Every month our partners at the Great British Entrepreneur Awards celebrates a member of its community who has shown brilliant entrepreneurial spirit. 

As a reward, GBEA partner Glen Scotia Single Malt Whisky will be sending bottles of its classic Double Cask and 15 Year Old single malt Scotch whiskies to the chosen entrepreneur or entrepreneurs.

May’s recipient of the award is Rachel Hayward, founder of The Swap Shop!

The Swap Shop, formerly known as Derby Swap Shop, was created in the early weeks of the Covid-19 pandemic after Rachel’s other business was dealt a big blow. She wanted to “poke Covid in the eye”.

Rachel created the platform in less than two weeks to encourage businesses, individuals and charities in the Derby area to support each other. They were encouraged to offers swaps of products, services or reviews.

In May, and newly branded as The Swap Shop to match its growing reputation across the country, Rachel celebrated its first birthday by hitting her target of 700 members in the first 12 months, and will now end the month at more than 800 with her sights set on the 1,000 mark by the middle of summer. 

Iain McAlister, distillery manager at Glen Scotia Single Malt Scotch Whisky, said: “Rachel’s adaptability in the face of adversity is what makes a great entrepreneur. Playing an active role in your community is something we know all about at Glen Scotia, so it is excellent to see her social enterprise idea, designed to help other local businesses, grow to a much larger scale. 

“We’ll raise a dram of our Glen Scotia 25 year old, a fitting tribute after it was named best whisky in the world this month, to celebrate this impressive milestone achievement and Swap Shop’s incredibly strong community of 700 members. It’s an exciting time in both of our journeys, and so we’re delighted to recognise Rachel’s hard work through this month’s Entrepreneurial Spirit award. Well done, Rachel.”