These three London-based entrepreneurs have decided to put the planet before profit with help from NatWest.

Many of us have changed our habits in light of the environmental issues affecting our natural world, from plastics destroying our oceans to the animal farming industry wiping out forests.

But there is hope as consumers and business owners change their habits to ensure we don’t just continue with “business as usual”.

NatWest is also throwing its weight behind the movement through its Entrepreneur Accelerator programme, which extends for six months and delivers mentoring, unique workshops for wider enterprise education for those looking to develop their business.

Harrow Times: Jack Kennedy's business, Dodo. Jack Kennedy's business, Dodo.

Harrow Times: Claudia Gwinnutt's business, Circla.Claudia Gwinnutt's business, Circla.

Harrow Times: Chris Davies' business, HarvestLondonChris Davies' business, HarvestLondon

One quarter of the spaces are reserved for start-ups specifically focused on making a positive climate impact, and we spoke to three of them to find out more about their ventures.

Jack Kennedy, 29, with his co-founder Csaba Szabo started Dodo in early 2020.

He said the inspiration to found Dodo came from a shared passion for the environment while combining their skills and expertise.

Dodo helps companies to automatically measure, analyse and reduce their carbon emissions and become climate positive in just a few minutes.

The platform can estimate a company’s carbon footprint and set up a subscription that automatically invests in carbon offsetting projects around the world.

Harrow Times: Jack KennedyJack Kennedy

Jack said: “I’ve always been passionate about animals, I’ve lived in the countryside for ages, caring for the environment has always been an underlying theme for me.

“I think it’s better to stay positive about how things are going, the negative news has spurred on a lot of people, but looking at solutions coming out it’s not like we don’t know the answers, we just need to get going.”

Jack said the NatWest accelerator program “has been absolutely fantastic, being part of a shared Whatsapp and Facebook group – we get lots of tips around product development, writing articles, and setting up websites”.

Claudia Gwinnutt, 31, founded Circla in 2020 which she says was born out of frustration after seeing how much plastic was ending up in our oceans.

Harrow Times: Claudia GwinnuttClaudia Gwinnutt

Circla has taken the traditional milkman service and reimagined it for beauty and home care products.

The website allows you to shop from a curated collection of independent beauty and home care products in packaging that is collected directly from your doorstep when you reorder.

Claudia said: “I started looking at my own consumption patterns, I’d previously worked at Barclays, having a fast-paced on-the-go life style which was consumption excessive, and I realised I was a big contributor to the problem and saw a market opportunity.”

Harrow Times: Every order Circla receives is delivered via bicycle couriers and electric vehiclesEvery order Circla receives is delivered via bicycle couriers and electric vehicles

Harrow Times: Beauty products in Circla's rangeBeauty products in Circla's range

Circla has a growing customer base and receives very positive feedback, with people saying “I can’t believe this didn’t exist before!”.

Claudia added: “NatWest have been amazing, the best part is the one-on-ones with a mentor who is available to me as much as I want, and keeps me accountable to my plan and focus areas, I sometimes struggle with wanting to do too much at once.”

Harvest London started in 2018, it is a hydroponic farm in Leyton, supplying speciality produce across the capital, with plans to expand.

CEO Chris Davies, 36, explained: “I felt the need to do something else, what triggered starting Harvest London was me and my co-founder Matt Chlebek meeting - I’m the boring business side of it and Matt is a plant biologist and plant scientist, who knows everything about plants.”

Harrow Times: Chris DaviesChris Davies

Harvest London focuses on growing food which would normally have to be imported.

Its three main areas are herbs, leafy greens and fruiting vines, such as tomatoes, aubergines, chillies and cucumbers.

“Our feedback has been incredible because we go from harvest to delivery in four hours so the quality is better as well as the consistency and shelf life,” he added.

Harrow Times: HarvestLondon uses modern agricultural techniquesHarvestLondon uses modern agricultural techniques

Harrow Times: HarvestLondon farms in a controlled environment, providing crops with the exact mix of light, water, nutrients and humidity that they need to thrive.HarvestLondon farms in a controlled environment, providing crops with the exact mix of light, water, nutrients and humidity that they need to thrive.

To find out more about each business, follow these links:



Harvest London: