An eco-conscious business grows from a spare room to a 2,500 sq. ft. warehouse with guidance from the Business Wales mentoring programme.
Introduction to business
Started in 2019 by Dino Hodzovic and Bethan Keeble in Cardiff, Simplelifeco UK is an eco-friendly business, which specialises in zero-waste packaging, including corn-starch and paper mailers, paper bags and vegetable grow bags, amongst others.
Business Wales support
Having received Business Wales support on a previous venture, Dino and Bethan approached the Welsh Government’s business support service when they decided to launch their new, eco-friendly business – Simplelifeco UK.
They worked with Business Wales’ advisers to get the idea off the ground and have since engaged with our Mentoring Programme to grow the business further, allowing the entrepreneurs to move from a spare room to their new warehouse in Cardiff.
We caught up with Dino to find out more about how the mentoring programme has benefitted Simplelifeco UK.
Why did you decide to set up your own business?
We started Simplelifeco UK to promote eco-friendly lifestyle choices and products to the ever-growing eco-conscious community in the UK and around the world.
Having witnessed first-hand the sheer volume of single use plastic in the supply chain, we’re here to do our bit to reduce it.
Our products are sustainably sourced, certified accordingly and are either completely biodegradable or made from recycled post-consumer waste.
By promoting greener practices to small and large businesses across the UK, we’re able to help reduce a vast amount of waste from ending up in landfill.
What challenges did you face?
The business started in a spare room with very little capital, so space and cashflow have probably been our biggest challenges to date.
Honestly, at the beginning, it seemed like we were running out of both (money and space), every month! With the help of Business Wales, we were able to keep a close eye on our monthly sales and stock levels in order to grow most efficiently with the resources we had. Fast forward to now and we are proud to be moving into a 2,500 sq. ft. warehouse space, where we can continue our growth.
How have your Business Wales mentors helped you?
Our mentors have been amazing! We have been so grateful to have access to the mentoring scheme as it has allowed us to learn from the experts – people who have a wealth of business knowledge and experience.
We’ve worked with two mentors and both of them provide us with a different perspective, giving us a support network where we can bounce ideas around or come for advice.
Mark Tudor has provided us with excellent business strategy in times of need, while Adrian Green has been particularly helpful when it has come to finding our new warehouse.
Future plans and ambitions
Every day someone in the UK receives one of our “I’m 100% Eco Friendly” compostable mailers in the post, and that number is growing – incredibly fast, too!
We want to be a household name for sustainable packaging and eco-friendly products in the UK, and with the continued support of Business Wales, we hope to do so moving forwards.
If you want to read more success stories of how Business Wales has helped other people like you to start or grow their businesses, visit https://businesswales.gov.wales/case-studies or follow @_businesswales / @_busnescymru on Twitter.