Entrepreneurs Hub 2021

Meet the first group of emerging designers and entrepreneurs who took part in the Entrepreneurs Hub Programme.

About the programme

Launched in October 2021, the initiative aims to support and empower the next generation of diverse design business leaders, with a focus on creative founders and designers from underrepresented backgrounds.

Over 8 weeks, participants were offered mentoring, business advice and exposure to industry leaders to help turn their ideas into viable concepts and foster a culture of experimentation and innovation.

The past year’s scheme, which ran from 4 October to 1 December 2021, celebrates and congratulates its first group of design entrepreneurs determined to unlock their potential and achieve their goals. From devices to improve work-from-home behaviours to fashion brands that empower positive thinking, to new, tactile wayfinding systems for visually impaired people, the programme acts as an incubator for new ideas from creative founders from across all areas of design.

the first cohort

Darryn Frost

Creator of Xpandabox, a collapsible box solution for safer parcel deliveries.

Deborah Akin

Co-founded ONBL (OWE NOTHING BUT LOVE) with Faisal Dacosta, a streetwear brand to inspire a movement and community around love.

Co-founded the fashion label ONBL (OWE NOTHING BUT LOVE) with Deborah Akin.

George Wu

Creator of PARA-PARA, a playful series of umbrellas that, when viewed in an app, form animated real-time graphic patterns.

Juga Singh

Created Papertwin, a precise and realistic visualisation solution for printing.

Kavya Jain

Creator of SENSEI, a range of tactile tapes for wayfinding in closed areas to assist visually impaired people.

Mohamed Gaafar

Founder of Sneakular, a platform to upcycle and reinvent sneakers.

Nadia Salt

Founder of APHRODISIA, a circular and sustainable lingerie and accessories label.

Nazia Kosar

Created STAR x CRESCENT, an Islamic lifestyle brand for modern Muslim lifestyles, with products such as Ramadan advent calendars.

Ponk Memoli

Founder of HTCH, a live collaborative app for architectural construction drawings.

Sage Toda-Nation

Founded SAGE NATION, a non-seasonal, genderless clothing label inspired by a celebration of Japanese and British design heritage.

Sam Beaney

Created LUMEN FAMILY, a device that uses computer imaging to help improve our health while we work.

Sara Berkai

Created AMBESSA PLAY, STEM toy kits for children aiming to demystify and diversify learning.

Theresa Olloh

Founder of HAMALIE, an e-commerce destination for contemporary African makers and brands.

Entrepreneurs portraits by Felix Speller.