Gloucestershire is home to an abundance of successful, innovative and exciting businesses - and there's plenty of start-ups looking to become part of the next wave of success stories.
SoGlos rounds up 8 start-up businesses worth watching in the county, from sustainable fashion brands and coffee companies to cyber and motoring specialists.
While some of the major brand coffee businesses like to attach themselves to images of healthy, active, alternative lifestyles, Boost Coffee is the real deal.
The Growth Hub, the business network that covers the county, recommended this business, describing owner Rachael Wight – whose career started with the police – as a ‘young, enthusiastic and motivated self-taught coffee roaster with big ideas’.
Active on social media, she also
walks the walk when it comes to the active lifestyle element, with the Drybrook
brand based on adventure and exploration and partnered with lots of cycling
hubs. She's also a mountain bike coach.
The name doesn’t give away what this innovative business specialises in, but does give a pretty strong nod towards its values.
Trash Planet from Cirencester is built on the belief that cool but stylish trainers can also tick all the boxes for those of us concerned about the planet, what we eat and how we spend our money.
Founded in February 2020 by Holly Boxall and Jordan Grayson, the vegan firm has hooked up with a family-run shoemaker in Portugal to make sure the detail is ticked on its footwear, whilst being ethical and sustainable.
Its factory is WRAP (Worldwide Responsible Accredited Production) and ISO certified.
Launching in 2020 after spinning out of parent company River Software, Loop came to our attention after entering the SoGlos Gloucestershire Business Awards 2022, vying for the Small Business of the Year title.
However, to the business teams at motor manufacturers Honda, Volkswagen Group UK and Lotus, it is already a well-known name; its software helps firms focus on KPIs and tweak their business models - with all reporting improvements in efficiency of between 10 and 75 per cent.
Clients including Porsche and Dyson have also expressed an interest in the Barnwood-based firm.
Cyber-focused workspace Hub8 already feels like it has been around forever, but was only launched in 2019 – allowing it to squeeze onto this list. It describes itself as a collaborative innovation space dedicated to strengthening the local Cheltenham cyber tech community, partnering with local industries, educational establishments such as Gloucestershire College and community interest companies, such as CyNam.
It expects to open its third workspace in the town in the near future, at the forthcoming Minster Exchange, and is already an integral part of the county’s push to become the UK’s cyber capital.
Topaz Luxe Ltd - 2020
Swimwear brand Topaz Luxe Ltd is another on our list that entered the SoGlos Gloucestershire Business Awards 2022.
The glamorous Cheltenham-headquartered swimwear brand was originally founded in 2018, but has already won numerous awards.
Founder Natasha Rose Griggs has ambitions for the company to expand into the global travel retail market, including cruise lines, boutique stores and resort hotels, with a 10-year-plan to open shopping locations in the largest and most popular international airports in the world.
It recently pitched for the Women's Innovation Award in 2021 and won funding to design and manufacture mastectomy swimwear and prostheses for those who have undergone surgery.
Golden Valley Development
Talked of as a once in a lifetime project that will be transformative for the county, the Golden Valley Development is a £1 billion project bringing not just new homes, but a cyber-focused business park to the West of GCHQ.
What is less well-known is that the Cheltenham Borough Council project is also a business in its own right; formed in 2019, its budget has not surprisingly been rising ever since, along with its profile.
The cyber sector has seen near 50 per cent jobs growth over the same period, with the Golden Valley Business currently employing 15 staff.
Prime DCM Ltd
Another entry in our SoGlos Gloucestershire Business Awards 2022, Maisemore-based Prime DCM Ltd has been growing rapidly since its foundation in 2020.
Something of a new name in the highly competitive construction sector, it is making its mark through a focus on delivering for its clients, be that adding additional living space to a family home, or revising a dilapidated property.
Perhaps most notable is its involvement in the multi-million investment and restoration of period properties on Belgrave Road in Gloucester and the refurbishment of properties on Hales Road in Cheltenham. It is also looking to employ apprentices to bring with it on its journey.
Project Outdoors Ltd
Founded in 2020, Cheltenham-based Project Outdoors Ltd continues to attract a growing number of enquiries from potential customers, as well as featuring in the early running for our SoGlos Gloucestershire Business Awards 2022 New Business of the Year award.
Its mostly Scandinavian-inspired garden rooms are bespoke, designed and manufactured in the county, focusing on quality of design and construction - with all timber coming from the Brecon Beacons in Wales.
Turnover rose 50 per cent last year and significant growth is predicted this year, too.