An award-winning entrepreneur has found that her business is going from strength to strength after she received mentoring from Enterprise4Corby, a free business service delivered by the University of Northampton.
Raimonda Navikaite established Holdall & Co in 2012, as she started to collect vintage bags and cases and was then inspired to design a modern bag that had the same quality, heritage and values as the vintage pieces. She launched her first product in January 2013 and has been greatly received by customers and the fashion press worldwide.
Having initially approached Enterprise4Corby for help with funding and advice, Raimonda found that the Business Support Team also gave her guidance when it came to business skills , such as planning for the future and time management.
She commented: “Enterprise4Corby gave me the help and advice I needed when I didn’t know the answer. A lot of the time, it was just good to be able to talk through what I was doing, get some feedback about whether I was on the right track and how I could improve on certain areas.”
Raimonda also went on to win £10,000 after she was crowned Young Entrepreneur of the Year 2013; a competition launched by business networking group, NN CoNNect open to 18 to 24-year-olds based in Northamptonshire.
Dr Mairi Watson, Deputy Dean of Northampton Business School at the University of Northampton, who was one of the judges, commented: “Raimonda’s imagination in developing a timeless and stylish product, with quality materials, using local sources, combined with good business planning and flair made her an obvious candidate as winner of the Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award. It was clear that she was passionate about her product and was able to combine her business skills with the learning from her degree to good effect.”
Talking about some of the topics covered during her time with Enterprise4Corby, Raimonda commented: “I have learned to look at the weakest parts of a business and prepare a backup plan for every eventuality as you never know when you may need it. ‘If you fail to plan, you’re planning to fail’ is a great saying and is vital to consider for any successful business.”