Posted: Fri 6th Jul 2018
Harry Kimberley-Bowen is founder of Frugly, which turns discarded fruit into sustainable, nutritious and affordable juice.
How did you come up with your idea and turn it into an actual business?
During my placement year at University I was fortunate enough to work intimately with launch of the fastest growing organic baby food brand in the UK, Piccolo (also an Enterprise Nation member), which saw raging success.
Prior to this I worked as a team leader in the UK's largest food retailer. This experience gave me extensive knowledge about food waste within the industry and I was adamant that I wanted to create an honest, transparent and fun brand to tackle this huge issue head on.
I have always been passionate about working towards a more sustainable future and could not be happier that I am able to launch a brand that does just this.
Explain how you secured the funding for your business.
I had the business idea in my head for over a year and was self-funding in the initial stages.
As a final year student this process proved to be difficult until I saw the Santander new business funding awards advertised through the University of Brighton where my idea became a reality.
I was shortlisted for grant funding and won first place after a pitching evening took place.
I was then fortunate enough to go on to win the O2 ThinkBig grant and was shortlisted for the UniAlliance funding awards in Manchester.
What start-up challenges have you faced and how have you overcome them?
The key challenge I have faced thus far is access to funding. Although I have been fortunate enough to win grants from multiple sources, raising enough funds to launch a strong FMCG concept with a solid marketing and sales strategy in place is tough, especially at a young age.
Being a one-man-band can be challenging at times trying to juggle multiple things at once, however I have started to surround myself with some great people who are making this journey much more enjoyable.
What has been your biggest achievement with your business so far?
I am so thankful to have had some great achievements so far with Frugly.
Winning first place in the Santander New Business awards was really special as this was the first real time I realised I was on to something as I had the backing of a panel made up of some very inspiring people. Having my mum travel down to be there was pretty cool too.
However, the real highlight so far on this journey has to be my trip to Downing Street with Enterprise Nation to meet the prime minister's business adviser, Jimmy McLoughlin. It was a very surreal experience but having the opportunity to discuss my idea and how we can tackle food waste on a national level with government intervention was truly invaluable.
What is your next big business goal?
I am currently in the process of exploring angel investment opportunities which is really exciting for Frugly as this will allow me to take things to the next level and really accelerate our growth.
I am also about to embark on a crowdfunding campaign which will really allow me to portray the tone of voice I want for the brand and showcase what we have to offer.
I want to use this to launch an initial production run and run marketing campaigns to spread awareness around food waste.
What do you think will be your biggest challenge getting there**?**
Finding the right investor that is best suited for your brand is paramount.
I have had some initial interest already, however finding the perfect partner is so important to me as I need them to fully understand the concept and appreciate the direction
I want to take the business and be able to facilitate this journey and take it to the next level.
How has Enterprise Nation helped your business?
As a young businessman, Enterprise Nation has provided me with an invaluable network with other entrepreneurs and businesses across a huge range of industries.
Giving me the opportunity to enter Downing Street and receive feedback from the country's leading business adviser is not something every 23-year-old can say, so I will always be thankful for this.
Which other entrepreneur inspires you and why?
While there are many entrepreneurs that inspire me, I have the founding team at Piccolo to thank for inspiring me to embark on my own journey launching my own brand.
Being surrounded by the team's constant knowledge, unwavered ambition and positivity acted as a strong driver for me to go on and do my own thing. You guys rock.
What are your three tips for business success based on your experiences so far?
Determination: No start-up business has an easy ride but it's your ability to pick yourself up from a knock and to transform that energy into a solution which will cause your business to flourish.
Have fun: Profits are great don't get me wrong, but for me there's no point in embarking on a new venture if you don't enjoy what you do. So take time to take a step back and appreciate what you are doing and to celebrate every win, no matter how small it may be.
Curiosity: Remain forever curious and challenge the norm. There is no place for complacency in modern day business so always ask questions, do things differently and stand out from the crowd.
_**Join Enterprise Nation today and become part of an amazing community of small business owners.**_