With obesity and inactivity growing to dangerous levels in the UK, more entrepreneurs are championing a healthier lifestyle, whether it’s through technology, food and drink, or clothing designed to encourage more exercise. As the public becomes increasingly aware of the health problem, these businesses are among the most popular and exciting in the UK. Here are GBEA’s 20 most exciting health & fitness entrepreneurs to watch in 2019.
Christopher Weeks & Alastair Byrne – Bouncebot
Christopher Weeks and Alastair Byrne are the founders of Bounce, an app that helps users to improve their mental health every day through a messenger service. Using artificial intelligence, Bounce tailors its activities to help users boost optimism, improve resilience and regulate their emotions.
Paula & Andy Hannagan – Bounce Food
Paula and Andy Hannagan are the husband and wife founders of Bounce Food, a range of healthy, tasty & nutritious snacks. Both formerly personal trainers, they converted their garage to create the protein energy balls that would quickly become household names in the fitness industry and for the mass market looking for a healthier snack.
John Grumitt & Mike Trenell- Changing Health
John Grumitt and Mike Trenell as the founder of Changing Health, which utilises its own artificial intelligence engine to help people make lifestyle changes that last a lifetime. Users receive highly personal and relevant evidence-based education and support based on their needs and preferences.
Joanna Jensen – Childs Farm
Joanna Jensen is the founder of Childs Farm, an award-winning range children’s sensitive skincare that is made using naturally derived ingredients. The majority of the range is registered with The Vegan Society, and is certified by Cruelty Free International.
Stephanie Eltz – Doctify
Despite being a surgeon herself, Stephanie Eltz came up with the idea for Doctify when she struggled to find a specialist doctor for her concern. Doctify is a rapidly growing online platform that allows patients to search for specialist doctors and book appointments 24/7, helping to ensure patients are connected with the right doctor.
Daniel Shellard, Ian McCraig & Sammy Adhami – Fiit
Daniel Shellard, Ian McCraig and Sammy Adhami are the trio of founders behind Fiit, an interactive, online platform disrupting the way the fitness industry operates. Fiit gives exclusive access to instructors they know and love from their living room in an attempt to break down barriers to exercise and make fitness addictive.
Gerard McAdorey – Free’ist
Gerard McAdorey is the founder of Free’ist, an award-winning range of sugar-free snacks that don’t compromise on taste or that ‘treat’ feeling. Leading a sugar-free revolution in the UK, Free’ist started with a range of larger chocolate bars before expanding with smaller versions, cookies, popcorn and sweets.
Alex Hind & Stephanie Newport-Booth – GoSweat
Alex Hind and Stephanie Newport-Booth quit their roles as Aldi area managers to launch GoSweat in 2016. GoSweat is an employee perks platform that allows users to find and book fitness classes and activities to fit around their lifestyle and schedule, without needing to sign up to monthly contracts. The platform also provides personalised rewards and activity measurements to allow employers to better manage their team and tailor the package.
Ben Francis – Gymshark
Ben Francis is the founder of Gymshark, a fitness clothing and accessories brand. Launched from his parents’ house at the age of 19 in 2012, Ben has built one of the fastest growing businesses in the UK with millions of social media followers and customers across over 130 countries and sales reaching £100 million.
Sara Roberts – Healthy Nibbles
Launched in 2014, Healthy Nibbles is a range of healthy and nutritious snacks, created by Sara Roberts. Sara started the business after discovering how difficult it was to find healthy snacks in city centres offices and travel hubs. With the fast-paced nature of daily life, Healthy Nibbles is on a mission help employers improve their culture and workplace wellness.
Adam Jones & Natasha Louca-Jones – iNVNCBL
Husband and wife Adam Jones and Natasha Louca-Jones are the founders of iNVNCBL, a series of tough obstacle course races set in the Welsh countryside. Set over 5, 10 and 15km, iNVNCBL’s courses test the physical strength and endurance, fire, tenacity and ambition of its participants. With its three events making up the ‘Gluco Triad’, those able to complete all three receive ‘iNVNCBL Legend’ status.
Cary Kikis – KIKI Health
Cary Kikis is the founder of KIKI Health, a range of dietary and beauty products designed to cleanse, detoxify, heal and nourish. Often criticised for countless chemicals and synthetic ingredients, KIKI is leading the charge for a 100% natural supplement industry, with its innovative use of 100% raw, plant-based, gluten-free and vegan ingredients.
Darren Beale – MuscleFood
Launched by Darren Beale, MuscleFood is an online retailer that provides specialised high-protein and lean foods for those who want to increase muscle mass. It has received seven Great Taste Awards between 2014 and 2017, and is the only producer ever to have one a Great Taste Award for chicken breasts.
Oliver Cookson – Myprotein
Since launching in 2004, Oliver Cookson has established Myprotein to become one of the leading sports nutrition brands in Europe. With a team of athletes and social media influencers, Myprotein’s has grown to sell products in over 70 countries. Building on its success with nutrition, the company expanded into fitness clothing, using cutting-edge performance fabrics that support any body shape or size.
Nick Bildner, Ben Lewis and Simon Ashburner – Pulsin
Having met at University of Bristol in 1998, Nick Bildner, Ben Lewis and Simon Ashburner soon started dreaming of running a business together. It would be eight years before they made their first energy ball from Nick’s mum’s kitchen using raw chocolates, dates and guarana, and they launched the Pulsin soon after. The company has grown consistently over the past decade, adding to its product range.
Eren Ozagir & Matt Elcock – Push Doctor
Eren Ozagir and Matt Elcock are the founders of Push Doctor, an online medical consultation platform that allows patients to discuss their symptoms with registered GPs via an app. Started in 2013, Push Doctor allows patients to receive medical advice, same-day prescriptions and sick notes from over 7,000 GPs.
Chris Pointon, David Naylor & Josip Balaževi – Racefully
Created by the trio of Chris Pointon, David Naylor and Josip Balaževi in 2014, Racefully is an activity-tracking app that allows friends to virtually exercise together, even if they’re on the other side of the world.
Joe Wicks – The Body Coach
Joe Wicks, AKA ‘The Body Coach’, is a fitness coach, social media influencer and author, famed for his ‘Lean in 15’ range of recipes and high-intensity home workouts. After growing a social following for his short recipe videos, Joe built The Body Coach brand starting with his range of 90 day ‘Shift, Shape, Sustain’ plan before moving onto a series of best-selling recipe books and kitchenware.
Suzie Walker – Primal Pantry
While working as a nutritionist in 2013, Suzie Walker was becoming increasingly frustrated by the lack of healthy snacks she could recommend to her clients. She blended some fruit, nuts and spices and Primal Pantry was born. Alongside the range of snacks, Primal Pantry is making a name for itself with its recipes, nutritional and lifestyle tips.
Matt & Hayley Hunt – The Protein Ball Co
Matt & Hayley Hunt are the husband and wife founders of The Protein Ball Co, the original protein ball brand, which launched in 2015. Hayley first started rolling the balls as snacks for the family, but now has over 100 recipes with more than one million balls rolled every month and sold in nearly 30 countries around the world.
Entries for the 2019 NatWest Great British Entrepreneur Awards are now open. You can register and enter for free here.