Britain has never had such a thriving start-up scene. In 2015, the think tank Centre for Entrepreneurs identified a record 608,000 such businesses. Growth has continued despite any lingering uncertainty surrounding Brexit, and the number of new companies registered in the UK last year rose by 5.7% to a total of 660,000.
The positive numbers may be attributed to government-sponsored initiatives. These include StartUp Britain, a campaign launched after the financial crisis in 2011 to increase tax breaks for investors and owners of small businesses, or the Start Up Loans scheme, which has handled more than £300m of loans since its launch in 2012.
However, the boom in UK start-ups is also down to the people behind them and their determination, passion and intelligence. It’s not just about the economic conditions in which their businesses have been able to grow.
Following the launch of Startups’ Top 100 list, we looked at some of the entrepreneurs behind the most exciting new businesses in the country:
Founded in 2017, by serial entrepreneur Ben Saul Garner – now on his third venture – and Chris Elrin – a media expert with more than a decade of experience at ITV, MediaCom and Universal Group – Attachment is now the fastest growing entertainment agency in Europe.
Combining their unique blend of skills and industry expertise, Ben and Chris saw the opportunity to design and develop an entertainment company that works with talent and brands to create deep connections in music and entertainment. At a time when media organisations are being interrogated with questions of authenticity, Attachment is making it easier to create more genuine and engaging brand collaborations and partnerships. Ben and Chris’ refreshingly transparent approach to the market has helped accelerate Attachment’s growth encouraging well-known brands including Google, Airbnb, ASOS, and Unilever and entertainers such as James Corden, Rita Ora and Lady Gaga to collaborate. Featuring 37th in Start-up’s Top 100 list, it’s no surprise that Attachment is the highest ranked business in the media and communications sector.
Merlie Calvert, Farillio
Legal bills are an expensive headache for SMEs, costing around £13.6bn a year. Merlie Calvert, a qualified lawyer, spotted a gap in the market. She set up an SME of her own with the aim of helping small businesses cut legal costs and streamline day-to-day administrative tasks. Farillio, a legaltech start-up, was born.
With more than 20 years of experience as a lawyer, and having set up two businesses, Merlie is perfectly placed to help guide her peers through their own start-up journeys. Farillio now has 12 employees in total, several of whom have run their own companies in the past.
Ibi Thomson, Issoria
Ibi turned down several venture-capitalist investments offers for his change management hub Issoria including from James Caan of Dragons’ Den, instead preferring to retain an agile, employee-owned start-up model. The approach has brought success, with Issoria’s network of global businesses consultants now serving over 5,000 firms of all sizes across 100 countries including the likes of Nestle, G4S, Jaguar and multi-year service agreements with a number of FTSE100 and Fortune 500 companies. Backed by the tools, high-quality customer support and expertise across several different industries, Issoria boasts an ability to offer each client a bespoke approach without compromising on quality.
Ibi has no plans of slowing down Issoria’s growth either, announcing his ambitions to serve half of the world’s largest companies by 2030 in a recent interview.
Alexandra Isenegger, Linkilaw
Alexandra founded Linkilaw back in 2015 as a legaltech start-up to help small businesses across the country source advice for everyday legal documents. Using a digital-first approach, business owners can connect with one of 500 pre-vetted lawyers and, combined with a relationship management tool, can be assured of the best possible legal support that’s right for them.
Based on her own vast experiences in law and as a business consultant and mentor, Isenegger is perfectly placed to ensure Linkilaw’s service is fast, practical and affordable. Her and the business’s huge potential has secured coverage in TechCrunch and HuffPost already, helping to seal her place in the Law and Policy stream of Forbes’ 30 Under 30 list.
Collectively raising almost £1 billion, the 2019 Start-ups’ Top 100 can aspire to follow in the footsteps of other household names previously shortlisted, including Deliveroo, Zoopla and Monzo. With their reputations enhanced and awareness among the business community increased, now is the perfect time for the entrepreneurs behind the brand names to use personal PR to tell their incredible entrepreneurial stories and growth journeys, share their successes and attract new business.
If you’re a start-up looking for PR and media support, please get in touch today to find out how we can support you long-term.