Owner of a start-up shoe company is one of the first to be accepted in to the North West base of ‘Entrepreneurial Spark’, the world’s largest free business accelerator for early stage and growing ventures.
Jennifer Bailey, of Calla shoes, successfully navigated a nerve racking pitch and intensive selection process to become one of 80 entrepreneurs from the North West offered a place, which includes free swanky office space at the heart of the prestigious Manchester district, Spinningfields.
The aim of Entrepreneurial Spark is to develop entrepreneurs who have a #GoDo attitude with a solid grasp of how to create value, which makes them investable. With mentors, ambassadors and supporters, workshops, pitch practice and a full time ‘entrepreneurial enabler’ the focus is on the individual.
Jennifer said “I had 60 seconds to pitch my idea to a panel of judges and other entrepreneurs competing for a place. I had never done anything like that before and it was quite scary but gave me an incredible buzz at the same time! I then endured seven minutes of quick fire questioning about me and my business to convince them I was worthy of their unrivalled support’
Jennifer’s mission is to create a brand of elegant and stylish shoes for ladies with a common foot condition called bunions. Her business is only due to launch next year but the initiative takes on people at all stages of their business who are looking for significant growth support. Jennifer said “My shoes are going to be sold online and I was looking for someone who could provide me with specific guidance in fashion ecommerce and how to launch an unknown brand in that area, as well as general advice of how to set up and run a business. I found there are many support programmes out there for new businesses, but this is the cream of the crop and I believe it’s going to have a huge impact on the success of my company. I’m very excited to be given this opportunity.’
With impressive impact figures so far including supporting 352 companies with a combined turnover of £41,154,262, Entrepreneurial Spark are here to make a real difference to businesses like Calla shoes and the UK economy.