Every month, we’re celebrating a member of the GBEA community who has shown incredible entrepreneurial spirit. And, as a reward, Glen Scotia Single Malt Whisky will be sending bottles of its classic Double Cask and 15 Year Old single malt Scotch whiskies.


And we’re delighted to announce that May’s winner is Rachel Hayward, founder of The Swap Shop!

Rachel launched The Swap Shop, then called Derby Swap Shop, in the early weeks of the Covid-19 pandemic to “poke Covid in the eye” as it dealt her other business a huge blow. 

With the help of others, Rachel created a platform in less than two weeks to encourage businesses, individuals and charities in the Derby area to support each other throughout the pandemic by offering swaps, whether it was products, services or reviews. In May, and newly branded as The Swap Shop to operate across the country, the business celebrated its first birthday by hitting its target of 700 members in the first 12 months, and will now end the month at more than 800 with its 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.”