Enterprise Increase 2021 shortlist – finalists revealed
After thousands of submissions and careful scrutiny, Simply Business is proud to announce the shortlist for this year’s Business Boost competition.
Nine inspiring companies have been selected with a chance to win £ 25,000 to take their business to the next level. Read on to learn more about our finalists and watch their entry videos.
What is business boost?
For the second time in a row, we have awarded a Business Boost cash prize to help a small company achieve its big dream. We understand the impact Covid-19 will have on small businesses and hope to use this cash injection to help an entrepreneur start, revitalize or grow their business.
Finalists who care about innovation, sustainability and social impact
After receiving nearly 25,000 listings from companies across the country, we managed to narrow the number down to nine. Read on to learn more about our finalists being awarded the Business Boost Scholarship in front of our expert jury – which includes Piers Linney and The Apprentice winners – and one winner.
Valiant Lingerie has set itself the task of supporting women in strengthening their self-confidence and body image after treatment by offering fashionable, contemporary lingerie for post-operative treatment.
Eleanor from Norfolk designed, produced and launched her first lingerie collection during the lockdown in 2020. Looking ahead, she hopes to be able to develop more products and is planning a strong photo shoot with some of her clients. Women who have been diagnosed with breast cancer or have had preventive surgery.
Ross is a qualified nurse and medical assistant with experience in elderly care. From London, he experienced firsthand the challenges facing the aging population, including the loss of confidence in spending time outdoors since the pandemic.
PendantPal is an alarm that vulnerable adults wear around their necks so that they can contact a hotline around the clock if they feel unwell or fall. Unlike traditional hanging alarms, it works both indoors and outdoors as it is a mobile device with a built-in SIM card – which means it can be used anywhere.
Watch This Sp_ce
Watch This Sp_ce is a Brighton-based company on a mission to transform the world of work to include everyone. They offer advice, training, mentoring, coaching and content creation to support diversity and inclusion in the workplace.
Not only do you want to work with existing organizations, but you also want more diverse founders to start and build businesses. Mo Kanjilal and co-founders Allegra Chapman and Rachel Pearson also developed an inclusion audit framework to appeal to a wider audience and hope to develop their content into an app.
The English vine
Neil from Essex is the founder of The English Vine, an English wine producer and shop dedicated to making wine packaging more sustainable.
Citing the fact that the UK does not recycle a high percentage of glass and nearly half of wine’s carbon footprint comes from the bottle and packaging, The English Vine set out to produce wine in a paper bottle. At the beginning of this year they produced a limited edition of 500 paper bottles in their own wine “number 1” and have set themselves the goal of producing all wines in paper bottles within the next five years.
Wild rye sourdough
Wild Rye Sourdough is a Trowbridge-based micro-bakery that aims to bring real bread into people’s homes, with no plastic waste and no preservatives.
Jess started the bakery in 2020 after realizing that the career ladder of a company wasn’t for her. What started as a small business at home has now grown into a specialty baking room in a converted garage, and she has invested in her own van to deliver bread to people across her community.
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Ikigai’s refill shop
Ikigai’s refill shop helps people reduce their plastic consumption by allowing them to bring their own containers to stock up on groceries and household products. With a strong environmental ethos, they use gated suppliers where they can and carry a range of local products, from soaps and deodorants to cereals and vegan honey.
Martin of St. Ives, Cambridgeshire, was able to open the store earlier this year with layoffs to pursue his dream of making his contribution to the planet.
Victoria started her small independent pottery company, Firefly Pottery, almost seven years ago. Firefly, based in Horsforth, Leeds, offers community creative painting, clay-making and pottery wheel throwing workshops.
Not only do they work with families, kids clubs and companies, but they also work with Scope for the disabled to make the courses accessible and inclusive for everyone.
The udder stuff
The Udder Stuff is a milk and milkshake vending machine in a town near Emily’s family farm in Devon. She wants to help consumers find the origin of their food by giving them a glass bottle full of fresh, gently pasteurized milk from the farm.
Emily’s goal is to install more milk vending machines in cities and shops to educate and motivate people about the importance of buying British products.
Ruby & Bo
Founded in 2019 by Victoria and Rob, Ruby & Bo designs and creates plantable cards and eco-friendly stationery in a studio in the Sussex countryside.
Ruby & Bo source high quality seeds and work with local paper makers to make their plantable paper and sell it in their online shop. All of their packaging and materials are plastic-free and they donate a percentage of their profits to global eco-initiatives.
Video stories from our shortlist
We asked our finalists to record a video about their company and tell us why they think they should win. Visit our YouTube channel to view all of the competition video entries from our shortlist for 2021.
Good luck to all of our finalists. The winner will be announced on October 22nd.