Rochdale entrepreneur gives back to local business community thanks to support programme

Date published: 21 November 2023

The founder of Rochdale-based The Manchester Soap Company has shared her journey into starting a business.

Kim Edge started her company after struggling to find natural skin care products to help with her son’s skin condition.

Kim was unhappy with the ingredients and the amount of plastic waste that came from them. After doing a lot of research into natural alternatives, she started making soap just for family and friends.

In 2020 she was made redundant and used it as the catalyst to set up The Manchester Soap Company and has been running the business ever since.

Last week she shared her journey with budding entrepreneurs at Fire Up Co-Working Space on Maclure Road, Rochdale at GM (Greater Manchester) Business Growth Hub’s ‘Launchpad into EnterprisingYou’.

She said: "These past few years, starting your own business can be a daunting experience.

"Thanks to the EnterprisingYou programme offered by the GM Business Growth Hub, I am grateful that my business journey has never been a solitary one. It is always reassuring to have someone I know I can turn to for advice and guidance whenever and wherever I need it.

“It is great to know that EnterprisingYou has chosen to hold its first-ever Launchpad into EnterprisingYou event in Rochdale, as it is a thriving business community with an entrepreneurial spirit. As part of the community, it's amazing to have the opportunity to share my experiences with fellow entrepreneurs."

A recent poll conducted by revealed that almost 40% of adults desire to launch their own business but lack the necessary knowledge and resources to do so.

During the Rochdale event, attendees highlighted their primary concern when it comes to starting their own business, which was understanding the legalities involved in the process.

The event served as a platform for people who are passionate about a new business idea or have been cultivating a budding start-up to meet like-minded individuals, share experiences of their business journey, and explore opportunities for collaboration.

Caroline Jones, Senior Business Advisor for Start Up & Growth, said: “The impressive turnout for the event has once again demonstrated Rochdale's reputation for having a thriving business community and innovative mindset, and Kim’s story shared during the event exemplified the entrepreneurial spirit deeply ingrained in the community.

“It was wonderful to have such a huge turnout for our first Launchpad into Enterprising You event. I was delighted to meet so many enthusiastic and passionate potential start-ups. With the encouraging result, we will extend these events to all of Greater Manchester, introducing our new fully funded support programme to individuals with the drive and passion to turn their ideas into successful businesses.”

EnterprisingYou assists aspiring entrepreneurs in Greater Manchester with a business idea to transition into self-employment easily, start new ventures, or explore growth opportunities for their existing businesses.

Offering innovative workshops and expert advice on assorted topics, including personal skills, marketing, and business/personal finance, the programme is tailored to assist individuals in launching and enhancing their businesses, enabling them to achieve their objectives quickly and accurately.

Yvonne Sampson, Head of Enterprise at GM Business Growth Hub, said: “The Launchpad into EnterprisingYou event in Rochdale was a great success and provided an excellent starting point for us to roll out the entire programme to every part of the Great Manchester.

“For all individuals thinking of starting a business in Greater Manchester, GM Business Growth Hub is committed to offering them the right business support to allow them to turn their passion into a flourishing business.”

EnterprisingYou will be running further Launchpad into EnterprisingYou events across Greater Manchester.

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