I started life as a creative at Marks & Spencer, before taking a journey through innovation, design and marketing consultancies to starting my own business. Working on brands like Lurpak, Magnum, Hovis, Galaxy and Heinz Tomato Ketchup I have learned a lot about how brands grow into the nation’s favourite foods. I founded the Collaborators in 2008 with the principle of helping small food brands grow and dreamt up the idea of The Seed Fund in 2013. I have always been absolutely obsessed by food and design, so I really couldn’t have a better job!
What skills can you bring as a mentor?
These days, I am happier helping small producers grow, than making the big boys even richer. I bring a lot of enthusiasm, creativity and the drive to get stuff done! Being a Collaborator I also love to introduce people to people and can help create supportive networks for those that are just starting out.
What do you think makes the difference between a good business and a brilliant business?
People. People. People. Surround yourself with people that have different ideas and better skills than you. Most entrepreneurs are ideas driven and the difference between those that make it and those that don’t is often the help they encourage and accept a long the way.
If you had your time again in business, what would you do differently?
I would start my own company as young as possible (probably while still at junior school) and be a lot braver about ‘playing with the big boys.’ I would ask more people for advice and listen a lot harder. I would be more impressed by ambition than CVs.
Founder, THE SEED FUND