Virgin Startup mentoring

Virgin StartUp is a not-for-profit organisation that helps entrepreneurs in England with the funding, resources and advice they’ll need to make their business idea a reality.

One of the unique elements to getting a loan through Virgin StartUp is that new entrepreneurs are matched with an experienced business mentor to help them achieve their goals and realise their potential.

I am happy to announce that, this year,  I have been matched with two female business owners from very different businesses, and that they have kindly allowed me to share a little about themselves and their new ventures here on the M1 blog.

Donna Popplewell – Bakerwell

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What they do in a sentence: Ecology surveys and advice for development projects

Bakerwell specialise in protected species surveys, protected species mitigation, bat surveys, great crested newt surveys and phase 1 habitat surveys, and are based out of Kent and Sussex.

I love how Donna is so enthusiastic about learning more about all aspects of business and picking up new skills. Find out more about Donna and her business partner, Fiona’s, unique business here.

Debbie Harding – DoodleCraft Design

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What they do in a sentence: Cross stitch kits, Blackwork kits, Stitched Games Boards (Chess, Backgammon, Ludo, Snakes & Ladders, Cribbage).

DoodleCraft Design call themselves ‘the home of Stitched Games Boards’.

Debbie is extremely interesting and inspiring, because when a medical condition meant that she couldn’t work anymore, her answer wasn’t to give up, but rather take on a whole new type of work. Check out their gameboard designs and kits here.


Virgin Startup Logo

Being a mentor is always a privilege, and I’m excited to watch these two businesses and their owners grow and develop over the coming months!

If you’d like to find a mentor for your new business (not to mention a loan), take a look at the information on the Virgin StartUp mentoring page.