Since 2014, Harrow Business Den has helped and nurtured local entrepreneurs and businesses. Winners from each year have benefitted greatly from their package of business support.
This has included temporary office space, business mentoring, access to training courses and marketing.
Their success stories are a sure sign that we are a business friendly borough and we will continue to support our local businesses and entrepreneurs grow and succeed.
Below are stories from previous winners and runner-ups.
Winner: Letterbox Brownies - Tasty gifts that can be sent all over the UK | www.letterboxbrownies.com
"Everyone's feedback on the idea has been so positive and i'm really looking forward to the year's worth of business support that I have won - I know it's going to make such a huge difference to my business." - Teresa Fayley
Runner up: iParcelBox - secure and weatherproof smart parcel delivery box | www.iparcelbox.com
- M.A.D Naturally - A handmade vegan and cruelty-free cosmetic range
- educ8all Ltd - A virtual platform with access to courses for primary, secondary,and college students
Winner: Earth to Earth Organics - A natural skin care line, designed to nourish and moisturise your skin with handmade organic ingredients | www.earthtoearthorganics.com
"Winning the Harrow Business Den competition has left us feeling overwhelmed, full of joy and very humbled. We were up against some tough finalists this year but everyone did a fantastic job and we’re all going to stay in touch." - Danny and Tenesia Pascal
Runner up: The Dandies Clothing - A fashion brand which provide purely organic and eco-friendly clothing and accessories | www.dandiesclothing.com
- Aspiring Panda - An IT consultancy which has developed an Employee Attendance App using facial recognition and GPS | www.aspiringpanda.com
- Tudor Lodge Consultants - A digital marketing consultancy specialising in Search Engine Optimisation helping companies get to the top of Google | www.tudorlodgeconsultants.com
Winner: The London Bin Cleaning Company - Conan Sammon
- Fresh Arts Education – Widening access to the arts for children from all backgrounds, improving wellbeing, confidence, creativity and concentration. www.fresh-arts.co.uk
- Gazelle London – New and emerging African inspired stationery business. www.gazellelondon.co
- Weqool – An interactive, user friendly social platform designed to enable users to watch recorded workouts created by professional fitness trainers.
Winner: Shout Out UK – Matteo Bergamini
Matteo Battled it out against 3 rivals in the final, Shout Out UK took the lead with their aim to engage all Harrow's young people in politics and current affairs.
Shout Out UK is an independent news network that aims to create debate and discourse via the news site and the Political Course.
“It’s been an incredible journey. At 24 and doing this on my own for the first time is challenging, but entering the Business Den competition was the best decision. The mentoring programme has been fantastic - having someone experienced give you advice is priceless.”
2016 runner ups:
- Count Creation - A graphic design, photography and digital marketing company which helps businesses develop and succeed.
- Edens Theory - A business that sells a luxury range of artisan handcrafted personalised fragrances that can be incorporated into a range of home fragrances.
- Made by Lo - An online gift shop selling wooden gifts, designed and hand painted in classic vintage style.
Winner: A Slice of Nice – Donna Banfield
In 2015, ‘A Slice of Nice’ run by Donna Banfield impressed the judges with her idea and dedication.
Having baked for almost 15 years, she set up the company in her kitchen. The company specialises in making bespoke cakes, but expanded to provide cake decorating and baking courses for young people in schools. Since winning Harrow Business Den, she has been able to widen this support to pupils who are excluded from school and those with high absentee records, as well as those who may be not in education, employment or training (NEET). Donna also hopes to offer the courses to colleges. The courses that ‘A Slice of Nice’ provides gives children valuable life skills and helps improve their attendance and behaviours.
“Since winning the competition I have had an amazing journey and have seen a real difference to my business thanks to the package of business support awarded to me. This has really helped to take my ideas further. My highlights have been the business support, mentoring and networking opportunities.Through the competition, my work to help young people has been recognised, I have had lots of interest and positive feedback from schools whilst also making new business connections who can help me with my journey. I would encourage local entrepreneurs and businesses to enter the competition. It will open doors for you just as it has for me. It’s an opportunity to get lots of guidance, networking and new contacts to help your business become a success.”
2015 Runners up:
- Filosophee - A new start up business looking to launch a vegan café selling organic foods.
- Chinese Medical Centre - Specialising in pain relief through acupuncture, herbs and massage, they want to introduce herbal steaming.
- Standby - A new and emerging business, which wanted to provide online and offline service for everyday jobs such as cleaning, babysitting and childcare.
Winner: Energise Harrow – Nigel Farren
Energise Harrow won the first ever Harrow Business Den competition. They are a social enterprise helping people insulate their homes and reduce heat loss.
The company won a package of support including sales training sessions, a free legal health check and a free trade mark application prepared and filed on their behalf.