Inspiration, Spotlight

Entrepreneurship is alive and well!

Need a little good news to brighten your day? We’ve teamed up with the experts at the Great British Entrepreneurial Awards to tell you some of the amazing and generous things small businesses have been doing during the pandemic!

It’s been a turbulent time for businesses over the past few months. The coronavirus outbreak and the lockdown that followed almost overnight has transformed the way we all do business. 

Offices across the UK, cafes, restaurants, shops and factories have been forced to close and business owners have had to make tough decisions, deal with falling revenues and furlough staff to cope.

However, being at the centre of an incredible community of entrepreneurs, GBEA have been uplifted by stories of entrepreneurial spirit during these times and have witnessed some incredibly masterful pivots and generous gestures. Here are just a few of them.

Visionary Foods

Entrepeneur

Image credit: The Great British Entrepreneur Awards

To kick us off, let’s look at Visionary Food and the recipe book they launched to raise money for the NHS!

The contributors to this book are mainly from young emerging brands founded by entrepreneurs but were joined by major global powerhouses such as Marks & Spencer. Visionary Food thought it would be a great way to support the NHS and give some entrepreneurs a really positive news story to shout about during a turbulent time for business.

They chose 71 recipes to recognise the 71 years of the NHS. Alongside brand founders, they have the likes of Spencer Matthews and Camilla Ainsworth, along with credible industry experts like the Director of Food Product and Direction from M&S, April Preston.

Compiling a book was a little out of their comfort zone, especially due to the short period of time between the production stage and taking it to print. It is therefore something they’re very proud of!

The book is on sale now. It is only £10 delivered, and 100% of profits go to NHS Charities Together.

Click here to view their teaser video, produced by another entrepreneurial business that spotted the project and wanted to get involved.

EasyBreathing

Entrepreneur

Image credit: The Great British Entrepreneur Awards

Next, we have EasyBreathing supplying 30 million frontline workers with PPE!

The shortage of certified PPE in the UK during the current pandemic had been headline news for weeks. It was this headline news that led three Cheltenham entrepreneurs to form the most phenomenal partnership!  

In the first two weeks of lockdown, EasyBreathing successfully imported over two million units of PPE to the UK . It was this early track record that led to the interest from health drink firm NFSG (owners of Overhang Drinks) to make contact.

NFSG have distribution links into Sainsbury’s, Smiths, Waitrose and Amazon and they reached out to EasyBreathing after receiving a ‘call to arms’ from Amazon for PPE.

In a deal which took six weeks to negotiate, EasyBreathing have gone from lockdown start-up to a key PPE provider. They’ve delivered nearly 30 million masks through Amazon to front line workers up and down the country!

Oliver Bruce CEO of EasyBreathing said “We always set out to make a difference where possible. I never thought we would be able to impact the shortage of PPE to such an extent. I am thrilled we have been able to do so.”

Tended

Entrepreneur

Image credit: Great British Entrepreneur Awards

Next, we have Tended and their new social distancing solution on wearable tech!

Leo Scott Smith is the founder of Tended and won Start-up Entrepreneur of the Year in the Midlands in 2019 at the Great British Entrepreneur Awards. 

The solution from Tended developed from their existing safety solution and helps companies keep their workers a safe distance apart with a vibration on their wearable if they come too close to each other. 

In a nutshell, it uses their wearable combined with an ultra-wideband proximity sensor to accurately determine the distance between people. Any social distance breaches are logged onto an online dashboard, providing employers with an overview of any social distance breaches within their organisation and how long employees have been in contact with others.

Find out more.

Lucy & Yak

Lucy and yak

Image credit: Great British Entrepreneur Awards

Lucy & Yak have been busy sewing for the NHS!

Lucy & Yak is an ethical clothing business that produces sustainable indie dungarees. During the pandemic they have redeployed team members to sew for the NHS.

Lucy & Yak were delighted that they were able to lend their tailors to this amazing cause! They also wanted to send some thank you’s that could be worn outside of work! So they sent a box of Lucy & Yak goodies to their local hospitals in Barnsley and Brighton.

If you’d like to know more, head to their blog ‘For the love of Scrubs – Sewing for the NHS’ on their website.

Madlug

Madlug colouring book print

Image credit: Great British Entrepreneur Awards

And for a number of children in care, Madlug have been designing activity books.

Madlug was founded in 2015 by Dave Linton, a man whose only experience in the luggage industry was bags of enthusiasm. This Youth Worker was heartbroken to learn that most children in care transport their worldly belongings in a bin bag. In that moment, Dave set out to do something about it. With just £480, he started Madlug and came up with our ‘one for one’ approach: with every bag you purchase, one will be given to a child in care.

There are thousands of children in care who are now having reduced contact with birth families and siblings due to Covid-19. Most already feel lost in the care system and that no one cares. Now is a great opportunity to show them that we care and to get your children involved in making a difference.

The Madlug Activity Book is Dave’s solution to helping you do this. It’s jam-packed with all sorts of puzzles and activities to keep hands busy and minds occupied. Madlug have designed games, doodles and dot to dots to help inspire a child’s creativity and reward their curiosity.

Find out more.

Brewgooder

Brewgooder

Image credit: Great British Entrepreneur Awards

Brewgooder have been bringing a well-deserved beer to a number of over-worked NHS staff.

Brewgooder work to bring clean water to populations who need it the most. They help them make radical, transformative steps themselves and lift themselves out of poverty and into a better life. They are achieving this by selling craft beer and investing 100% of their profits in clean water charities.

However, during the current pandemic, their focus has been diverted to the frontline efforts of the NHS. You can now gift a four-pack with a message of support for an NHS employee. Every £6 donation will cover the cost incurred to brew, pack and deliver a four-pack of beer with your message included, to an NHS employee in the UK.

These are just a few examples of raw entrepreneurialism and spirit that we’ve witnessed. If you know of an entrepreneur who’s made an equally incredible change or pivot or shown real grit and reliance, encourage them to tell their story via The Great British Entrepreneur Awards. 

If you want to read more of what we’ve been up to with GBEA, check out our other posts here!

From Business Cards to Letterheads, to the Stickers you put on your packaging, your business print could make or break you as a brand… and we’re here to make sure it leaves the impact you deserve.

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About the author

Bex is our Creative Content Manager and lover of all things community. When she's not glued to her phone you can find her out cycling in the Chiltern Hills or braving the London commute on her Brompton.

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