PlantMates is an online marketplace which connects people who want to sell or giveaway their pre-loved houseplants with potential new owners.
Bernadette first heard about the Inclusive Entrepreneurship Programme in Islington Council’s business newsletter just after she moved to the borough. Wanting to become an entrepreneur, she came up with her business idea and developed a viable plan in time for the application deadline.
One of the main appeals for her applying to the programme was the fact that businesses at the earliest stages were eligible, as often the hardest step for many entrepreneurs is getting support at the first hurdle and getting the business off the ground.
Bernadette is a consultant working with large companies, advising them on business development. So, she was apprehensive about the benefit the programme would give her. However, Bernadette has been surprised by how much she has learnt, especially as the consultancy sessions had a customisable, small business perspective (including budgeting on a small scale) as well as marketing and branding which she doesn’t cover in her job.
She has used the funding to develop the website, which included commissioning a website developer and working out the logistics of how the marketplace would work, as well as creating a proof of concept. In the short time that the programme has run, Bernadette managed to get to the point of launching her website and is getting it ready for users.