67: Journalist, author, festival organiser, garden designer and sometime minicab driver - Kit Peel

There is a definite thread running through Kit Peel's career, and that is a love of writing and nature. These are the cornerstones of his working life to date, as he has transitioned from journalism, to managing a team of foreign correspondents, to driving a mini cab, to becoming an author of the children's book Snow Summer, to setting up a garden design business, to launching a festival! Phew! During this time Kit has moved to Yorkshire, done up his family's farmhouse high above Pateley...


MDE 34: Bringing the vibrancy of Africa into people's daily lives, Andrew Hunt of Aduna

What do you do if there’s no demand for your product? Create it yourself of course. That’s what Andrew Hunt is doing. Andrew is co-founder and managing director of Africa inspired health and beauty brand Aduna, which means ‘life’ in Wolof, the local language of the Gambia. Andrew started his career in the advertising industry, developing and launching consumer brands for companies including Pfizer and Heinz. He says, “They were products I didn't have any affinity with and I used to...


MDE 32: Encouraging the athlete in everyone, Tracy Strandness of Barefoot Athletic

The Barefoot Athletic Company’s mission is to “to support and encourage the everyday athlete through eco-friendly products that motivate and inspire.” But founder Tracy Strandness’s own story is one of the most motivational of them all. I spoke to her on the phone from Washington. From a background in youth work, via marketing and office management, Tracy built the Barefoot Athletic Company from the ashes of domestic abuse. “In a nutshell our world turned upside down,” she says,...


MDE 31: Recycling to reduce plastic waste and poverty. David Katz of The Plastic Bank

David Katz describes himself as a “Very solid C-student at school”. He laughs, “I was always distracted but that doesn’t mean I am not a learner.” The entrepreneur has certainly learned enough to devise an ingenious way to save the planet. Two years ago he founded The Plastic Bank, a company devoted to, well, saving the planet. They do this by monetising plastic waste. “There’s actually a ton of value in it,” says David, “in fact, recycled plastic has more demand than...


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 25: Mark Heiman of Lur Apparel. Beautiful clothes, beautifully made.

It’s fair to say that, as an entrepreneur Mark Heiman has known bad times as well as good. His first venture after graduating from Oregon State University with a degree in forestry was selling standing timber to local saw mills. But the economic downturn and rocketing interest rates of the early 1990s meant that industry all but shut down overnight. But like all successful entrepreneurs, Mark was quickly back on his feet, eventually taking the reins of his family’s textile business. “My...


MDE 21: Dee Wood of ItDoesTheJob.com, on a mission to save us energy, money and time

Six years ago Dee Wood was looking for something to do. Her father was semi-retired and, she says, “We thought, ‘Right. What are we good at?’” She jokes that the list was a short one, but in fact they had always been good at something. The house she grew up in had been a burned-out Georgian property. “It would have cost a fortune to run,” Dee says, “but we made it sustainable.” They did this by restoring, reducing, reusing and recycling, using imaginative solutions to sustain a...


MDE 9: Shoes with soul, Sven Segal, CoFounder of Po-Zu

Podcast: In this episode of Mission Driven Entrepreneurs I talk to Sven Segal who has made it his mission to manufacture beautiful shoes that are not only comfortable but also limit the impact they have on our planet. In this session you'll hear Sven's take on: The challenges of competing with huge brands The importance of a unique appearance or concept to support your brand The buying public's attitude to ethically produced products Thinking outside of the box - or should that be just...


MDE 8: From Baby Loves Disco to Youth and Social Responsibility advocate, Naomi Timperley

PODCAST: In this episode of Mission Driven Entrepreneurs I talk to Naomi Timperley who went from running a company that organised discos in nightclubs for babies and toddlers to becoming a youth and social responsibility advocate, in amongst a whole lot more! She talks to us about her business journey and her social media success. In this session you’ll find out about:  As a business mentor, the common mistakes she sees entrepreneurs make - and how to avoid them! What she loves about being...


MDE 5: From a lucrative career in IT to a successful Skincare business aligned with her values, Sandra Blackburn of Pure Lakes

PODCAST: In this episode of Mission Driven Entrepreneurs I speak to Sandra Blackburn, who left a lucrative career in IT to move with her husband to the Lake District in the North of England in search of a more fulfilling life. Initially they threw themselves into tourism and bought a gift shop and tea room. Then Sandra's chemistry background helped her develop an interest in developing cures for the various ailments of people in the village where they live. I talk to her about launching her...