Sole traders, solopreneurs or sole proprietors – whatever you like to call them, a business person who is running their operation alone certainly has some guts.
There are obvious advantages of full control. First and foremost, no one to clash with. On the other hand, however, there are also upsides for those who decide to share the workload with a business partner.
The team at so-sure wanted to find out what kind of relationships exist behind the co-founders of these top startups and the advantage to have a partner.
We asked each one of them one question and got their point of view.
What Are The Benefits Of Working With Business Partners?
Katie Buckett |OneFifty Consultancy
Katie is a digital brand communications expert, with experience working for both global and UK organizations. She and her co-founder, Alex Pearmain, set up OneFifty together in 2015.
“I would find it very difficult to do it on my own because entrepreneurship it is quite a lonely place. There is loads of pressure – the highs are highs and lows are low. No one else can quite appreciate those highs and lows. The only person is Alex. It’s quite a special thing to share these moments with someone. It’s also just quite practical, if you can’t make it to a meeting, there is a bit more flexibility if your partner can step in for you.”
Pip Wilson | amicable
Pip Wilson is the co-founder of amicable. She is an entrepreneur and technology expert who is passionate about using technology to tackle social issues. She founded amicable with her business partner, Kate Daly.
“It’s good to have someone to bounce ideas off. amicable’s first year started slowly as I was still tying up a few loose ends from the sale of my previous company. Kate had been working for her own business. For the first year we were prototyping and refining the idea and it was just the two of us. It would have been so lonely if it had just been one individual. The advantage is that you have someone else to work with who is just as passionate about the idea as you, so that keeps you motivated. You also benefit from having different ways of looking at things.”
Lilia Stoyanov | Transformify
A chief executive officer and angel investor at Transformify. Lilia is a FinTech and digital transformation expert. She is also a professor at
“We bounce off each other. We have very different backgrounds and this helps us when we need to see the big picture. The different points of view add creativity and criticism which are much needed for the success of any project.”
Rachel Hugh | The Vurger Co
Rachel, alongside co-founder Neil Potts, founded The Vurger Co in 2016. The Vurger Co’s mission is to revolutionise fast food forever through the power of plants.
“Definitely trust! When you know and trust your partner, it’s super easy to rely on one another for everything. N
Alex Bodini | Spinbrands
Alex is co-founder of Spin Brands, a social and digital marketing agency specialising in SMEs & Startups. Having previously worked in large agencies, Alex met his co-founder in more entrepreneurial ventures and created Spin Brands to serve a huge gap in the market.
“It genuinely does feel like 1+1 = 3 when there is a good partnership. You feel three times as strong, as resilient and capable of making the right decisions. Sharing successes and high points with someone else too is extremely valuable.”
Gauthier Van Malderen | Perlego
Gauthier is the co-founder of London-based Perlego which aims to tackle one of the biggest pain points for students with its e-book subscription service for textbooks. He and his co-founder Matthew Davis set up Perlego in 2016.
“We have several core members in the team but by being in a team, when I’m having a bad day Matt can lift me up and vice versa. Plus, you live the highs and the lows together. Doing it by yourself would be quite a lonely thing. You’re sharing that burden with someone else.”
Matthew de la Hey | Inploi
Matthew is co-founder & CEO of inploi, a cutting-edge recruitment/HR-tech platform based in London. He set up inploi with Alex Hanson-Smith, and Chris Mackie in 2015.
“It would have been impossible to do this alone! You are taking on a pretty insane task with a lot of things stacked against you and a lot to learn along the way. Having to do that alone would have been very difficult. Often times, if you’re having a bad day the other person is not and you can pick each other up. The advantages are also that you can have another set of perspectives and look at solutions or problems from a different angle that you might not have thought about. Lastly, it’s good to have someone to share the burden and have fun with.”
Tessa Clarke | OLIO
Tessa and Saasha Celestial-One are the co-founders of OLIO, a free app which harnesses the power of mobile technology and the sharing economy to provide a revolutionary new solution to the problem of food waste.
“To be honest I see only upsides of working with a co-founder! Together we’re able to cover a far broader range of skill sets and bring a more diverse set of experiences and perspectives to the table. All this ultimately makes the business far stronger. Plus, having someone who is on the same startup rollercoaster as yourself is absolutely invaluable in terms of mental and emotional support. When it comes to strategy, product development and marketing initiatives
Alice Holden | Attollo Lingerie
Alice is this director and co-founder of Attollo Lingerie which caters for D+ cupped figures. She runs the business with co-founder, Fleurette Mulcahy.
“It’s someone to share the experience with. When we first left university none of our friends could really relate to the fact that we were running off to meet the CEO of banks, or meet managing directors of massive multinational companies; running board meetings, pitching for investment, controlling shareholders. It was a very abnormal environment to be in from quite a young age with very little experience but we had each other to share that with. We know other business owners who have founded on their own and have said that they wish they had had a partner to share everything with. So I guess that’s a big benefit that we’ve enjoyed.”
Jasmine Eilfield | Expocart
Jasmine is the co-founder of ExpoCart which she set up with Ryan Farquson. The startup is on a one-way mission to reinvent the way people discover, hire and buy products for their exhibitions.
“Running a business can be extremely isolating. Having someone to work with helps balance the pressure, especially when difficult decisions need to be made. Having someone to bounce it around and talk through in detail when they know the business so well is crucial.”
Do you work with a business partner? What advantages do you see that otherwise you wouldn’t? Share your experiences in the comment section below.