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Our expert judges have chosen who’ll be receiving our £10,000 Business Boost cash grant.
The Business Boost cash injection was open for applications throughout 2020 and is available to help someone start (or grow) their business.
We narrowed down nearly 15,000 inspiring entries to a shortlist of just 11 – all of which highlighted the resilience, innovation and diversity of UK small businesses.
And now, we’re delighted to announce that artisan textile business Rowan Bay, from Norfolk will be receiving the grant.
Here’s Rowan Bay’s story…
Rowan Bay is owned by Larissa Cooper, who produces woven baby wraps and slings from sustainable yarns.
And with a small flock of Shetland sheep that she’ll be making her own yarn from, Larissa wants to show her customers the full journey from sheep to wrap.
Our judges loved that Rowan Bay is a truly local and sustainable business, with a global network of ambassadors in place. Anneka Hicks, founder of campaign group ExcludedUK, said: “I loved the product and I loved her whole concept and ethics behind it. There’s an opportunity here for regional people to get involved with their regional farming community and go full circle.”
And micro-business champion Tony Robinson OBE commented: “It’s great for Britain that we have a business like Rowan Bay who are in the British wool trade, while also having a global network in place with 12 global ambassadors.”
As with many businesses all over the UK, Covid-19 has affected Rowan Bay significantly. Larissa had a new line of products on pre-order, but had to pause her business as the pandemic took hold.
The first thing Larissa will do with the money is carry on with the line that she’d planned in January.
She’ll save the rest of the money until spring, which is when the sheep will be shorn: “I’ll be in the position to support smaller farmers – who at the moment don’t get a lot of value from their wool – and turn their wool into baby wraps.
“I think Simply Business running the Business Boost is a fantastic way to support small businesses. Our country needs small businesses, so anything that can be done to keep them going is valuable.
“For anyone considering applying for Simply Business’s Business Boost next year, I’d say ‘go for it’. You’ve got to follow your dreams, and the worst thing that can happen is you might not win. But you never know, you might get a ‘yes’!”
We're committed to supporting small business recovery during the Covid-19 outbreak. That's why we launched our Business Boost competition, with the aim of giving one small business owner a £10,000 cash injection to start, grow or revive their business.
We assembled an expert panel of judges, including ex-dragon Piers Linney and micro business champion Tony Robinson OBE.
Then, we asked each of our shortlisted businesses to submit a video pitch. Watch Rowan Bay’s pitch below:
Choosing one recipient out of so many great entries wasn’t easy. We’ve been blown away by countless stories of resilience, creativity, and innovation.
Congratulations to Larissa and Rowan Bay – and watch this space for news about further Business Boost cash grants.
Inspired by Rowan Bay? Sign up for updates about when we’ll next be running our Business Boost cash grant.
Small businesses account for 99 per cent of all British businesses. And put simply, we need them to bounce back if our economy and communities are to recover.
With the impact of coronavirus expected to be felt for years to come, we’re committed to supporting this small business recovery.
We saw so many inspiring stories, it was difficult to choose who would be getting our grant. This is why we’ll be running bigger and better versions of the Business Boost cash grant in the future – watch this space.
Sam has more than 10 years of experience in writing for financial services. He specialises in illuminating complicated topics, from IR35 to ISAs, and identifying emerging trends that audiences want to know about. Sam spent five years at Simply Business, where he was Senior Copywriter.
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