Rebecca Wall, Night Owl Books: 'The StartUp UK mentoring helped ease my anxieties and gave me the confidence to launch.'

Rebecca Wall, Night Owl Books: 'The StartUp UK mentoring helped ease my anxieties and gave me the confidence to launch.'

Posted: Tue 19th Jul 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 Rebecca Wall, owner of East Lothian-based bookshop Night Owl Books.

How did you come up with your business idea?

I moved to our village a week before the first lockdown of 2020, and was so excited when our local café was finally able to open again. It truly felt like the village came alive when people were meeting there and enjoying a coffee outside.

Sadly, the owners of the café decided to close last year to move nearer to family, and it really felt like a loss for the village. The opportunity arose for me to take on another premises on our high street, and I knew that I wanted to build another hub for the community where people could meet in person, attend events, and connect with others.

I decided to open an independent bookshop. As well as stocking new and second-hand books, it also serves locally roasted take-away coffee and sells gifts by independent makers, many of them local.

We're situated in the countryside of East Lothian, close to a beautiful river and waterfall, and many of our books and products celebrate the wonder of nature and the natural world.

My aim over the coming months is to expand our events and workshops, and to truly become a hub at the heart of our community.


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You've taken part in Enterprise Nation's StartUp UK programme. What were your reasons for doing it?

I'd really love to build the profile of my little bookshop, Night Owl Books, and give other people who are thinking of starting a business the confidence to know that you can do it, with very little money but a lot of love!

The bookshop is part of the new wave of independent bookshops opening after the pandemic, challenging the hegemony of Amazon, and serving those people who want to shop with independent businesses and support their local high street. I'm also part of the wave of founders who have left London for the countryside.

How has the StartUp UK programme benefited you and your business so far?

I attended StartUp 2022 and it was so helpful for starting my business. It was particularly useful to be able to join the one-on-one mentoring sessions, as the advisers helped me with some very specific questions that I had, easing my anxieties and giving me the confidence to get started and launch.


StartUp UK: Turn your good idea into a great business

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Visit the StartUp UK hub for resources that give you the education and inspiration to get started on your entrepreneurial journey.

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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