Late last year we launched our first Business Booster Fund. We wanted to help more small businesses along their journey and found ourselves in a position to be able to help. We designed the initiative to offer a small boost to help successful businesses pivot, scale or grow in 2021. Three £5,000 grants are being made available to the winning businesses, along with tailored business advice from our team to help them keep innovating and growing.

Over 500 small businesses who wanted to win the £5,000 grant and business advice submitted their virtual pitches to us at the end of last year. We were blown away by the level of interest and variety of approaches in the applications. We then had an incredibly difficult task of creating our shortlist. The five exceptional businesses that stood out for us were then put to an online vote, drawing in support from across the small business community.

And so, we’re thrilled to announce the three winners of the Business Booster Fund 2021: The Bshirt, BlakBear and The Economist Educational Foundation. A huge congratulations are in order for these three fantastic businesses that all submitted excellent applications. We can’t wait to help them tackle the business challenges and opportunities that come their way.

A little bit about the winners

The Bshirt is an ethical breastfeeding clothing brand and social business. Set up by two mums in Devon, The B Shirt was founded with the mission of improving breastfeeding rates in the UK & beyond. Their designs help women breastfeed more comfortably and for longer if they wish to. Still stigmatised by many, we’re thrilled by the extra choice Lisa and Phillippa are giving women today and want to make sure more new and expectant mothers are aware of their awesome offering.

BlakBear is a smart food labelling specialist. The innovative business produces sensors that use microbiology and shelf-life data to determine the true freshness of items in your fridge. A truly exciting and innovative idea that we were captivated listening to. The team is working tirelessly towards further technical and regulatory development. We’re very excited to help them take their hard work even further.

The Economist Educational Foundation is an independent children’s literacy charity. The Foundation empowers young people with the skills to identify misinformation and enables inspiring discussions about the news to take place in schools. #AlwaysBeLearning is one of MarketFinance’s key values and supporting learning amongst young people is a noble and crucial initiative we want to help gain momentum.

Inner city young people’s charity XLP and creative agency Collaborative Creations were the other two businesses to make the shortlist. Both dynamic and determined, we wish them the very best as they continue their hard work.

We know that the winners, and all SMEs in general, face challenging times as we deal with both the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting economic challenges ahead. We’re looking to the future and new opportunities that are presenting themselves now and are excited to see where British business goes. If you’re looking for more information or advice to help you navigate the changes and updates to business support and ways to safeguard your business, head to our COVID-19 Impact Support Hub.