Dacorum’s Den - a winner's story
Gilded Bee applied for Dacorum’s Den in 2017 shortly after starting its corporate gifting business based in Tring. Founded by Emily Stone and Vicky Thomson (pictured below), it was one of the successful applicants to be awarded £1,000, which it used to help build its first website. We spoke to Emily about her experience:
Would you recommend Dacorum’s Den?
Yes, I would highly recommend taking part in Dacorum’s Den to any small business or start up. It can support you with crucial business planning, fine tune and build confidence in your proposition and gain some financial support.
How does it work?
To apply you have to write a business plan and complete an application. This process in itself is incredibly helpful as many businesses do not spend enough time on these vital steps. The Council's Business Support team will help guide you through this process. If your application is successful you then present to the panel of judges, following a similar format to the TV show Dragons’ Den. Again, we found this exercise incredibly useful as it gave us a deadline to work towards to ensure we had a concise and compelling proposition.
What did you win and how did it support your business?
We were lucky enough to win £1,000. We used the money to build a professional website, which enabled us to sign up several large businesses in our first year of trading. As part of our prize we also won membership to Hemel Hempstead Business Ambassadors, which helped us form stronger relationships with our local business community.
It's been a tough few years for small businesses. How are you getting on?
It's been a bit of a roller coaster over the past few years with some massive highs and lows. We've needed to adapt our proposition to the market, but we've always stayed true to our core, which is to make the people most important to your business feel valued through thoughtful gifts.
Wellbeing, sustainability and supporting local suppliers have always been important to us and these have become even bigger focuses for us as time has gone on. It's been six years since we were one of the winners and I'm proud to say that we are a profitable small business employing several local professionals and supporting many other small local companies by selling their products in our hampers, including Puddingstone Distillery’s gin - who were also a past Dacorum’s Den winner.
We have offices in Tring and our clients include some of the world's largest companies either direct or through agencies, including Google, TikTok, PA Consulting and Element Six, along with local clients Wills and Trust and PP Wealth. Other local suppliers we work with include Big Day Designs in Northchurch and Almars in Tring.