In the face of challenging economic times, tech entrepreneur and CEO of Hedira, Jess Saumarez, is readying her business for growth aided by the appointment of mentor Lorna Bolton, Director of law firm Greenaway Scott, as part of the Back Her Business programme.
Hedira was established in 2019 and is a smart app, designed to help people learn more about their houseplants and give them tailored instructions and reminders to care for their indoor plants. Since its launch, the app has built a userbase across the UK and North America and within just 5 months of going live, has seen over 12,000 plants registered onto the app.
In addition to Hedira building a strong reputation and userbase, its Co-Founder and CEO Jess Saumarez has gained significant acclaim, being ranked as one of South West Business Insiders' under 42' entrepreneurs for 2020, and being shortlisted as a 'Young Person in Business - One to Watch 2020' by Enterprise, West of England.
Speaking on the partnership, Jess said: "It can be so hard to find a female mentor, but it's even harder to find the right mentor. I recently read that 63% of women have never had a mentor, however it is something that can considerably help a business grow. For someone like me working in the tech industry, having someone professional who has excelled in a male-dominated industry was important, not just for my business but for me personally".
The mentorship agreement is part of the 'Back her Business programme' which is a business start-up support initiative run in partnership between SETsquared and NatWest, and designed to support female entrepreneurs. Jess added: "When I was accepted onto the Back Her Business programme, I was delighted to be connected with Lorna. Her experiences, skill set and personality shone through in the first 5 minutes of our phone conversation and it was clear from the get-go that she was going to make a huge impact on Hedira and on my professional career".
Speaking on her partnership with Hedira, Lorna Bolton, said: "Having signed up as a mentor to the Back Her Business initiative, I was thrilled to see that Jess had been allocated as one of my potential mentees. Having witnessed Jess dominating a recent panel event at the Engine Shed and seeing the progress of Hedira through the media in the subsequent months, it was clear that Jess has the passion, drive and knowledge to take Hedira to the next level. Jess was already on my watch list, so I could not wait to get started working together. Greenaway Scott itself has a strong female leadership group and workforce, so it is great to be working with a strong female leader in the tech industry".
Lorna added "Greenaway Scott, being part of the GS Verde Group that also includes Verde Corporate Finance, have all the tools available to assist businesses to scale up, from offering legal advice on contracts and investment through to sourcing finance and investors to assist businesses growth, so I hope that we can really make a big impact on Hedira through this programme."
Looking to the future, Hedira has seen demand grow for the application, despite the current challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. The app has seen a spike in user numbers, giving the business renewed confidence. Jess concluded: "This is a turbulent time for all businesses, but in particular for small start-ups like Hedira, who were only just getting started. With support from people like Lorna and Greenaway Scott, I feel equipped to overcome the current and future challenges, and to be bold with our strategies. We look forward to Hedira disrupting markets and dominating the PlantTech industry."
Lorna Bolton is the head of the Bristol office at Greenaway Scott. To get in touch with Lorna or her team, please call 0117 374 9560 or email firstname.lastname@example.org