As the banking champion of SMEs, Aldermore always welcomes news of small businesses that have achieved their growth goals, creating new jobs, boosting innovation and driving forward the economy in the process.
Confectionary brand Peppersmith are set to make a mint in more ways than one this year with their range of chewing gums, sweets and mints made using all-natural ingredients. The company, formed by ex-Innocent employees Dan Shrimpton and Mike Stevens, has gone from strength to strength since launching in 2009, particularly since gaining the approval of the British Dental Health Foundation.
Championed by Enterprise Rockers co-founder Tina Boden, Kempadoo-Millar is the brainchild of Yorkshire entrepreneur Rhian Kempadoo-Millar, who is determined to give the Yorkshire flatcap a new lease of life in the fashion industry, adding unique modern twists to traditional designs. More than a celebration of Yorkshire heritage though, the business also aims to revive interest in British manufacturing, with all products produced in one of the UK's last remaining cloth cap manufacturers in Castleford. "We are interested in the process of how something is made not just a glossy end product," states Kempadoo-Millar on her company website. "It's the grit under the fingernails that makes something interesting not the nailpolish, so I apply the same logic to making hats."
Financial Times Enterprise Correspondent Jonathan Moules tips social currency exchange service WeSwap for greatness in 2014. The company, which started trading in late 2013, pairs up travellers exiting and entering countries in order to allow individuals to trade spare currency at a preferential rate to traditional routes. "A Bureau de Change at the airport can charge up to 17pc on top of the interbank rate," states company co-founder Jared Jesner, a former currency trader who formed the business with ex-financial advisor Simon Sacerdoti. "We genuinely want to be the future of travel money," Jesner adds.
Pillow Talk has been an overnight success for founder Joanna Montgomery, after a Gizmodo review caused orders to flood in from across the globe, despite the fact it was only designed to fulfil a requirement of the young student's interactive design course at Dundee University. The sentimental invention uses a smartphone app and wristbands to allow long-distance couples to hear each other's heartbeats. "I still have no idea how it happened," the accidental entrepreneur admitted to The Guardian recently, adding "The 60-second concept video I did for uni has had more than a million views on YouTube."
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