A young entrepreneur from Worcestershire has been crowned the winner of ‘The Next Great Entrepreneur’, a competition which took place on the hugely popular short-form mobile video and social media platform, TikTok.
Chloe Taylor pitched her business idea via a 60 second TikTok to 12 of the most successful UK entrepreneurs.
She founded Unearthed.co, in September last year. It is an online vegan marketplace for vegan certified beauty and fashion whilst working on her dissertation around sustainability at Nottingham Trent University. After going vegan, she found the process of finding truly vegan and cruelty-free cosmetic and fashion products extremely tedious, often being misled by brands and packaging.
So she launched Unearthed.co with the aim of becoming a trusted site for certified cruelty-free, vegan products. Chloe now runs the business herself from her bedroom in Stourbridge in the West Midlands where she lives with her mum and two rabbits.
She launched the site in March 2021, and has attracted more than 10,000 users in the last three months alone.
Chloe hopes to use the £10,000 prize money to enhance the mobile experience and aims to set up her own vegan clothing range in the future. She’ll be using her 1:1 mentorship time with the judges to get advice on tech, setting up a clothing company and how to scale and monetise her business.
The competition was designed to give entrepreneurs a chance to showcase their ideas and get the support they need to make their entrepreneurial ambitions come true. The competition hasthtag #BeYourOwnBoss has now amassed over 250M views, showing the huge interest in entrepreneurship amongst young people.
The list of judges she came up in front of is impressive. They included:
- Ben Francis – Founder and CEO of Gymshark.
- Adam Kamani – CEO and co-founder of MoveStreets property portal app. Adam is an award-winning property entrepreneur, start-up investor, mentor and is also CEO of Kamani Property Group and KM Capital.
- Alex Depledge – CEO and co-founder of Resi.co.uk, the online architectural platform.
- Andrew Bloch – Founder of Andrew Bloch & Associates, a boutique consultancy specialising in the communications and marketing industry. Andrew co-founded PR agency Frank.
- Bejay Mulenga – Award-winning entrepreneur. At 20 years old he was the youngest person to receive Her Majesty the Queen’s Award for Enterprise Promotion in 2016.
- Jess Butcher MBE – Technology entrepreneur, angel investor and business advisor. Co-founder and CMO of Blippar. Justine Roberts CBE – The Founder and CEO of Mumsnet.
- Lisa Friedrich – Head of SMB, EU at TikTok.
- Mark Tilbury – A businessman and finance and investment influencer.
- Max Klymenko – Creative director of the Gen Z social impact agency klym&co, and a social media edutainer with over 2 million followers and 1 billion views on TikTok.
- Simon Squibb – Chief Purpose Officer at The Purposeful Project, entrepreneur, angel investor, mentor, podcast host.
The competition is the brainchild of Simon Squibb, whose platform The Purposeful Project is designed to help 10 million people start and grow their own businesses, as well as teach entrepreneurship for free. The COVID-19 pandemic has meant for many either the loss of their job or, in many cases, the lack of job options. Recent UK Office of National Statistics (ONS) data highlighted that over 800,000 people have lost their job since March 2020 because of COVID, while furlough is yet to end.
Simon said: “There has never been a better time than now to start a business of your own but we all need a little bit of help and luck to be successful. Chloe Taylor stepped up, has purpose and took a risk and got the luck she deserves. I am excited to work with Chloe to ensure she becomes The Next Great Entrepreneur.”
Simon Squibb, who is the driving force behind the competition, went from being homeless in the UK at age 15, to multi-millionaire by the age of 30 having started 18 companies, investing in more than 60 startups and mentoring hundreds of business founders, most recently selling an award-winning branding and digital agency, Fluid, to PwC. He is one of the most popular UK educators and advocates of entrepreneurialism on TikTok in the UK, with more than a quarter of a million followers.