Earlier this year, we launched a competition for local businesses, entrepreneurs and startups to be in with a chance of winning one year’s worth of office space here at Smithfield Works, as well as a start-up membership with Staffordshire Chambers.
Judges of the competition included Leader of Stoke-on-Trent City Council, Cllr Abi Brown, Staffordshire Chambers of Commerce Head of Projects and Business Support, Tom Nadin and Head of Marketing at Genr8 Developments, Tiffany Chevis who awarded the win to Charlene Fiander, Founder of Staffordshire Sling Library.
Staffordshire Sling Library is a baby carrier library and carrying consultancy providing advice and supporting parents and guardians to find and fit the best baby carrier or sling for them and their little ones. They provide a service that was previously lacking in the area; the NHS and their health visitors recommend using baby carriers, and Charlene provides support for people locally to learn how to safely use them and build up their confidence.
Our competition required entrants to submit a question entry form including questions on business growth plans and ambitions, how their business impacts the local community and how winning would benefit their business. A second round of judging was then held where our final five shortliers pitched why their business should win a year’s freer office space at Smithfield Works.
Charlene Fiander, Founder of Staffordshire Slings commented: “I’m thrilled to have been chosen as the winner of The Pitch competition, it truly means a lot. Starting a new business is tough and renting a space at this stage would be completely out of reach financially as I continue to reinvest, furthering my knowledge via CPD and expanding the collection of carriers available for people to try out and hire.
“Having the space at Smithfield Works will benefit my business and clients greatly, by offering me the flexibility that is needed to book in whenever I need to for one to one consultations for those who don’t want a home visit. I will also be able to offer a wider range of services including workshops and group sessions. Thank you so much to the judging panel, Smithfield Works and Staffordshire Chambers of Commerce for this wonderful opportunity.”
Our judges commented: “Charlene impressed us with her passion and drive, having identified a need in the area that wasn’t currently catered for. Her ambition to get the Staffordshire Sling Library launched is already proving successful, and we can see the impact this will have on the local community in bringing people together and sharing knowledge. All applicants showed potential and were all deserving, but we’re delighted to name Charlene our winner. We look forward to seeing her business grow.”
We would like to say a huge thank you to everyone who entered our ‘Pitch’ competition and a big well done to our final five shortlisters and of course, our winner, Charlene!