A2Dominion awards business grants to five entrepreneurial customers as part of revamped Enterprise Programme

Five outstanding A2Dominion customers secured a combined £15,000 in business funding on Saturday 26 September, after reaching the final of the housing association’s Enterprise Programme.
A2Dominion's Enterprise Programme 2020
A2Dominion's Enterprise Programme 2020
The inspiring entrepreneurs were among a record-breaking 80 applicants to sign up for the programme last summer, attending six months of workshops to:

  • Develop their business ideas into professional plans
  • Improve their presenting skills, and
  • Gain a full understanding of what makes a business succeed.
The participants then put their knowledge to the test in two knockout rounds before being chosen to pitch for one last time in a boardroom final.

A new format

Originally scheduled to take place in March, this year’s final was delayed due to the Covid-19 pandemic, forcing A2Dominion to rethink how the event could be safely held. Instead of pitching to the ‘board members’ in person, the five finalists each took turns to present online via Zoom from our Ealing office. Samples related to the entrepreneurs’ businesses were delivered to each of the panel members’ houses in advance, so they could fully evaluate the businesses and products being pitched to them.

On the judging panel this year were:

  • A2Dominion Chair of Governors, Ian Cox
  • A2Dominion board member and Chair of our Customer Advisory Panel, Caroline Tiller
  • A2Dominion Director of Housing, Dawn Wightman
  • Director of A2Dominion Developments Limited, Mark Gallagher
  • Director at Pearl Project Investments Ltd, Aftab Rafiq, and
  • Director of Contactus Ealing, Carlene Bender
Dawn Wightman, A2Dominion’s Director of Housing, said: “I am in awe of this year’s winning entrepreneurs and how they adapted to the new online format for the final. They delivered outstanding, passionate business pitches and their hard work and dedication throughout the programme has rightly earned them their investments.

“This has been one of the strongest years on record for the Enterprise Programme and these inspiring businesswomen are all true role models for their local communities.”

The winners were also awarded a business mentor for 12 months, who will help them start up the business and put the investment to good use.

Meet the fantastic five!

Keira Bhatti, Ealing - Keira received £2,374 towards her business ‘Keira’s Mobile Beauty’, which specialises in providing nails, brows and makeup with an all-natural, vegan range.

Louise Brown, Hounslow – Louise was given £2,550 to develop her custom-made candle business ‘B the Light’. The candles use eco-friendly wax with natural colouring dyes and fragrance. They include customised lids from recycled costume jewellery and healing crystals to give new life.

Anna-Kay Oginni, Chiswick – Anna-Kay received £2,076 towards her mobile restaurant business ‘Anna-Kay’s Kitchen on the Go,’ which offers healthy homemade everyday meals with a Caribbean twist. Her delicious meals are sold throughout the United Kingdom at festivals, exhibitions and events, online or direct.

Tiffanny Thompson, Southall – Tiffanny was given £4,000 to build up her fashion business, ‘Only Saint’. The business sells unique pieces including jumpsuits, bikinis and swimsuits for that poolside glam look. Only Saint will cater to individual needs for events such as Pride, carnivals and glam festivals.

Donna Bell, Uxbridge – Donna received £4,000 to grow her eyelash extension training school ‘Lash Amore’. The school provides students with specialised training, free access to an educational portal and is the only short course provider to have a compulsory assessment process. Donna has also developed unique beauty products to support the course.

See more pictures from the Boardroom Final.

About the Enterprise Programme

If you’re an A2Dominion customer with a business idea, then we have a dedicated team to help take your business to the next level. Simply visit our enterprise page, fill out the form and a member of our team will be in touch. Good luck!

Former 2017 Enterprise Programme finalist Coretta Scott has recently launched her own hair care business. Read her amazing story!