Starting Your Business
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7 of the UK's brightest entrepreneurs
My mentoring competition has concluded and I’ve chosen the winners – and I can’t wait to meet them and get stuck into their business challenges.
The selection process was tough and exciting in equal parts. But it was thrilling to get an insight into the great ideas and great businesses fermenting and building across the UK. And the 7 people I’ve chosen reflect the fantastic work going on all over Britain.
So over the next few weeks I’ll be meeting them, hearing their stories, sharing my experience and helping them to overcome their various challenges. It promises to be a rewarding process for everyone involved.
Small businesses with big potential
Fundamentally, I’ve chosen these businesses because they have real potential to grow.
Take Lewis Hammon, who’s set up My Gym Buddy. It’s like a Facebook for gym-goers to find people to train with – its snappy strapline ‘Never Train Alone’ sums it up perfectly. His passion and enthusiasm is unlimited, but he has the knowledge and experience to back it up. He’ll go far, and I can’t wait to help him on that journey.
Then there’s Jennifer Leahy, owner of Blindsides. Simple ideas are always the best, and Jenny’s idea, by her own admission, is simply something she looked for that didn’t already exist. It has huge potential and it’s in its early stages, so I can’t wait to help in any way that I can.
Liz Mangles, proprietor of Ewenique Furniture, is a gifted carpenter, creating unique furniture that gives her business something different. Sales are booming, but she needs some guidance to take her company to the next level.
And Phil Townend runs Philip Nicholas, a gentleman’s barber that targets the ever-growing male grooming market. As he admits, he competes on service rather than price, which is always something I admire. I’m confident that I can offer some really meaningful support.
All the entrepreneurs I’ve chosen have made a great start, and are committed and passionate about doing more. Great business minds never rest. Good is never good enough. When one goal is achieved, another is created.
I know I can help them and I’m sure I can make a meaningful difference to their businesses. Experience has taught me that a key problem for entrepreneurs is getting distracted, so I’ll be hinging my support on four key areas: structure, people, product and process.