Money: fixing the biggest obstacle to making a career change

The biggest obstacle to making a career change The other day a piece of research from the Nationwide Building Society floated across my screen. What’s the single biggest barrier to doing the things we want to do? Money. Okay, maybe that’s not a massive revelation. If we all had more money we’d have nicer stuff, go on more exotic holidays, all that kind of thing. But I don’t think it’s strictly true that money itself is the problem. It’s not always money that stops us from pursuing...


59: From corporate job to running a sustainable urban farming business with 7 figure backing in just 3 years - Kate Hofman of GrowUp

"I listen to your podcast, please can you interview my neighbour?" This was how I was introduced to Kate Hofman who with her co-founder has set up an innovative aquaponics business. For those of you not in the know aquaponics is basically a system whereby you grow fish and plants together. The waste from the fish provides nutrients to grow the plants which in turn cleans the water. This system ticks many boxes from an environmental point of view, having high conversion rates of inputs to...


58: Lessons I've learned from successful crowdfunding campaigns - Guy Jeremiah, Ohyo

I really enjoy watching companies I admire develop. So when Guy collaborated with Felix Conran to produce a foldable bag and was using crowdfunding to fund it, I wanted to know more. I pledged to buy one of the bags as a christmas present for my husband and so experienced the campaign he ran on Kickstarter, and wanted to know the inside story on raising funding this way. You may remember I interviewed Guy in episode 15, and he famously got savaged on Dragon's Den for trying to get funding...


MDE 46: From redundancy in the City to silk ties, Patrick Dudley-Williams of Reef Knots

Redundancy from his job of 13 years pushed Patrick Dudley-Williams into executing his idea of starting a business. Seeing a gap in the market for tie that 'said something about what you did outside of work'. Not wanting to sit in a grey box looking at numbers for the rest of his life, Patrick decided it was 'now or never'. He took the plunge 2 years ago with the added pressure that his wife had twins 2 days after he was made redundant! This year the business is on track to turnover £500,000...


MDE 41: Transforming chop stick offcuts to pet products, George Bramble of Beco Pets

When George and his co-founder Toby Massey founded their business the timing wasn't great, it was deep in the recession. So they asked themselves what do people not stop spending money on? The answer they came up with was children and pets, so this was where they decided to focus their business. Initially self-funded, George kept his job at Bacardi to support them while they set the company up. Although profitable from the end of the first year they knew they needed to scale, so they got...


MDE 39: Innovating to improve maths literacy with Tom Hooper of Third Space Learning

Originally from a background of politics and finance Tom wanted to add something to society rather just making money. On this podcast he tells the story of how he set up his company to address one of the biggest educational problems in the UK. Third Space provides specialist maths tuition using virtual tutors based in India, to children who are struggling with maths in state schools with the aim of raising attainment levels. What you'll learn from my interview with Tom: His biggest challenges...


MDE 33: Bringing the crowd to crowdfunding, Manolis Sfinarolakis of Reality Crowd TV

The advantages to being a startup might not seem obvious when you’re working into the wee small hours and there’s nobody else to pass the buck to. But, says Manolis Sfinarolakis, you’re at an advantage. Manolis, who spoke to me over the sounds of his new beagle-and-Australian-sheepdog mix puppy, is founder and creator of Reality Crowd TV, a virtual crowdfunding network. He says, “When you’re a startup you can make mistakes and experiment because nobody is paying attention to you....


MDE 30: Hermione Taylor of Do Good For Business, making sustainable living mainstream

Hermione Taylor wants to make one thing clear, she's a big fan of charity fundraising, but....“when the cause they are trying to tackle is driven by behaviour change, money is not what they need, it's action.” Hermione is founder of The Do Nation and Do Good For Business, platforms that encourage people to change the world with actions instead of financial donations. She was recommended to me by Guy Jeremiah from Ohyo Bottles (#MDE 15) who told me she had done some really interesting...


MDE 10: Serial entrepreneur with a passion for sustainability, Chris Langwallner, co-founder of NamZ

PODCAST: In this episode of Mission Driven Entrepreneurs I speak to Chris Langwallner whose international career in the food industry led him to launch his own business manufacturing flavourings for big food manufacturers such as Frito-Lay. He exited the business and moved with his family from Shanghai to Singapore where he then worked in a senior corporate job again before setting up a new company focussed on sustainably sourced natural flavourings. I talk to him about his entrepreneurial...


Know what you’re getting into with private equity

My thoughts on ‘In my shoes, a memoir’ by Tamara Mellon, co-founder of global brand Jimmy Choo. With a reported exit of £135 million, Tamara takes you on her roller-coaster journey from washed out media executive to becoming one of the biggest names in retail.  Her memoir is a riveting account of how she built the famous international luxury brand Jimmy Choo. She literally ‘tells all’; the family back stabbing, the private equity nightmares from start up to exit, and how she is...