Entrepreneur Claire Hall has missed out on pitching to Sir Richard Branson for vital funding but says taking part in his national competition has created plenty of new opportunities for her business.
Claire, of Kirton Holme, entered her brand Percy’s Vodka Teas into the 2015 Pitch to Rich contest, which is offering up to £1m to help fledgling businesses and was thrilled to receive enough votes to make it through to the next round.
But after making it onto the 50-strong shortlist, the 33-year-old has now been told her business won’t be going any further in the contest.
Nevertheless she is thrilled to have made it so far, with plenty of new opportunities arising as a result of taking part.
“It was great to be in the 50 companies shortlisted from 550 in the growth category, most of which are much larger operations than me.
“I’m really pleased I got as far as I did,” says Claire, who has dedicated the last ten years of her life to turning her idea into a viable business.
“I’m not disappointed at all, and from the short time I’ve been involved in the process, well a lot has come out of it.
“I’ve had people contact me about investment and it’s certainly helped to raise the profile of Percy’s, so I’m very happy.”
The idea for Percy’s Vodka Teas – with flavours White Tea, Pear and Raspberry, White Tea, Apple and Elderflower, Black Tea, Apple, Lemon and Lime and Black Tea Pear and Ginger – came about when Claire left university.
It was while drinking a fruit tea that she came up with the idea to make her own containing vodka.
Since then she hasn’t looked back and currently sells her drinks through online retailer Not On The High Street and her own website, where they priced £4 for a 250ml bottle.
As for the future, Claire says there are lots of exciting plans in the pipeline including some new festive flavours towards Christmas.
“The competition has brought it all to life again – it’s all very exciting at the moment.
“I’ve got lots of events coming up,
“I’m looking for investment and working closely with Not On The High Street too.
“The competition has opened up a lot of new doors, and I just want to take the opportunity to thank everyone who voted and supported me,” she added.