How could MADE 2016 benefit you?

How could MADE 2016 benefit you?

This year MADE is returning for its 7th festival which is set to help entrepreneurs gain inspiration, network and consider a different route to success.

Last year saw hundreds of businesspeople gather in Sheffield for the event, which featured big names including JB Gill of JLS and Annabel Karmel, as well as big brands including Microsoft and innocent drinks.

The event also championed the stories of local entrepreneurs including Jenny Mortimer from KyNa Boutique.

One entrepreneur to benefit from the event was Natalia Welch from Pura Panela which produces a natural alternative to sugar.

After being inspired by a holiday trip to the Eden Project in Cornwall, Natalia was inspired to create Pura Panela using panela - an unrefined cane sugar. Its production is one of the most important economic activities of Natalia’s home country, Columbia.

She explained: “I was amazed to see a display of panela in the rainforest at the Eden Project, but they had no stock for sale. I spotted an opportunity to import it, to bring the taste of Colombia to the UK.”

Natalia has attended the festival for the past two years. She said: “I have always found it really exciting and inspiring.  Last year I even had my picture taken with JB Gill holding my product.”

Since attending MADE, Pura Panela is now part of the programme Cerrando Brechas (‘closing the gaps’) created by the Colombian Ministry of Agriculture and FEDE Panela, which is a cooperative of more than 350 family-run producers of panela. Natalia is the UK ambassador for the scheme.

Her next step is to run a crowdfunding campaign to support the development of a new range of panela-based drinks. 

The firm will produce its own Guarapo - a natural lemonade from a traditional Colombian recipe - and cold brew café campesino - a cold brew coffee made with panela.

Thanks to inspiration from MADE, Pura Panela is partnering with another local Sheffield business, Twin Café, to create cold brew Panela coffee together.

Similar success has been seen by Sheffield branded merchandise company Steel City. The firm attended MADE last year, and since then have been inspired to take the leap and move into their own office.

Steel City took a former printing works on New Street and transformed it into their very own New York loft style office.

“When we got there I was transfixed by the old, unloved building at its entrance,” commented James Biggin, managing director. “It was bare, had only electricity and needed a lot of work, but I could see its potential. Having vision and exploring ideas is what my business is all about.”

Almost a year on from discovering the building, Steel City’s team of nine moved in this month.

“The building still looks very plain outside, which we like because people’s eyes light up when they walk inside,” said James. “We find our new home an inspirational place to work, we’re in the heart of the city.

While MADE has proven itself great for inspiring existing businesses to take the next step, it has also inspired the birth of brand new businesses, such as Squidge & Pip.

Entrepreneur Mary Lord attended MADE six months before the launch of the brand.

“I didn't believe I was an entrepreneur when I entered the City Hall that day but by the end of the day I was proud and excited to give myself that title,” she said.

Squidge & Pip, which launched to the market in March this year, was conceived through Mary’s own personal experience as a mum. The company produces its own range of premium teething toys.

“Squidge & Pip launched to the market in March this year, with much inspiration and social media tips picked up from last year's MADE speakers, especially Annabel Karmel and Paul Lindley,” said Mary.

“In the short time since our launch we have featured in some well-regarded mother and baby magazines, and we have recently been shortlisted for the Smallish Design Baby Gift Award.”

For your chance to attend MADE 2016, powered by Atom Bank, and catch the last of the early bird tickets, visit

Early bird ticket sales end Friday at midnight. 



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