Interviews

In these uncertain times it is more important than ever to learn best practise from other entrepreneurial businesses and market experts. We’ve interviewed some fascinating people who share their thoughts and experiences here.

Chris Forbes, Cheeky Panda

Chris Forbes, Cheeky Panda

Panic buying during lockdown has turbo-charged the demand for Cheeky Panda's bamboo toilet paper and enabled it to triple the size of its workforce. Co-Founder Chris Forbes explains how his eco-friendly business is reaching new heights.

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Guy Schanschieff, Bambino Mio

Guy Schanschieff, Bambino Mio

Great business ideas can come from anywhere, as Guy Schanschieff and his wife Jo discovered on a round-the-world trip before setting up Bambino Mio, which makes reusable nappies and has a turnover of £13 million.

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Anthony Karibian, bOnline

Anthony Karibian, bOnline

A full scale pivot into VoIP phone systems has paid off for Anthony Karibian, CEO and Founder of bOnline, which now provides VoIP telephony services to more than 7,000 small firms in the UK and won a Smaller Company of the Year category in the 2020 Growing Business Awards.

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Pierre Coombes, Big Wolf Marketing

Pierre Coombes, Big Wolf Marketing

In hindsight getting 200 T-shirts printed with the company logo was perhaps not the best use of his start up funds but Pierre Coombes quickly ditched his vanity project for serving clients better at his marketing agency Big Wolf Marketing.

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Christine Kelly, Little Kickers

Christine Kelly, Little Kickers

Being an eternal optimist and having a love of solving problems has clearly stood Christine Kelly in good stead. Her business Little Kickers, which runs football classes for children, has grown from a single session to having 330 franchises in 33 countries.

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Sarah Hanley and Kate Ward, Silver Apples Bakery

Sarah Hanley and Kate Ward, Silver Apples Bakery

The pandemic has been a fantastic opportunity to take the business to a whole new level, says sisters Sarah Hanley and Kate Ward, who together run Silver Apples wholesale bakery in Stockport.

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Kelly Waters, 101 Ways

Kelly Waters, 101 Ways

Managing the cashflow and putting in a lot of hard work has been the key to business success, says Kelly Waters, the founder of 101 Ways, a technology consultancy based in London which now has a turnover of £20 million and employs around 100 people.

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Richard Tang, Zen Internet

Richard Tang, Zen Internet

Becoming one of the first internet service providers in the country has turned out to be an inspired move for Richard Tang and Zen Internet, the business he founded in Rochdale, which now has a turnover of £82 million and employs 540 people.

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Barry Smith, Symprove

Barry Smith, Symprove

For many years Barry Smith found it hard to get anyone to believe in what he was doing. However he has had the last laugh and his business Symprove, which makes food supplements to provide relief for digestive problems, is now growing at 50% a year.

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Lucy Frankel, Vegware

Lucy Frankel, Vegware

Edinburgh-based firm Vegware is making a positive difference one spoon at a time by making disposable food containers and cutlery out of plant-based compostable packaging rather than plastic. Environmental and Communications Director Lucy Frankel explains why.

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Jamie Keeble, Heck

Jamie Keeble, Heck

Keeping supermarket chilled cabinets stocked with sausages is no mean feat in a pandemic lockdown but Heck co-founder and sales director Jamie Keeble explains how the Yorkshire-based firm rose to the challenge with the help and determination of its 150-strong workforce.

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Kathryn Parsons, Decoded

Kathryn Parsons, Decoded

Teaching training courses during a pandemic has been a challenge but also a great opportunity to widen the business offering, as Kathryn Parsons the co-founder and co-CEO of Decoded, a technology education business based in London, explains.

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Euan Blair, WhiteHat

Euan Blair, WhiteHat

Euan Blair is Co-Founder and CEO of WhiteHat, a fast-growing business which provides and trains apprentices for businesses. It is backed by $20 million venture capital funding and has 170 employees. WhiteHat has so far found placements for 2000 apprentices.

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Joanna Jensen, Childs Farm

Joanna Jensen, Childs Farm

Joanna Jensen is Founder and CEO of Childs Farm, which makes sensitive skincare products for babies and children and is the UK’s number 1 baby and child toiletry brand. She explains how she grew the business and what she has learnt along the way.

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Robert Ginsberg, HiB

Robert Ginsberg, HiB

Bathroom products firm HiB used the lockdown period to invest in new processes and technologies. Managing Director Robert Ginsberg explains how the Staffordshire firm, which celebrates its 30th anniversary this year, is quietly powering ahead.

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Jonathan Seaton, Twinkl

Jonathan Seaton, Twinkl

Jonathan Seaton is the co-founder of Twinkl, an online learning business that has been particularly busy during the pandemic supporting parents and children doing home learning. The business was started in 2010 and now offers over 525,000 educational resources.

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