My start-up journey began 15 years ago, where most do – sat at my kitchen table with big ideas and a fire in my belly, trying to figure out how to make my business a success. That uncertainty gave me a moment of clarity: I was happiest when driven by the need to succeed. In order to make this happen I had to set my business targeted, trackable, goals, while staying consistent and self-motivated. Most importantly, I had to get started!
For me, entrepreneurship turned out to be a bit of an extreme sport, and it turns out I am a bit of an adrenaline junkie. With startups, the risk is high but the achievements are priceless, and it was (and still is) enthralling. What you lack in security nets can be made up for in creative problem solving and hard work. This killer combo has helped me thrive in business, and is a common denominator with other successful entrepreneurs I know.
That’s why I’ve continued to launch new brands and businesses over the past 15 years. I was delighted over the past year to transform Brand Amplifier into a stand-alone business by securing Charitable Incorporated Organisation status. This allowed us to secure funding from J.P. Morgan and develop a growth strategy to double the programme’s reach and impact in 2014 alone. Brand Amplifier had previously relied on its sibling brands for the past 5 years. Now it has achieved the momentum to diversify, employ staff and ultimately, help even more entrepreneurs succeed.
As a charitable entity, corporate and private patrons can partner with us to develop incredible CSR programmes that benefit their social and business priorities. We have created a proven investment model – over 5 years we have supported nearly 100 graduates and their businesses, with an 88% business survival rate to date. It’s a business approach to CSR that achieves ROI that benefits the overall business and social ecosystem we all rely on.
At the end of the day, a healthy UK economy is reliant on the success of SMEs. We believe established businesses can be the champions of startups, which is why we started Brand Amplifier in the first place.
Applications are now open for the Autumn edition, and I’m excited to see the forms pouring in from entrepreneurial hopefuls. I’m equally keen to see more corporations get involved and help us continue to grow grass-roots enterprise. Exciting times ahead for UK small businesses, and we’ll be reporting regularly on our new website to help amplify their stories over the upcoming edition. Whether you want to apply or support the next round of applicants, we hope you can be one of our next success stories.