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After 17,000 entries, it’s almost time to announce the winner of Business Boost 2023. With a £25,000 business grant up for grabs, so many inspiring UK small business owners came forward to share their stories and goals with us.
Shortly, our industry expert judges will meet and decide on a winner. This year our judges come from a wide range of industries and each brings a unique perspective. From top UK business woman Baroness Karren Brady CBE to last year’s Business Boost winner Sarah Jordan, they’ve got all angles and opinions covered.
Here’s who made the final six – with one of these entrepreneurs set to win the £25,000. But who will it be? Keep reading to learn more about these six small businesses.
Now in its fourth year, Business Boost is a competition run by Simply Business to help one small business owner achieve their big dream.
We hope this cash injection will help take one small business to the next level. Previous winners have included a diversity and inclusion company, Watch This Sp_ce and sustainable underwear brand, Y.O.U underwear.
Meet each of our Business Boost finalists and read their small business stories below.
Conscious Landscape’s goal is to explore the full natural potential of landscapes and gardens – and to motivate and excite land and homeowners to create spaces that celebrate the beauty of nature.
Through their curated landscape designs, they help support the revival of natural ecosystems, the regeneration of soil and water systems, and the creation of diverse habitats. Currently working with private clients to restore natural landscapes in their homes and estates, Conscious Landscape hopes to use the Business Boost grant to bring their services to the farming community at a more affordable rate. Their goal is to improve local farmer livelihoods as well as to achieve nature restoration and climate goals.
Fair-Well was the first refill delivery of its kind, starting in London four years ago. After converting a vintage electric milk float into a grocery refill service, they began offering a plastic-free grocery shopping experience to the people of Camden, Islington, Haringey, East Finchley, and Hackney.
When someone books the van online, it notifies other local customers that the van will be near them – inviting them to come along and use their own containers to fill up on all the things needed for a weekly shop.
Fair-Well hopes to use the Business Boost grant to strengthen relationships in the areas they serve, as well as to raise awareness and reach new customers.
Queen Street Bakehouse opened in December 2020 and has since become a pillar in the community. Proud to be a true family business, Eve and Rowan have help from everyone from their grandmother to their nieces and nephews.
The team at Queen Street Bakehouse have big goals for what they’d do with their £25,000 Business Boost. With other local businesses requesting they supply their baked goods to them, they would use the grant to find a new space for their customers to sit and enjoy their coffee. This would then fill up additional baking space and open up opportunities for wholesale.
They also want to give back to the community through baking classes and special classes designed for those with learning disabilities. Rowan herself was diagnosed with Tourette's syndrome at age 18 and hopes Queen Street Bakehouse can be a safe and welcoming space for those who need it.
Smartfreeze containers are app-enabled storage containers that hope to tackle the issue of food waste through the use of technology. The sustainable containers allow users to better manage their food inventory, reduce food waste, and save money.
By connecting to the app, users will get a notification when their food is set to expire. This business venture was born from Amanda’s two decades of experience in technology risk across investment banks and law firms, as well as her own family’s experiences with food waste.
The owner of BlackOwned Studios + Marketplace describes it as the ultimate Black beauty hub. This Manchester hub consists of Afro-beauty co-working spaces, a marketplace for Black-owned beauty products, and an event schedule of workshops, panels, and talks that strengthen social connections and business development.
Looking to the future, BlackOwned Studios + Marketplace envisions itself as a game-changer for the Black beauty industry in the UK – ensuring Black hair stylists and beauticians are never underserved again.
At the core of BlackOwned Studios + Marketplace lies a commitment to social impact and addressing the lack of diversity and inclusion in the beauty industry. The £25,000 grant would contribute to studio development and refurbishment and enhance marketing efforts to build the community further.
Muihood is a one-woman team combining the practice of traditional Chinese medicine with modern skincare. It’s the first ever minority-owned brand to bring Traditional Chinese Medicine into Western skincare – bringing representation and inclusivity back into the beauty world.
Muihood is cruelty-free, vegan, recyclable, and made in the UK. Confident in their ethics and integrity and committed to product safety, quality, and worker conditions, Muihood uses sustainable and ethical sourcing of ingredients. With the £25,000 grant, Muihood hopes to grow the business with paid media ads and to develop their second product in the range.
Good luck to all our finalists. The winner will be announced on 7 November. Let us know who you’d like to see win the £25,000 in the comments below.
Rosanna Parrish is a Copywriter at Simply Business, specialising in legal and HR content. Trained at London College of Communication, she has been creating content professionally for eight years at publications across the UK and Spain. Starting her career in health insurance, she also worked in education marketing before returning to the insurance world. Rosanna also writes about wellbeing in the workplace. She lives by the sea and does her best writing in coffee shops.
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