How my start-up has benefited from Global Entrepreneurship Week 2014

Pip & Nut founder Pippa Murray talks us through her experiences of GEW and how she’s made the transition from audience member to speaker…

One of the things that I’ve most enjoyed about launching my start-up, Pip & Nut, is the fact that I’m now part of the blossoming start-up culture in the UK.

As I’ve built the business I’ve been fortunate to come across so many different entrepreneurs, from a vast array of sectors, all of which have had different stories to tell and I find it hard not to get inspired.

What’s more, by meeting all these people I’ve often found that a brief conversation will bring about something that becomes of real value to me later down the line, whether that’s a supplier for some packaging, an introduction to a wholesaler, or tips on a good accountant.

That’s why Global Entrepreneurship Week 2014 is so fantastic, not only does it raise the profile of start-ups and businesses in general but also brings about a whole load of opportunities to meet fellow entrepreneurs, share ideas and, dare I say it, ‘network’.

Now what’s strange for me this year is that I’m now facing the room, telling my story and lessons learnt, instead of sitting in the audience. The first of these events where I found myself sat at the front was a panel discussion hosted by Barclays Accelerator.

Whilst the contributions that I brought to the table were largely centred on how I funded Pip & Nut via Crowdcube, I found myself eagerly listening to the advice of other people sitting on the panel. For instance, fellow panellist Rebecca McNeil, the head of small business lending at Barclays, offered some great tips on debt financing and bank loans and encouraged people to look at funding your business with a mix of equity, debt and loans. A great piece of advice and something I’m off researching as we speak!

I also attended an event run by Start Up Loans discussing crowdfunding, at the hip Rainmaking Loft, where I shared my story of crowdfunding to a room of fellow entrepreneurs. What I found interesting from speaking to the room was how the questions and problems I had less than a year ago were the ones being expressed by those in the audience. Working out how to fund your business is a major part of setting up any company and I’m just a few steps ahead of some of those audience members. I hope that my being there helped people get some practical hints and tips on equity crowdfunding but also, crucially, show them that if I can do it, so can they!

Now don’t get me wrong, the start-up journey’s only just beginning for me and, although I’ve managed to successfully jump the hurdles required to launch the brand, I’ve probably got the hardest part of the race still to come. Pip & Nut’s products will start to appear on the shelves in Selfridges in January which means I’m busy finalising all the plans for the new year so everything runs as smoothly as possible. It’s never easy and I find each part of the process of growing the business just as challenging as the last.

However, what I think this year’s Global Entrepreneurship Week has shown me is how important it is to reflect back on what you’ve achieved to date. When you’re living and breathing your company day in, day out, you sometimes can get bogged down by it all and occasionally you need to remind yourself just how much you’ve managed to achieve and how far you’ve come.

Follow Pip & Nut’s start-up journey on Twitter @pipandnut

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