86. Kids Bee Happy

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Founders: Alistair and Sandra Patterson
Founded: July 2010 (launched April 2011)
Website: www.kidsbeehappy.co.uk

With a vast range of community-based start-ups behind them (plus one courier company, sold to a US firm in 2010), serial entrepreneurs Alistair and Sandra Patterson have a keen eye for a business opportunity. When their children took part in a ‘magic sand painting’ craft activity while holidaying abroad, where most parents might have seen five minutes’ peace, this husband-and-wife team saw the potential for a low-cost franchise.

Introducing the activity to the UK last year, they have sold more than 20 of their events franchises within 12 months of trading – and expect to hit 50 before the year is out. Having successfully closed two rounds of angel investment, the business is now about to expand into retail products.

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