The inspiring winners began their journey in September 2022 after registering their interest in our Enterprise Programme.
More than 20 A2Dominion customers started the six-month programme, which included a range of online workshops to develop professional business plans, improve presenting skills and increase understanding of what makes a business succeed.
When the workshops were over, participants were whittled down to 12 semi-finalists, who all pitched their business idea to a panel and a record number of seven were chosen to move through to the finals to bid for up to £5,000 each.
Jo Evans, A2Dominion’s Director of Specialist Housing, who was on the judging panel said: “It was great to be part of the boardroom finals and to see the finalists present their fantastic businesses.
“All of us on the panel were touched by the stories behind the businesses the inspiring entrepreneurs presented and at times some of us got quite emotional hearing their passion.
“We were impressed by the quality and professionalism of the finalists, and their determination to succeed. It was an absolute joy to be part of a programme that can help each of them towards their business dreams.”
The winners were also awarded a one-to-one business mentor, who will help them start up the business and put the investment to good use.
Meet the finalists
Kerry-Otum-Mba, Stanmore – Home Sweet Soul – Kerry received £2,295.
Home Sweet Soul creates ready-made home décor and upcycling kits in Afrocentric designs and patterns to suit any home.
Rebecca Dean, Elmsbrook – The Green Worm – Rebecca was given £1,600.
The Green Worm rebuilds soil health and nurtures the local environment through two complementary composting schemes.
Amelia Charles, Northolt – Create U ltd – Amelia received £2,023.
Create U Ltd is a small business start-up producing a selection of dolls for children, designed specifically to reflect a more cosmopolitan and diverse community.
Natalie Morris, Ashford – DoodleKids – Natalie received £2,455.
Doodle Kids is a community based arts and well-being workshops for children with additional needs.
Anne Williamson, Ashford – Beautiful, Beautiful Soul – Anne was given £1,728.
Beautiful, Beautiful Soul Customisable crystal and silver jewellery to help with each customers individual well-being and health needs.
Helen Contonicola, Wandsworth – Creations by Helen – Helen was given £2,171.
Creations by Helen, offers bespoke funeral wreaths and floral tributes, custom designed to each customer's specification.
David Abimbola, Islington – Morrow Spaces – David received £2,000.
Inspired by the sudden change of working from home during the pandemic, David came up with Morrow spaces creating desktop based products, plant pots, candles and stationary, for every work environment (home and office).
On the 2023 judging panel were:
- A2Dominion Director of Specialist Housing, Jo Evans
- A2Dominion Director of Customer Experience, Gary Blatcher
- A2Dominion Group Board Member, Nigel Turner
- Spelthorne Borough Council Senior Economic Development Lead, Tracey Carter
Housing Quality Network Founder and CEO, Alistair McIntosh
Lena Maye Ltd Director and Founder, Coretta Scott
About the Enterprise Programme
A2Dominion’s enterprise programme has been running for the past 11 years, during which we’ve supported 500 customers with business skills and personal development and awarded £160,000 in funding to 55 businesses and community and social enterprise start-ups.
From later this year, we’ll be making changes to the format of the programme to enable us to support even more customers with their business ideas. Look out for more information nearer the time.
If you have a business idea and want some help getting it started, we also have our Business in a Box programme. To find out more about how we can help, simply visit our enterprise page, fill out the form and a member of our team will be in touch. Good luck!