Skip to main content

To some people, the thought of starting a business seems a scary, almost alien concept. We asked seven business owners what it was that spurred them on to start doing their own thing.


 1. Passion

“To do something I love, and share my passion for music with others!”


Dan Fitzgerald, RecRock


The average job takes up about 40 hours a week. For some people, the need to do something they care about with that time can be a powerful motivator to doing their own thing and making a difference.

Dan Fitzgerald wanted to make a change in the community so set up RecRock back in 2013. They run a variety of bespoke workshops in the community including schools and with charities. They mostly use music as a tool to develop key skills such as communication, numeracy and literacy.

2. It was an accident

“It was a complete accident. My business is a hobby that got drastically out of hand”


Jon Plimmer, GSD Media


Have a hobby or interest you enjoy that could be monetised?

When Jon Plimmer was advised to pick up a hobby, he bought a camera and started taking photos. His friends were so impressed by photos he’d taken at their wedding, that he started getting requests from other couples. Deciding to take his hobby to the next level, Jon set up GSD Media and now provides high-class images and video to both private and corporate clients all over the UK and around the world.

3. Health

“To better manage my health.”


Jen Danger, Danger Doodles


Ever feel like your company doesn’t have your best interests at heart? Or isn’t equipped or willing to make changes for your health? Starting your own business means you choose not only what you do, but also where and how you work. This means you can adapt your workstyle and load to work best for you.

Jen Harding set up Danger Doodles in 2019 to promote positive mental health & wellbeing through illustration; communicating what can be a heavy topic in a light-hearted way.

4. Be your own Boss

“I think I was always resentful of the fact I couldn’t do what I wanted. And I always thought I could do this better myself.”


Matt Webley, Wootzoo


Grit your teeth every time your boss makes a decision you don’t agree with? Feel you could do it better your way?

Matt Webley had always felt something ‘wrong’ working for someone else. He felt he either didn’t fit in or would have a problem with his boss in one form or another. He decided to take control of his future and created Wootzoo, an online platform developed to assist parents in their parenting journey.


5. Wellbeing

“I let a company take my confidence and my happiness and while I was picking up the pieces I realised it was time to make a big change and see how I could go it alone.”


Mim Gibbs, The Dragons Cwtch

Running your own business gives you the freedom to create your own routine, choose the clients you want to work with and be a bit more picky with the kind of projects you really want to work on.

Mim Gibbs worked at a very corporate company doing graphic design. She didn’t love the job but felt secure enough to go on maternity leave. On the day she came back, they began what turned into a 6 month redundancy process, taking her confidence and happiness. She decided to go it alone and created The Dragon’s Cwtch, offering a range of services and products.

6. Vision

“Our values and vision we’re going in different directions.”


Rachel Arnold, Panda Education and Training


If you’ve ever felt like the company you work for isn’t focussing on the topics you find most interesting or important, it might be time to part ways and start your own thing.

Rachel Arnold felt frustrated working for a company whose goals didn’t quite line up with hers. She had a great idea for a business (something she was passionate about) and set up Panda Education and Training with colleague Ros Protheroe who shared her vision and values.

7. A gap in the market

“I couldn’t find anyone else doing or offering what I could do.”


Leshmi Rajan, Dr Bakes

A good USP is the cornerstone to every successful business. If you can do or offer something that people need but can’t find elsewhere, then you’re onto a winner.

Paediatric GP, Dr Leshmi Rajan found the limitations of working in the NHS frustrating, especially from a child wellbeing point of view. Realising there was a gap in the market, she founded Dr Bakes, combining her passion for teaching children and love of baking cakes. She runs baking classes for children with neurodevelopmental difficulties (e.g. autism, ADHD, epilepsy, behavioural disorders etc.).


Thinking about starting your own business? We’ve got a great part-funded scheme that could help you start out. Check it out here.

Got a good story of why you decided to start a business? Drop an email to [email protected]. We’d love to hear from you!

Sign up to our newsletter

Stay up-to-date with all of our events and developments!