Be Your Own Boss competition winners revealed

10 very early-stage UK businesses have won free mentoring from successful entrepreneurs and industry experts to help them overcome start-up challenges as part of #BeYourOwnBoss2018

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  • Henry Williams has announced the 10 early-stage businesses who have won a money-can't-buy prize of one hour's free mentoring from successful entrepreneurs and industry experts, such as Pip Murray of Pip & Nut, and former Crussh CEO; Chris Fung.

The winners were chosen from attendees of the inaugural Be Your Own Boss (BYOB) event; a practical workshop covering everything from goal-setting to branding which took place in August.

The event was ran as part of our #BeYourOwnBoss2018 campaign with AXA and .com, powered by Verisign, to help turn business ideas into reality.

Attendees to the BYOB event were treated to a fireside chat with John Stapleton, co-founder of New Covent Garden Soup Co and Little Dish, who discussed his inspiring entrepreneurial journey and how he scaled both companies to multi-million revenues.

The event was fronted by industry experts, including Andrea Pattico, chief people officer at MVF and former head of talent & development at Moneysupermarket and head of people at ASOS, Mike Stevenson, founder of Thinktastic, and Ben Mott, managing director and co-founder of Future Kings, who shared their expertise and advice.

The Be Your Own Boss winners:

  • Karen Dickens – left the corporate world to start a business importing and marketing wines and spirits
  • Rushina Shah – wants to disrupt popcorn market with a ‘not corn’ snack brand that uses the nutritious sorghum crop
  • Fido Yangala Fawo – provides a range of interior services for homes and commercial spaces
  • Mike Payne – wants to create a fully-audited national training organisation for trainers and companies
  • Lauren Pears – wants to turn her four and a half-year-old café into a chain
  • Maire Stedman – currently runs a therapy business two days a week but wants to bring other therapists on board under the same roof
  • Barbara Moses – wants to expand her jewellery business to include a paper flower business and target the wedding industry
  • Claire and Andy Potter – creating an artisan ice-cream business
  • Edward Reed – has designed and patented a product that reduces heat loss from buildings by 22%
  • Booknbook team– a restaurant booking app that makes life easier for restaurateurs

With the BYOB mentors soon to be publicly announced, these 10 budding entrepreneurs will shortly be able to get tailored one-on-one advice to help them tackle their start-up challenges and build successful businesses.

“Gareth Howell, executive managing director, AXA Insurance: “Variety is the spice of this year’s Be Your Own Boss campaign, with competition winners proving that there is no such thing as an average start-up. While some are based on technological inventions, others defy categorisation as they merge different disciplines and skills.

“What unites them is excitement and innovation. There’s also a shared challenge: how do you focus on the core talent or skill that inspired your business, when you’re also expected to be a jack-of-all-trades, mastering accountancy, taxation, marketing and points of law too?

“We’ve learnt that if we want to be the insurer start-ups choose, we have to offer support that goes beyond policies. That’s why anyone starting out today can find templates, guides and support at AXA’s Business Guardian Angel.”

Henry Williams
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