Have you ever had a dream business idea? With about 400 million entrepreneurs in the world, and even more of us who dream of life as a self-employed business owner, it’s more than likely that the idea has crossed your mind at some stage. In the UK, entrepreneurship and company formation figures are continually on the rise, and there are more and more great ideas out there waiting to be brought to life.
Following the success of The Formations Company Young Entrepreneur Award last year, we decided to come back bigger and better this year with The Entrepreneur Award 2017, a competition that’s open to anyone interested in company formation with a winning business idea – not just students or young people. All that was needed was vision and drive to get involved, and there was plenty of both in the applications that came flooding in over the last four months.
Our judges looked at a huge spread of ideas, ranging from sustainable baby clothes to expertly engineered camping equipment; apps to community projects – but after narrowing down to a shortlist, a winner was chosen.
...and the winner is: Terence Chung, with FRUU!
Runner-up: Caroline Wilkins, with Guardian Personal Protection
Runner-up: Janet Oganah, with Janet’s List
Terence Chung and FRUU
We are pleased to award Terence our top prize for his wonderful and utterly fascinating business concept! Terence is a PhD biochemist who teaches cosmetics science in London and runs cosmetic development workshops for University students. His business idea, “FRUU” was picked as the winner unanimously by our judges both at The Formations Company and Barclays - which is no easy accomplishment.
FRUU is a cosmetics company that turns surplus fruit and waste coffee into fun, vegan-friendly, cruelty-free and affordable cosmetics and toiletry products. The business aims to reduce bio-waste, otherwise destined for landfills, while replacing the need for petrochemicals. Its products can be made using organic fruit and plant ingredients, many of which are derived from post-consumer waste.
The PhD biochemist from the University of East Anglia is planning to use the £1,000 business grant courtesy of the Formations Company to develop prototype products and apply for an EU trademark. He is also taking advantage of the free company formation and a startup package from Barclays, which includes professional guidance and mentorship to help turn the business idea into a reality.
In addition to winning The Formations Company 2017 Entrepreneur Award, FRUU also recently won the Shell LIVEwire award for sustainable startups.
Guardian Personal Protection is an idea to bring martial art and self-defence to the lives of women, teaching them to feel empowered through an ability to defend themselves physically.
Janet's List is a unique concept which aims to support female, minority-led businesses through a curated marketplace and targeted business support for paid members.
Both our runners up were chosen for bringing something new, exciting and positive to the table with ambitious and well-planned ideas geared towards making real change in ordinary people’s lives.
This year our winner’s prizes include:
A free limited company formation package
A £1,000 business grant
A new business mentorship package from Barclays, including Local Business Manager support, access to SmartBusiness Insights, a Cyber-Security Workshop, and more.
Company Formation Tips
Don't worry if you aren't among our winners - you don’t need to win our award to form your own company. To get a business started, try some of our top tips:
1. Start with a business plan
You probably have a lot of ideas and an overarching vision about how you’d like your company to look. But now it’s time to get specific. If you’re serious about forming a company, the next step is to put everything down in a coherent plan so you know what you want to achieve and how you’re going to do it, in what kind of timescales. It might take some time to construct, but having this plan will pay off in the long-term. Check out our article about how to write a business plan for advice.
2. Do your research
How much do you know about your market and who you’ll be selling to? By the time you’ve formed your company and got the business up and running, you should be something of an expert. Get friends and family together and employ them as your focus groups. Look up statistics and facts about the demographics you’re interested in. Bookmark your competitors’ websites and companies you’d like to emulate so you’re up to date with everything they’re up to.
3. Choose a company formation package that fits
There are a few options out there to help you form company. Some entrepreneurs choose to go to Companies House directly, but this process can prove a lot more complicated than it needs to be. To get all the necessary documentation and guidance you’ll need to complete the company formation application, check out our straightforward and cost-effective company formation packages. If you need any additional services and advice to get set up, we can help with all that too - including getting a business bank account with £50 cashback and a registered office service to keep your personal details safe. If you’re just looking for advice at this stage, have a browse of our help centre for more useful articles about company formation and running a business.
A huge thank you to everyone who applied to the award this year, and we wish you the best of luck in starting a new business venture!