To continue our ‘Women in the Spotlight’ series, Carly Taylor, Co-founder of NPIF investee business Real Handful talks about her role, how NPIF has helped her business to grow and what International Women’s Day means to her.
– Explain your role in the business and what your business does?
I am the co-founder of Real Handful – a healthy snacking brand that produces a wide range of natural flavor infused fruit, nut and seed snacks. We have a huge client list including major retailers Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Waitrose and Holland and Barrett.
– How has NPIF helped your business?
We recently received £250,000 from NPIF – Maven Equity Finance, allowing us to invest in product development, as well as sales and marketing activities to develop our commercial offering. The loan is also enabling us to expand our team, creating 14 new jobs in the Manchester region. It’s a really exciting time for the business and with the healthy snacking market booming, our growth potential is huge.
– Do you work in a male dominated industry and, if so, would you say it’s impacted your career?
The food and drink industry has a good balance of male and female employees so I have been fortunate that this has not affected my career.
– Who would you class as your biggest influence/role model/mentor and why?
My husband is my biggest role model, he started Real Handful in 2014 and until I joined 12 months ago I had little appreciation for what he had achieved. His perseverance of Real Handful has been truly inspiring, yet he will always make time to support others on their start up journey and in turn has created a fantastic team.
– What is the best and most inspiring piece of advice you have been given on your journey to far?
‘Work hard and be nice to people’ it’s a simple approach to life that has worked so far.
– Would you say more needs to be done across all sectors to create a better gender balance?
Yes, there needs to be more appreciation for flexible working for both genders, it’s the only way we can create a true gender balance across all industries.
– What does International Women’s Day mean to you?
International Women’s Day is an opportunity to honour the women who have been at the forefront of fighting against gender inequality, it is a day to remind us to look beyond our borders, our sex and race, and to think about how we can make future progress daily. Although there has been significant progress in our society, IWD raises awareness of how much further there still is to go on a global platform.
The Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund project is supported financially by the European Union using funding from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020 and the European Investment Bank.
Maven Capital Partners UK LLP is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority, Firm Reference Number 495929