Ethical business entrepreneur Rebecca Wilton, founder of Choose Conscious

Business Transformation

Choose Conscious

In a relatively short space of time, entrepreneur Rebecca Wilton has grown her new business, Choose Conscious, from a simple but ambitious concept into a fully live, income generating online marketplace. Harland were at her side every step of the way and feel honoured to support and guide her through the sometimes daunting process of getting an ethical business idea to market ...

How it all began

A photograph of a jute laptop bag, one of the ethical products sold by Choose Conscious

What is Choose Conscious?

Choose Conscious is the online marketplace with a conscience. Allowing consumers to buy safe in the knowledge that their purchase is ethical, sustainable, environmentally friendly and vegan or from a vegan range.

What is your background?

I come from an entrepreneurial background, growing up in a family of business owners, however even back then I was aware of the impact that people and economic growth were having on the planet and I wanted to make a difference.

At uni, I studied Applied Biology with a focus on environmental science with a view to following a career in that field. I also wanted to travel and, as I have always lived by the sea and been surrounded by nature, in my 20’s I decided to explore South America. I went on to live in Brazil for a couple of years, where not only did I have a chance to continue my connection with nature but I also learnt a lot about how the world is divided by wealth.

On returning to the UK, I started my first business, a recruitment agency. I ended up pursuing a very corporate career, nothing to do with anything my younger self would have expected and in which I remained until recently.

Having made the connection between the role of business in the sustainability of the planet and how much damage can be done when it’s not even a consideration, I was very clear that setting-up Choose Conscious would have that ethos at its heart.

Wheels in motion

Photograph of Rebecca Wilton founder of Choose Conscious

How have Harland helped?

Having worked with Harland for over 20 years, they have supported me throughout all my business ventures. They are always there to advise me on financial decisions, and the financial planning strategy they put in place for CC is going from strength to strength.

Harland guided me through getting the right business systems in place from the very beginning, meaning that lots of complicated admin disappeared from my work load, leaving me free to focus on getting my idea to market.

They also worked hard to make my business as tax efficient as possible and get my VAT in order. For example, they helped me claim back VAT on money already spent. Something I was not aware I could do and has saved me £££s which I have been able to reinvest in the business.

How do you balance sustainability with finances?

Banking is a challenge as I wanted to bank in a way that was aligned with CC company values. I opted for Tridos in the end, as they are very transparent in terms of ethical investment. However, that has come at a cost as it is more expensive (in terms of charges) and it’s also not compatible with modern accountancy software, such as Xero. BUT Harland were so helpful in supporting me with the integration challenges. They found workarounds to integrating Xero, whilst also completely embracing my companies’ values.

Future forward

Photograph of some green leaves with rain drops on

Has the Covid-19 pandemic provided you with opportunities or made things harder?

Lockdown 1.0 was the week I was due to launch, so everything was put on hold! The delay also put back some of my financial projections, so when Harland advised us to apply for a Bounce Back Loan, we were hugely relieved.

What next for you and your business?

I have big plans for Choose Conscious as a brand and as a disruptive/challenging business. With Harland’s support, I’m working on a financial plan that will allow for growth and (the right kind of) investment to help take CC to the next level.

Excitingly, we are pending B Corp certification and I hope to have completed the full B Corp by the end of the year.

Interested in growing your own business?

We love working with ambitious businesses to help them reach their full potential. Get in touch to find out how Harland can help your business start its own transformation journey.

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