Derby Swap Shop – the brainchild of three Derby businesses – has celebrated its expansion into Leicester with a raft of awards finals, and an appearance on the BBC
The free to trade platform – offering skills and services swaps for small business and charities – was created at the start of lockdown in May 2020 by Ask the Chameleon, Huub and think3.
Fast forward a mere 4 months, and the Swap Shop has 260 members, over 80 active swaps, and has expanded beyond Derbyshire, into Nottingham and Leicester.
Simple and easy to use, small businesses and charities create their free account, upload their “offer” and explain what they want in return (their swap). All promoted via an accelerating social media following, the sites have seen over 10,000 hits in their short life to date.
Lee Marples, one of the Co-Founders and Director of think3 said “ We can’t quite believe it ourselves, but it goes to show that we have reached into something that small businesses and charities need and want. We are determined to help each other get through and couldn’t be more proud of what we have achieved. We were delighted to be recognised as a finalist in the Business Improvement through Technology category of the East Midlands Chamber of Commerce Derbyshire business awards which we hope will help us reach even more businesses“.
The story was picked up by TV reporters who interviewed both Lee and Rachel Hayward of Ask the Chameleon, one of the other co-founders. The reporters also spoke to 2 swappers – Natalie Bamford from Colleague Box and Kerry Ganly from Penguin PR. Filmed at Colleague Box’s new HQ in Derby, Natalie said “it was great to have the opportunity to talk about Colleague Box’s journey as well as the amazing concept that is Derby Swap Shop , who brought Colleague Box and Penguin PR together into the wonderful partnership we have today”
Kerry Ganly said“ Derby Swap Shop is a fantastic initiative and has been great for Penguin PR. For us, it’s been a good way of networking and feeling a part of the Derby business community at a difficult time for the UK.
“We absolutely loved the idea of Colleague Box and were more than happy to help Natalie and Adam to raise the profile of such a simple but brilliantly creative brand. Who wouldn’t want to receive a Colleague Box full of goodies through the post?!
“Natalie and I hit it off straight away and have formed a great relationship. We’re looking forward to taking part in more Swaps and working with Colleague Box – and other local businesses – again in the future.”
The swap shop team are having a bumper week, with the launch of their 3rd platform – Leics Swap Shop – for Leicester and Leicestershire, championed by 3 local small business owners. One of them is Nicola Moss from Moss Social. Nicola said “ with over 20 business people at our launch this morning, I was taken aback by the breadth and variety of their businesses. We already have over 10 amazing swaps to offer our small business community here in Leicester, our membership has already doubled in one day and I am delighted to be part of this new way of working.”
The Derby Swap Shop team also competed in the Midlands Finals for the Great British Entrepreneurs Awards, in a virtual awards ceremony. Shortlisted from over 2,600 entrants, Derby Swap Shop was a finalist in the Entrepreneur for Good category in the Midlands region. Rachel said “to be shortlisted amongst such inspiring businesses and individuals is enormous. We have only been going 4 months and we can’t believe what we have achieved, Derby Swap Shop is so much more than the 3 businesses who created it, we owe all of this to our supportive business and charity community across the region and the support we have received from East Midlands Chamber of Commerce and Marketing Derby in particular”
Dean Jackson of Huub is the final co-founder of Derby Swap Shop, he said “we have always known how great our small business community is here in Derby, we needed a quick simple and practical way to bring us together as a larger force for good, to be able to help those in need. Swap Shop is the perfect platform to do that”.
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