Chloe graduated from Bristol University with an engineering degree, expecting to find a career in this field. However, instead of going straight into full-time work, Chloe spent 6 months working in Bolivia on a menstrual health project and was shocked by the lack of knowledge the local young girls had on menstruation. Despite poor facilities and limited access to sanitary products the women and girls were facing, they had more of a concern for how disposable products damage the environment. Upon Chloe’s return to the UK, she questioned why we aren’t doing more to tackle these problems. In February 2015, her passion to find these answers led her to establish her own social enterprise; No More Taboo.
No More Taboo’s three main areas of focus are selling sustainable sanitary products, running education programmes for young people worldwide, and running charitable projects to break the taboos of menstruation. Chloe had no experience on the topic before she went to Bolivia, but through her passion to make a change she has turned into somewhat of a ‘period’ expert.
Reusable sanitary products aren’t a new concept for the industry, but what makes Chloe’s business unique is that 100% of the profits are directed into charitable projects. Chloe also offers choice; she isn’t limiting herself by partnering with the companies of the products she offers.
Chloe found out about the Start & Grow programme by attending a Business West ‘Business Planning and Finance’ workshop. The programme gave her the support she needed to start her social enterprise.
“The help from Business West has been brilliant. It’s accelerated me into doing other things that I wouldn’t have otherwise thought about. The programme opened a lot of doors for me that I didn’t really expect. There was lots of support for my business plan and figuring out the logistics of hiring interns. I was also connected to lots of new contacts.”
Chloe Tingle, No More Taboo
Chloe was made aware of the financial opportunities available to her business; however she decided to try funding streams as an option first. This paid off, as Chloe successfully raised over £7000 on Crowdfunder. She also received sponsorship from Bristol University for the education programmes she has run in three secondary schools in Bristol, and is currently exploring funding opportunities with organisations related to her cause.
As well as gaining initial support from the Business West Start & Grow team, Chloe also received a year’s free membership to the Business West Chamber of Commerce, which will ensure her business is constantly supported and networked with relevant support services. She will also receive two further years of mentoring from Business West which will give her the opportunity to engage in quarterly webinars covering such as legal, finance and marketing.
Chloe is certainly striving for success with her social enterprise. She is currently adjusting her business plan to focus on a subscription model for the short-term future. Chloe also wants to make her educational programmes more inclusive for both genders and look into gender neutral products to launch on the website, for example, toilet roll and environmentally friendly cleaning products. She is also finding her ‘Period Parties’ to be successful and will continue to hold these for individuals and other businesses. For Chloe, No More Taboo is less about the ambition of making money, and more about educating young people globally to feel empowered and not shy away from the topic of menstruation. The Business West Start & Grow team will be on hand to help Chloe every step of the way with any issues she may face on her social enterprise journey.