Media Coverage: StartUp Britain bus inspires entrepreneurs on visit to Bournemouth

Bournemouth Echo: ADVICE was on offer to people thinking of launching their own business when the StartUp Britain bus came to Bournemouth. First published in the Bournemouth Echo Newspaper on 21/07/2016 here written and photographed by Darren Slade (Note: links to organisations have been added below to simply sign-post people to them)

The campaign to support entrepreneurs published research suggesting there were 1,239 businesses formed in the first six months of 2016, compared with 1,919 in the whole of 2015. The figure was in line with a nationwide increase.

A 1966 Routemaster bus parked in Bournemouth Square for local entrepreneurs to join with business advisers to offer support and inspiration.

Kosta Mavroulakis, campaigns manager for StartUp Britain, has been on tour with the bus. He moved to Bournemouth last year to start his business Empact Ventures, based in co-working space.

“The UK continues to retain its position as one of the best entrepreneurial ecosystems to start and grow a business, with Bournemouth having something for everyone,” he said.

“Having recently moved to Bournemouth, I’ve seen firsthand the support that the local ecosystem is giving to entrepreneurs from its vibrant meetups like Bournemouth Startups or She Says Bournemouth, events like Silicon Beach run by Think Create Do, award programmes like the Venus Awards, co-working spaces like Box 44 and many more.

“The local businesses are also ever so supportive through local champions like Bournemouth Borough Council and Silicon South, digital/creative agencies like We Are Base and Rarely Impossible, tech startups like BudiPay, local law firms like Laceys Solicitors and many others such as JemmaCo Beautycare, KitBrix, Inferno Media, and Hey Create.”

Ryan England, CEO of British Software Development in Bournemouth, said of the event: “It’s about bringing people out that otherwise wouldn’t take the plunge and risk starting something. Actually it’s not that big a deal. The risks aren’t that massive. 

“A lot of people have an exaggerated view of how complex running a company is. You can get it off the ground very quickly.”

Olly Whittle, CEO of payment app BudiPay, said: “It’s about giving people the confidence to start their own business and try and demonstrate that with small steps, you can build a successful business and pursue some good ideas or ambition.”
Lisa Dawn set up Hey Create, a laser cutting, engraving and 3D printing business.

“I was going to college to do 3D design but when I got there I found out about the model-making course at Arts University Bournemouth. I met my partner and we decided to buy a laser cutter,” she said.

The business has moved to co-working space at the Factory, on Alder Hills, and bought a second laser cutter.

Mitchell Stuart told how he set up social media agency Inferno at the age of 17. “I’ve got four GCSEs and never been to university,” he said.

“You’re never too young to start a business.

“It’s just about giving it a go. Every business owner fails at some point in their life. The average successful CEO fails 4-5 times.”

Tom Quay is MD of the app development company We Are Base in Westbourne, whose work includes the Yellow Buses ticketing app.

“There’s a lot of movement towards tech. This area’s really known for its digital culture,” he said.

Samantha Acton, whose cleaning business Domestic Angels is being turned into a franchise, took part in a gathering of 30 businesswomen on the bus.

“Women and men suffer from confidence issues whether they’re entrepreneurs or whether they’re employed,” she said.

“It’s really important that there’s a variety of support out there for people to use so they can find their feet.”


Media Coverage: Record 80 new companies being born an hour in 2016

The Telegraph: Entrepreneurs are starting new companies at a record pace of 80 an hour, according to data collected this year ( July  2016 )

First published in the The Telegraph Newspaper on 12/07/2016 here written by Kate Palmer and features an Empact Ventures supported startup, JemmaCo BeautyCare on the StartUp Britain bus, one of our client’s ventures.

Research from StartUp Britain, a Government-backed national enterprise campaign, shows 342,927 new businesses were registered with Companies House between January and June, compared with 608,110 for the whole of 2015, itself a record year.

Bromsgrove in Worcestershire was responsible for the majority of start-ups outside London, where 29 people for every 1,000 residents started their own businesses between January and June.

East Hertfordshire, Lichfield in Staffordshire and Warrington in Cheshire were also popular start-up hubs outside the capital.

The City of London experienced the biggest crop of small companies, with 500 start-ups for every 1,000 residents, although this was largely due to the Square Mile’s high density of offices rather than homes.


The figures suggest 2016 will be a bumper year for small businesses, already beating the 70-an-hour pace of new company registrations clocked in 2015, the biggest year recorded by Companies House to date.

Separately, fewer businesses are also going bust, according to insolvency data covering the January to March period, despite the high-profile collapses of BHS and Austin Reed – the latest victims of high street decline this year.

Government figures show 3,694 companies entered insolvency in the first three months of the year, 3.6pc lower than in the same period during 2015.

“Entrepreneurship is a personal endeavour and there will always be risk and uncertainties,” said Matt Smith, a director at thinktank the Centre for Entrepreneurs, which he set up with pizza tycoon Luke Johnson in 2013 and backs StartUp Britain.


Jemma Cooper set up her massage training business last year but said ‘the economy isn’t in too bad a place’ despite Brexit uncertainties

“Britain is on-track to beat last year’s record figure for startups,” he said. “There’s been no slowdown in business formation – entrepreneurs by their nature will rise to the challenge.”

It comes as retail giants including John Lewis have reported a slowdown in sales in the wake of the Brexit vote and have warned that retail prices could increase as businesses try to cope a weaker pound.

This has had a knock-on effect for some small businesses. Entrepreneur Aaron Jones, who set up his own fashion company in January, said “everyone’s got more risk averse” following June 23’s referendum.

His website See Fashion, which is an online marketplace that matches fashion designers with shops, counts major retailers including John Lewis as a customer.

“At first I thought the referendum wouldn’t be a problem, but in reality it’s slowed things in the short term,” said Mr Jones.

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“People should remain calm, and keep on doing what they’re doing,” said Jemma Cooper, also a young entrepreneur who said the “Brexit effect” wouldn’t hurt her new beauty therapy business.

She isn’t worried for her Bournemouth-based company, JemmaCo Beautycare, which teaches massage and sells massage products. She set up the business last November after studying for a degree in complementary therapy in Wales.

“Local businesses are the way forward, and there will always be opportunities for start-ups,” said Ms Cooper, 27. “Every form of business is using tech, and the UK will be particularly good and adaptable at doing that.”

StartUp Britain is mid-way through its fifth national tour. It has been travelling through 30 towns and cities including Glasgow, Bournemouth and Birmingham on a Routemaster bus.

The tour, designed to raise awareness of entrepreneurship, started in the capital and gives lessons to budding entrepreneurs on how to find finance, build a team and export their goods and services outside Britain.