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This year's winner of Salters Den

This year’s winner of Salters Den and its £2,500 cash first prize and 12 months financial and legal mentoring is ......... Learning Bugs.

The Salters Den competition was launched in 2015 to find the most exciting new business or business idea in the Northwich and Winsford area and to reward the winner with a prize of cash and expert business advice. The competition is run in partnership with mosshaselhurst, Howard Worth Chartered Accountants and business advisors, NatWest, and Cheshire West and Chester Council.

Jade Hargreaves set up Learning Bugs, an online store selling ethically sourced and eco-friendly toys, décor and furniture. The website is not just an e-commerce platform, but contains posts, stories, blogs, features and videos to highlight learning through play for the products on sale. As a mum of two and a primary school teacher, Jade realised she wanted more flexible working hours to allow time for her family, so using her own experience and knowledge she created Learning Bugs. All the judges were impressed with Jade’s presentation in the den. Since launching in March 2019, she was able to show growth in all areas of the business from sales to social media.

Chris Smith, Head of Business Services at Howard Worth commented, “For someone just starting out with their business, Jade showed us that she is a true entrepreneur and demonstrated great business acumen. Her innovative sales approach and understanding of her target market have enabled her to achieve a great deal in a short space of time. All the judges felt Jade was a deserving winner and are looking forward to seeing how she develops the business in the coming years”.

After she had been contacted with the result Jade said “I feel so lucky to have won the competition out of so many amazing applicants. It’s such a brilliant opportunity for local businesses like mine to put themselves forward and benefit from such professional support. I’m looking forward to 2020 and putting my plans in place for taking Learning Bugs to the next step”.

There were also prizes for second and third place. Second place went to Woodspring, a company that makes handcrafted homewares with environmentally friendly ethics at its core. Muscles and Curves, a pole fitness business which links together improving physical and mental health and wellbeing was third.