86. CEW Communications

“More than just an agency”, this PR and communications business provides innovative digital start-ups with strategic input to accelerate their growth 

Founder: Cathy White
Founded: December 2016
Website: www.cewcomms.com

A PR professional and former marketing manager for Seedcamp, Cathy White was all too aware of how much trouble the traditional agency model could cause PRs and their start-up clients.

Agencies would often over-promise while cutting down to meet start-ups’ limited budgets. Meanwhile, start-ups would question why they weren’t appearing in national press for their low fee.

White envisaged an agency with a difference; one that would give clients realistic expectations from the start, making everyone more satisfied with the relationship.

And so, in December 2016, CEW Communications was borne.

Over the past 18 months, CEW has worked with more than 30 innovative digital UK start-ups such as Gift Wink, Blooms, and fellow Startups 100 company Monese.

Acting as “more than just an agency”, the business provides strategic input that contributes not only to marketing objectives but also to the wider business.

Aiming to ensure clients are “heard and seen where they should be” at lower costs than charged by traditional agencies, White describes CEW as “an add-on CMO”.

But it’s not been an easy road to growth; a fact that makes White and her venture all the more inspiring.

Starting as a solo founder, White says it was hard to be taking seriously – often being perceived as a freelancer. Alongside this, she has battled self-doubt, anxiety and depression; an illness she has suffered from since the age of 14.

Despite these challenges, the entrepreneur has begun to scale CEW into a success – and says this is down to resilience: “It’s only by realising that both myself and the company were better than any negative thoughts in my head that we were able to really expand and grow.”

Over the next year, White aims to double revenues, grow her team, and take steps towards expanding across Europe.

Further down the line, CEW hopes to provide clients with everything from a co-working space to a community engagement programme, becoming the go-to partner for accelerating growth.

With White at the helm, we believe this is entirely possible.

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