VistaPrint gives £150,000 to small businesses in 'Realising the Remarkable' grant programme
VistaPrint, the design and marketing partner for small businesses, announced the 20 winners of its Realising the Remarkable grant programme with Enterprise Nation. The winners will each receive an equal share of the £150,000 grant money as well as access to VistaCreate Pro, 99designs by Vista´s Silver logo and brand guide package and £500 to spend on marketing materials on the VistaPrint website.
According to data collected by VistaPrint between Dec 2022 and Jan 2023, four in five (83%) UK SMEs are struggling to plan beyond 2023 and, while just over a third (34%) are confident that they’ll hit targets, a larger proportion (40%) are unsure and 11% suspect they will not. The grant programme, which was launched in January 2023 aims to aid resilient entrepreneurs who seek to grow and thrive despite the difficult economic circumstances and uncertainty they face.
In the application, small business owners had to demonstrate a clear plan for growth, concrete examples of how access to the grant would be spent to improve their business, how the support package would aid their growth through expert marketing and branding aids and how this would have a positive impact on the local community.
After receiving more than 6,000 entries, a judging panel composed by Emma Jones, Founder of Enterprise Nation, Antoine Thieser, Brand Strategy Director at VistaPrint, Rebecca Hunter, Marketing Director at 99designs by Vista, and Laura Burton, Business and mindset coach and Enterprise Nation advisor, selected the top 20 entries based on the criteria outlined above.
One of the winners of the grant, Chippeham-based Alice Keverne, Founder of Nature Nurture Kids, a range of kits to encourage children to engage with nature and protect the planet, said: “On hearing I won the grant, I felt an overwhelming feeling of gratitude as well as reassurance and verification that I’m doing the right thing for me and my business. The grant has re-awoken my drive, passion and motivation to grow and develop the brand. It has also given me the opportunity to actively invest in, promote and organise community events and workshops.”
Young entrepreneur and grant winner Natasha Birk, founded eco-friendly eyelash brand Laguna Lashes to reduce plastic pollution in the beauty industry in 2020. Natasha, based in Chorley - Lancashire, said “When I received the email and found out I’d won the competition, I couldn’t quite believe it. I thought about all of the amazing creative activities I could now carry out with the grant which I have wanted to execute for so long. The grant and Vista’s branding expertise will allow us to communicate our brand consistently and increase brand awareness for our relaunch.”
Franchine Young, founder of organic skincare brand aimed at menopausal women Franchine Young Ireland, from Clareglen – Belfast, commented: “The past few years have been financially difficult for the business as a post-covid world came to terms with the economic crisis. Reaching a wider audience is key now to the survival of the business - but the budget was simply not there to ensure this could happen. Winning this competition has been a lifeline for the business - an opportunity to inject funding into marketing and attending bigger events where the business can directly reach customers and retailers. Winning this competition feels like there is a guardian angel in the Universe making sure that the business survives and thrives!”
Emma Jones, CBE, founder and CEO of small business support platform Enterprise Nation commented: "This beautifully creative grant programme is supporting an inspiring cohort of brilliant start-ups and small businesses to grow and realise their remarkable potential.”
"Grants and relevant support like this from VistaPrint have become a lifeline to the UK's entrepreneurial community at a critical moment. It's wonderful to see so many ambitious small business owners responding to the opportunity and building the brands of the future. We can't wait to see how this financial boost and trusted guidance will help them to bloom and grow.
Antoine Thieser, Brand Strategy Director at VistaPrint, added one closing comment: “The aim of this grant was to realise the remarkable, and reward the brilliant small businesses that have faced down tough economic circumstances yet remained positive and become key pillars of the community. Hearing first-hand from the winners about their reactions, how they will use the cash injection, and how Vista’s marketing tools will aid them, make us confident that they are on the path to build solid brands. We will continue to celebrate this remarkable community and support them where we can.”
All 20 winners of the Realising the Remarkable grant programme have now been notified, and you can find the full list below.
- Caitlin Rozario and Will Webster - Interlude
- Natasha Birk - Laguna Lashes
- Simon Watts - Yes You Can Fitness
- Alice Keverne - Nature Nurture Kids
- Hannah Hardman - The Herde
- Franchine Young - Franchine Young Ireland
- Kathryn McNally & Katie Walker - UnderSky
- Toni Borella - Green Up Farm
- Tiffany Chiu - JulieMay Lingerie
- Jonathan Cottom - Break bottle
- Stuart Hope - Cookieman
- Andrew McGuire - Chala Chai
- Emily Horton - More Diverse Voices
- Isaac Greenway-Tambini - Pola Poles
- Jacob Strauss - Gumbo Limited
- Michael J Diamond - WEIGHT.Films
- Michael Crinnion - Luma3
- Caitrin Kincaid - Cube Fun
- Robin Rendall – Pongoose
- Annabelle Heatley – Fleur and Rebelle