How StartUp UK's support was invaluable to this self-funded, one-woman business

How StartUp UK's support was invaluable to this self-funded, one-woman business

Posted: Wed 6th Dec 2023

StartUp UK is Enterprise Nation's scheme to provide free tailored support to budding entrepreneurs.

Backed by the UK government and 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 businesses that have been taking part, to hear how it's benefited them so far. Here, we talk to Sophia Harding of Palm of Feronia, a natural self-care brand focused on the ancient principles of aromatherapy and crystal healing.

How did you come up with your business idea?

By accident! I didn't ever intend to start a business, but through making products for myself and my family and friends, it took on a life of its own.

As a business with a heavier split towards B2B2C (business-to-business-to-consumer), I'm working on growing my D2C (direct-to-consumer) channel, building a community and expanding out to new regions.


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What challenges were you facing before you found StartUp UK?

Above all, gaining confidence in my skills and ability to run a business.

Not just through learning and developing personally, but understanding my strengths and weaknesses and finding ways to make the most of my strong points, while outsourcing the things I'm weaker at. As opposed to burying my head in the sand, which can be all too easy to do!

What made you decide to use StartUp UK's support to tackle those challenges?

I saw it could help me gain a handle on my finances. For example, understanding how to forecast, knowing what financial data to keep an eye on, etc. Being able to sensibly forecast is a skill I've never honed, but I now feel I have the format and understanding to create a solid forecast for 2024.



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

The Lunch and Learn webinars in particular have helped me focus on the blind spots within my business without the cost of having to hire outside contractors.

It's helped me to gauge strengths and weaknesses, assess where I might need assistance and upskill in areas I can continue to develop in-house. As a bootstrapped, one-woman business, this has been invaluable and really helped boost my confidence.

Finally, what would your advice be for aspiring entrepreneurs out there?

Trust your gut. And trademark your name before you do anything else!


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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