The founders of the UK Swap Shop

Popular Swap Shop goes national

After helping businesses in the East Midlands to come to terms with the pandemic, the retro- themed trading platform that began as the Derby Swap Shop is now going national. More than 500 companies are

now signed up across swap shops covering Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire and Leicestershire since the concept – based on the Multi-Coloured Swap Shop TV series than ran from 1976 to 1982 – was founded by three Derby entrepreneurs during the first national lockdown. While the Noel Edmonds-fronted

show encouraged children to exchange toys and collectors’ items, businesses, freelancers and charities have been encouraged to trade free services such as video

editing, SEO guidance, paid social media advertising and website development support.

‘When the second lockdown took hold, we knew we couldn’t wait any longer and had to launch a national swap shop’

After businesses were hit again

by the introduction of a second national lockdown, the original Derby Swap Shop team has been contacted by firms outside the region in areas such as Kent and Peterborough – leading to the idea for The Swap Shop as a nationwide platform.

Rachel Hayward, owner of bid-

writing consultancy Ask the Chameleon and one of the Derby Swap Shop co-founders, said: “We have been overwhelmed with support for Swap Shops in the East Midlands and seen a positive response from small businesses and charities alike to help each other to get through this. When the second lockdown took hold, we knew we couldn’t wait any longer and had to launch a national swap shop.” Derby Swap Shop was launched

in April after Rachel, along with partners at triathlon kit specialist HUUB and creative and design agency think3 were inspired by an idea from Tracy Harrison, CEO of vulnerable children’s charity Safe and Sound. Huub co-founder Dean Jackson

said the UK Swap Shop concept will build on the group’s experience of running area-based swapping over the past six months. “Every day we hear about new

partnerships and opportunities arise out of those initial swaps and members are coming back time and time again to see what else is on offer and who they can help,” he said. “It goes to show how much we

can support each other using a model that plays homage to our childhood.”

For more information on the UK Swap Shop, visit, or email or

CSR scheme reduces environmental impact

A Derby-based business development consultancy is planting a forest of mangroves on behalf of its clients to help them reduce their environmental impact. As part of its ongoing commitment to CSR, Koa Consulting has signed

up to a scheme which sees it plant trees every month to support climate change initiatives around the world. The firm plants mangroves for itself and its clients, to help offset their

carbon footprints and support environmental projects run by Ecologi, an online social enterprise. Ecologi plants millions of trees every month on behalf of its supporters, as well as supporting a range of carbon reduction schemes. Koa Consulting’s efforts have already helped to offset more than seven

tons of CO2 so far – the equivalent of seven long-haul flights or 17,417 miles driven in a car – saving or 21 square metres of sea ice. The mangroves it has had planted have helped preserve prime Brazilian

rainforest and wind energy in Andhra Pradesh, India, just two of the projects supported by Ecologi. Koa Consulting is a business development consultancy which helps SMEs

to achieve growth by improving their processes, sales and marketing and customer service, through better business planning and strategy. It was founded in 2017 by Jade Brindley, a business development specialist with more than a decade of experience with organisations including East Midlands Chamber and New College Nottingham. Jade said: “As a business, we’re passionate about the environment and

wanted to do something which not only helps us to meet our CSR objectives, but gives us the ability to create a more sustainable future for ourselves and our clients.

12 business network December 2020/January 2021 “Our name was taken from the Hawaiian Koa tree, so there was a nice

synergy between our business and the projects Ecologi supports. “Through the scheme, we’ve planted 82 mangroves so far and the plan is

to plant more every month, with the amount increasing as new clients come on board. “It means that if you work with us, we don’t just help your business grow naturally, we help minimise your environmental impact too.”

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