Sally shines a light for small businesses

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A Preston entrepreneur who launched her own business after spotting a gap in the market while studying in China says it was the best move she’s ever made.

Sally Bennett, 27, from Longton, launched Beanmade Candles four months ago after teaching herself how to create the products, and drawing on her previous experience in new product development in the food industry for Marks and Spencer.

The business is going from strength to strength and Sally, a UCLan graduate, is setting her sights on supplying high street department stores.

She has been supported in getting her business off the ground through Boost, Lancashire’s Business Growth Hub and its Growth Support Programme, which helps entrepreneurs develop business plans and grow their enterprises.

The fully-funded Growth Support Programme, delivered by Winning Pitch and Enterprise4all, provides help to develop a personal action plan, Lean Launchpad sessions outlining key principles for developing a new business and one-to-one coaching support for fbusiness owners.

Sally, who studied nutrition at university, moved to Shanghai to study Mandarin and while she was there she identified a gap in the market for handmade British products.

She started experimenting in making candles from soy beans and essential oils and eventually started selling her candles at markets in Shanghai.

The soy wax candles and melts are made from pure soybean oil meaning they burn longer and are cleaner than paraffin wax, with little soot build up.

In the long-term Sally wants to export the products back to China as well as selling them in this country.

So far, the candles are stocked in stores in Penwortham and Tarleton and she sells them online too.