Our Purposeful Business Start-up Programme attracts many individuals. These range from yoga specialists to wild weavers, bicycle wheel repairers to cake-makers, gardeners to silicone straw manufacturers, and everything in between.
Some of the people who come on the programme, however, are motivated by the challenge of putting nature front and centre of their ‘people and planet focused’ businesses. We’ve been in touch with three former fixers who ply their trade in the outdoors, to find out how things have been going since they completed our programme.
Lauren Munro-Bennett attended our very first start-up programme. We love her passion, enthusiasm and infectious energy for all things nature and planet, and we admire her commitment to the mental health agenda.
A running and triathlon coach, as well as an open water swimming coach and guide, Lauren has gradually built up her business and provides a range of services for people who want to get fitter and who love being in the great outdoors. Lauren helps her clients experience the deep connection she feels herself when running in the mountains, swimming in the tarns, or biking the Lake District trails.
Lauren’s love for nature is in her blood. Not only does she run her business in the outdoors, but she regularly arranges litter picks, is an ambassador for trash free trails, and alongside LMB Coaching, is also a Beach Care Officer for Morecambe Bay Partnership.
Like others on the programme, Lauren benefited from learning the business skills needed to help her succeed in her enterprise. But she also appreciated the personal development exercises that are a key part of participants learning more about themselves. She told us:
‘My business and values have a strong link with nature and the outdoors, and it was great to discover how to build environmental responsibility into what I do.’
Lauren added that she hugely appreciates the connections she has built through Future Fixers and says that they have been invaluable in helping her to grow her business further.
We appreciate Lauren’s support and commitment to Future Fixers and are proud of the impact she is making as one of our directors.
At Nature's Pace
Ruth Kirk runs At Nature’s Pace where her aim is to guide people towards ‘health and happiness through nature connectedness, adventures and escapes.’ Ruth is passionate about getting people up close to nature because, as she says, it means that they really learn to care more deeply for the environment, and this benefits everyone.
A little while ago, we had the opportunity to experience a forest bathing session with Ruth, and three hours’ later, emerged from the woods feeling calm, and fully restored. Even Honey, our dog, appreciated the experience – we’ve hardly seen her so relaxed, and, like us, she was totally chilled for the rest of the day!
We’re delighted that Ruth chose to join our start-up programme and got so much out of it, and we really appreciated this ringing endorsement she gave us:
‘The Future Fixers Purposeful Programme is so much more than a course on starting up a business. It really puts the soul into what you are trying to achieve and invites you to think in a completely different way. At a time when we need to consider, more than ever, our impact on the environment and the importance of building communities, I can’t recommend this course highly enough for anyone who’s looking to set up on their own.’
We always encourage collaboration on the Start-up Programme, and now, with her business up and running, Ruth is certainly doing that. She’s already linked in with RSPB and Rusland Horizons, and we’re pleased to say that she’s also collaborating with us to create nature-based away days for businesses. Watch this space for further details coming soon.
Immersing yourself in nature is good for the soul. One business capitalising on this is Borrowbelle, a bell tent hire company based in the Yorkshire Dales, and run by Harriet Wills and her husband, Martin. Like Lauren, Harriet attended our first start-up programme.
Harriet and Martin’s aim is to get people to experience the most beautiful parts of The Yorkshire Dales National Park from the comfort of one of their beautiful, spacious bell tents. Customers arrive to find their tent ready pitched and fully kitted out with comfortable beds, cosy rugs and twinkly fairy lights.
Harriet was keen to discover how they could do more for the environment through their business, as well learn about the more traditional business skills like business planning and marketing, and so was attracted to the Future Fixers Start-up Programme. At Borrowbelle, they now avoid using disposable materials and equip tents with upcycled or reused decorations and furniture. They also make sure they shop locally and partner only with small local businesses. Harriet said:
‘The Future Fixers Programme was fantastic from start to finish – you really helped us to develop a vision for Borrowbelle as an ethical brand.
We always have our key values and those of Future Fixers in mind while we’re considering new ideas, such as branding reusable environmentally friendly products and creating rentable eco-toilets.’
It’s been great to see Harriet and Martin making a positive difference as they slowly build their purposeful business.
Interested in Starting Your Own Purposeful Business?
We’re proud to have helped these three businesses get off the ground and have supported almost fifty individuals to turn their dreams into reality over the past two years. Peer support is an important aspect of our programme and it’s wonderful to see many of the business continuing to support each other as they develop and move on.
Thanks to the support of South Lakeland District Council, places on our next programme, beginning in September, are heavily subsidised for people living locally and are free to those on benefits. For people resident in Cumbria, but who live outside the SLDC area, we’re pleased to offer half price places.
If you have an idea, even just the seed of an idea, for a people and planet focused business, please click here for details of our next programme beginning in September or give us a call to chat through your plans. We’d love to hear from you 😊