The Circle of Trust, the Manchester founded, female led company launched in the UK last week at No. 1 Circle Square in the presence of the great and the good of the Manchester business community.

Founded by award-winning Manchester entrepreneurs Tracy ‘TJ’ Johnson and Susanna Lawson, The Circle of Trust is cited to be one of the most exciting tech launches of 2023. It is a digital word-of-mouth app that instantly connects consumers with trusted personal recommendations from their own network. Whilst being launched in Manchester but is now live across the UK!

The Circle of Trust offers savvy consumers immediate access to genuine word-of-mouth recommendations from the people they trust the most for whatever business sector they need. From plumbers to hairdressers, mechanics to accountants, dog groomers to solicitors, the Circle of Trust allows users to access personal recommendations from their most trusted network, allowing users to feel safe in the knowledge that the service providers have the trust and endorsement of someone they know, someone ‘in their circle’.

The Circle of Trust is the long-time dream of Mancunian Tracy Johnson and her co-founder Susanna Lawson. It will make scouring the Internet for recommendations from strangers a thing of the past. It is based on the belief that when consumers trust the person making the recommendation, they can trust the recommendation itself.

Founder TJ comments: “The Circle of Trust has been a passion project of mine for some time, born out of a real need for trusted recommendations.

“I was on the hunt for a reliable childminder, and it hit me – there was no easy way to find someone trusted and recommended by the people I know. I was thinking about all the friends, contacts, and networks I had made through the years and how we are all connected.

“To finally launch the Circle of Trust in the UK is exciting and we have lots of super fans already creating their own circles and making recommendations. It will be interesting to see these circles grow over the coming weeks as users get to see what the app is capable of.

“Everyone involved in the Circle of Trust is a trusted connection of mine or has been developed through trusted connections. We chose the hexagon, alongside the circle, as the emblem of the Circle of Trust as it visually represents the six founding members, who are all connected in some way.”

The Circle of Trust will not only change the way that consumers search for recommendations, but it also has the potential to change the lives of more than 5.5 million SMEs across the UK.

Thousands of people every day find themselves searching for a plumber, a hairdresser, a tiler and often don’t know where to turn to for genuine recommendations – and this is where the Circle of Trust comes in.

The Circle of Trust will change recommendations, meaning businesses will no longer rely on SEO results and big budgets to generate new business. Instead, they can bank on the quality of their work and the number of people who choose to add them to their circle.

The Circle of Trust offers businesses a low-cost but effective marketing tool helping them generate new customers. What's more, it's easy to set up and manage, and there's no need to worry about dealing with negative reviews often found on other platforms, as unlike other platforms, the Circle of Trust is a place to advocate businesses – if someone would not recommend a business, they don't add it to their circle. The app will allow small businesses to showcase their work and the positive recommendations they receive, in turn, building trust and credibility.

Tracy Johnson has worked in Manchester for many years in various roles such as interior design, premises management, office culture and lots more. She has a diverse network due to the different sectors she has worked in including finance, property, recruitment, law, and marketing and is now excited to be a part of the Manchester tech community helping businesses thrive.

The Circle of Trust has also successfully gained a spot in the NatWest Entrepreneur Accelerator programme, a six-month initiative designed for startups and entrepreneurs striving to launch or expand their business endeavours.

Susanna Lawson is a highly accomplished tech leader. Her track record includes successfully founding and exiting her previous education technology company OneFile.

She has won the King’s Award for Enterprise in Innovation twice, among many other prestigious awards, including the Forward Ladies/HSBC Business Woman of the Year, 2017. Susanna is also a non-executive director in several other education and technology businesses.