Loyalty and discount scheme provider My VIP Card, founded in 2017 by entrepreneur Maddy Alexander Grout, has won a competition run by Newbury-headquartered Vodafone to give vital support to small businesses across the UK.
My VIP Card’s prize is a bespoke social media marketing campaign on Facebook and Instagram, which will also be amplified across Vodafone’s own social media channels to potentially reach more than a million people. The business will also receive online business strategy sessions with Vodafone’s V-Hub digital business experts.
Vodafone’s judging panel included former Dragons’ Den investor and entrepreneur Piers Linney, Enterprise Nation CEO Emma Jones CBE, and Vodafone’s Head of Small Business, Andrew Stevens. The judges said My VIP Card had demonstrated an ingenious use of digital technology to attract customers during the pandemic.
Founded in 2017 by Maddy Alexander Grout a passionate advocate for supporting local communities, My VIP Card is a mobile app that encourages people to shop locally by partnering with independent businesses to offer discounts and loyalty rewards. The business also works with corporate organisations to provide employee and member benefits to reward and recognise staff and the wider community around them. The discount scheme has also launched an equity crowdfunding campaign where it is hoping to raise £4,000 to continue helping people to shop locally.
Following the closure of UK high street stores due to the pandemic, My VIP Card rapidly increased its use of social media and digital tools to promote local businesses. It also hosted networking and training events. After receiving an influx of requests from independent businesses looking for guidance and support, My VIP Card managed to expand its operations and double its clientele and now supports over 2,000 independent cafes, shops, retailers and small businesses around the UK.
Anne Sheehan, Business Director, Vodafone UK said: “I’d like to congratulate My VIP Card who were worthy winners of this competition and I hope will go from strength to strength as a result of this social media boost. We launched the Shout Out for Small Business campaign to continue raising awareness of the brilliant things small businesses have done to survive the pandemic. While the pandemic has presented many challenges, the ability to engage with and attract customers online opens up all kinds of business opportunities.”
“I am honoured to have been chosen for this fantastic opportunity,” said Maddy Alexander Grout, Founder and CEO, My VIP Card. “We want to help as many businesses in the UK as possible and this will really help us to get the word out. A lot of people think it’s expensive to shop local – with our savings we can help people to support their local community and save money at the same time. Thank you so much to the judges for picking us.”