The Start Up Loans Company Inspiring Entrepreneur of the Year 2018: Meet the finalists

All of these founders have used a Start Up Loan to create a business which has triumphed over adversity or solved a much needed problem

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Holy Moly Dips

A range of all-natural guacamole and avocado dips that sell through Sainsbury’s, Waitrose, Ocado, Whole Foods and Amazon Fresh. Co-founders, and old school friends, Tom Walker & Gaz Booth have built and launched the business whilst holding down full-time corporate jobs and have no previous experience in the sector. Now they’ve sold over 250,000 units…

Learn more about Holy Moly Dips and cast your People’s Champion vote here

Nix & Kix

Nix & Kix is a soft drinks company that uses cayenne pepper to make products for the growing adult soft drinks market. Itsdrinks have no added sugars and no artificial sweeteners or additives. They are also vegan and low in calories. Founders Kerstin Robinson & Julia Kessler met on a plane. Despite corporate backgrounds they were surprised how hard it was to start and grow a company. Nevertheless, the brand is now stocked in Tesco, Waitrose, Spar and Ocado in the UK as well as Jumbo and Spar in the Netherlands, Galleria Kaufhof, Rewe and Edeka in Germany.

Learn more about Nix & Kix and cast your People’s Champion vote here


Founded by siblings Anna and William Brightman, Optiat nature-friendly skincare company that uses coffee grounds for its range of scrubs. Its mission is to promote a circular economy: keeping things in use as long as possible before restoring them at the end of their lives. By doing this, it aims to help minimise environmental waste, leaving you with glowing skin and a clear conscience.

Learn more about Optiat and cast your People’s Champion vote here

Phelps Innovations

The business behind Doddle, the children’s cutlery brand that improves control and coordination whilst developing skills and confidence, making mealtimes more enjoyable for the whole family. It was founded by sisters Catherine Dodd and Rosie Phelps-Goggin ( a former RAF intelligence officer) and has support from 9 UK organisations, including X-forces.

Learn more about Phelps Innovations and cast your People’s Champion vote here


Founded by Ricky Kothari, Sticksology is the creator of infuser sticks, launched in 2015, filled with fine ready-to-brew loose leaf tea. It’s on a mission to stir up the tea market by bringing a new experience to brewing a quality tea; T Sticks. At the same time it’s helping those nations that have water scarcity to reduce water wastage not needed to wash thousands of tea spoons.

Learn more about Sticksology and cast your People’s Champion vote here

Rejuvenation Water

Founded by Kris Ingham, Rejuvenation Water claims to be the World’s first Amino Acid enriched spring water designed to provide essential nutrition and hydration whilst on-the-go. This can fuel the immune system, aid protein absorption, and promote health cognitive function. It had an initial launch in Waitrose, and can now be found in Morrisons, Ocado, Holland & Barrett and Costco.

Learn more about Rejuvenation Water and cast your People’s Champion vote here

Bedrock Learning

There is a direct link between a pupil’s vocabulary size and their academic achievement, yet children from disadvantaged backgrounds have heard up to 30 million fewer words than their peers from professional backgrounds by the age of three. Aaron Leary and Olivia Sumpter were working as English teachers in London and saw the long term effect of this problem first hand. They set up Bedrock Learning to challenge this, an e-learning system now helping 75,000 students around the world.

Learn more about Bedrock Learning and cast your People’s Champion vote here

Prima Makeup

Emma Southorn decided to start Prima Makeup after surviving a very rare cervical eptopic pregnancy. She had noticed the glitter phenomenon had hit the US and was due to head over to the UK, spotting an opportunity to create a product which solved the issue of messy glitter application. It is now shipping products to over 19 countries with the US home to its second biggest client base.

Learn more about Prima Makeup and cast your People’s Champion vote here

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