With the support of the Liverpool City Region Enterprise Hub via The Women’s Organisation, Mikaela King defied the COVID-19 crisis to launch The Unwaste
After taking redundancy from her job in digital transformation and technology, Liverpool entrepreneur Mikaela King took time out to explore her options, focusing on her “strengths visions”.
Inspired by several authors who wrote about making a career out of their passions, she created her own venture. Launched in may, her business, The Unwaste, offers eco-friendly milkman-style refills of plant-based vegan household cleaning liquids.
Mikaela said: “I had started to make some eco swaps at home, so was keen to do more in this space. One night, the idea just popped into my head – I pictured myself throwing plastic bottles of everyday household cleaning products into the recycling bin, with not many eco-alternatives about.”
Initially struggling with confidence in her own entrepreneurial abilities, she was referred to The Women’s Organisation in Liverpool by a friend. Through the Enterprise Hub programme, she was paired with senior business adviser Jacqueline Daley for one-to-one support, along with having access to a range of courses to help with business planning and finances. This support proved invaluable.
Jacqueline put me at ease straight away and listened to my situation and my idea and helped me put down some next steps and a plan to move forward,” added Mikaela. “All the sessions were really enjoyable and gave me the chance to meet other like-minded people in a similar situation, some of which I kept in touch with.”
Similar to many start-ups, Mikaela went in with minimal investment, relying in Facebook and Instagram to promote her business and whilst the first initial response was positive – things soon started to get quiet as she exhausted her social circle.
She explained: “Jacqueline advised me to network more to grow reach which I found quite daunting as I am a natural introvert and it wasn’t something I’ve had to do before. I was way out of my comfort zone and worried that other businesses would not want to help me or share knowledge in case it threatened their business.
“I braved it out and contacted other small business owners, local support networks and like-minded businesses and the response was fantastic, people want to help and are so generous with their time and resources.”
For Mikaela, continuing to raise awareness through her products is at the heart of her business. She added: “I am hopeful The Unwaste is helping to force the change in consumer behaviour that’s much needed, albeit a very small contribution to a very large problem.
“My vision is to increase awareness of the problem, being a catalyst of change towards more conscious consumerism.”
If you have been inspired by Mikaela’s story and would like to see how Enterprise Hub can help you start your own business, then get in touch. Email firstname.lastname@example.org