards in 2021, is a #SheMeansBusiness mentor, and is also an Enterprise Nation Top 50 Adviser. Connect with her here – or book a discovery call to find out how she can help your business.
Ismay Mummery, Boy Wonder
Fashion designer Ismay always dreamed of starting her own business. Spotting a gap in the market that combined three of her greatest passions – unique style, the environment, and her son – she launched ‘Boy Wonder’. “I was frustrated by the lack of choice in boys clothing. I believe that boys should have as much fun with fashion as girls. Boy Wonder is for parents who value styles that are unique, ethical and sustainable. Our garments are made from British-made, organic cotton yarn, and our packaging is plastic free and made with recycled stock. Our garments have extra growth room, extending their life by up to 6 months, and by using local manufacturers they also travel fewer miles than big brands. I’m thrilled to announce that we have just been shortlisted for the Made in UK award at this years’ Great British Entrepreneur Awards - Midlands region. It’s amazing to be recognised for what I am doing and gives us an opportunity to shout about sustainable and ethical fashion.”
Cecile Trijssenaar, English Classic Story Time
English Classic Story Time is a membership-based video book library that offers dozens of classic English books, read to you by creative narrators. Founded by Cecile Trijssenaar, and with new books being added every month, English Classic Story Time allows you to read, listen, watch, and download - all for one low monthly price. “When I was young, my favourite activity was Story Time. I loved sitting with my mum, listening intently as her voice transported me to a world full of adventure, fascinating characters and complex drama. I founded English Classic Story Time in her honour, and as a gift for younger generations. A few months ago I was fortunate enough to be awarded an Additional Restrictions Grant to help me grow my company. I’m also very happy to announce that we’ve just partnered with the wonderful TreeSisters charity to restore our planet with trees. For every person who subscribes, we gift 5 trees.”
Michelle Spaul, Delta Swan
Customer experience consultant Michelle Spaul believes that the secret to achieving sustainable growth is not by attracting new customers – but delighting your existing ones. Determined to help businesses better understand their customers’ needs, she launched Delta Swan. “I’ve long believed SMEs deserve the benefits of a managed customer experience which larger organisations take for granted. Our specialist skills help business owners change their products, services and customer touchpoints to earn loyalty and advocacy. Recently I had the good fortune of being awarded a contract to lead three classes for the Staffordshire Growth Hub. I’m so grateful for this opportunity to help entrepreneurs to see their business through the eyes of their customers.”
Stina Mulloo-Cannon, Juste Nature
In 2017, after struggling to find a solution to her son’s allergies, eczema, and sensitive skin, Stina Mulloo-Cannon decided to formulate her own moisturising balm, using only sustainably sourced, organic ingredients. In 2020 Stina officially launched Juste Nature and now has an entire skincare range of preservative and cruelty free balms, each one inspired by her native island of Mauritius, and containing ingredients with healing and protective properties. She also has over 1000 followers on Instagram, and was recently a finalist at the Free From Skincare Awards 2021. “This came as a huge surprise after only a year of trading. The competition was tough but to be up against bigger, well-known brands - and to win Silver - was such an honour. Starting a new business was scary, but I knew that I could help more people struggling with the same skincare issues as my family."
Ela Teague, Cook Eat Joy
Combining a life-long passion for food with 18 years’ experience as a secondary education teacher, Ela Teague decided to launch Cook Eat Joy, an Indian cookery school based in North London. “I started Cook Eat Joy as each of those words fill me with such delight. I’ve always loved cooking, and coming from an Indian Gujarati household, eating has always been just as important; you never leave our family home feeling hungry. The joy I get from feeding people great food is why I started running my own fun-packed classes.”
When the pandemic hit Ela had to pivot her business from in-person classes to online workshops. “I wasn’t sure how well these would work and it was scary having to totally change the way I ran my business. But all of the reviews were wonderful. So much so that I’ve continued offering online classes alongside face-to-face ones, so now anyone can attend and learn how to make their very own Indian feast.”
Cherise Trimingham, Trimingham
“No goal is too big to achieve. Reach for the stars and achieve greatness because success is your destiny”. Those are the words of Cherise Trimingham, founder of contemporary fashion sportswear brand, Trimingham. Trained at Central Saint Martins and the London School of Fashion, Cherise is keen to ‘challenge the typical use of sportswear and offer a casual yet elegant everyday wear’. And in May of this year, Cherise exhibited in Enterprise Nation’s pop-up store on London’s Oxford Street. “Not all young people want to look like everyone else, they are gravitating towards independent brands, so it’s super important to have a real-life connection. The pop-up store helped me do that – it was a huge success. Since then I’ve also taken part in a Lunch and Learn to talk about how I grew my brand and to offer tips on how to make the most of pop-up opportunities.”
Simon Alexander Ong, life coach and business strategist
Ever since he was a teenager, Simon Alexander Ong has enjoyed exploring human potential and the habits that drive personal happiness. Now a successful life coach and business strategist, he shares his insights, lessons and wisdom with all who are committed to upgrading their life and business. “I’ve had the privilege to speak at events and conferences across the world, with organisations such as Virgin, Salesforce and, of course, Enterprise Nation. And I’ve just written a new book. In Energize I’ll introduce you to the art and science of energy management. It teaches people how to identify their most productive time of day, how to set boundaries with people and time, and how to create energetic friendships and networks. The book is available for pre-order on Amazon now.”
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.