The Supply Box
Schools and supply teachers don’t always get a fair deal from the private agencies that dominate the £1.3 billion market; they take cuts of up to 50% of a supply teacher’s salary, which is expensive for schools and results in poorly paid supply teachers. That’s why I started Supply Box, the ethical “Uber” of education.
Supply Box was not just another agency, it aimed to put the control and profits back into the hands of schools and supply teachers. We intelligently matched schools and supply teachers according to their needs and preferences through an online platform.
What made you decide to start up your own business?
I have always been passionate about education and entrepreneurship, but it wasn't until after I had graduated and worked for a learning trust of 45 schools that I got the spark for my business idea. I began researching it alongside my full-time work and realised I was really on to something. At the same time I saw the opportunity to apply for Founderships and I grasped it with both hands!
Tell us about your journey so far
With support from the Founderships programme I carried out intensive market research with my customers. I focussed on really understanding the problem and discovered that it is actually much bigger than I originally anticipated. I also discovered that my original idea wasn't fit for purpose and therefore had to go back to the drawing board. I pivoted on my original idea and came up with something much better.
The thing I have most enjoyed about running my own business is the variety. As a start-up I am involved in every single aspect of the business, from pitching to investors to PR, and everything in between
Aside from working on my start-up, the Foundership programme really helped me grow and learn as an entrepreneur, building key skills such as resilience, focus and self-reflection. These are essential skills that can’t really be taught, but Founderships gave me the opportunity and space to build them.
What are your next steps?
I am actually no longer working on Supply Box and I'm about to start my PGCE and train to become a geography teacher. Having worked in education for so many years, I felt it was about time to go out there and get my teaching qualification.
I love working with young people and really missed it over the last few years so I can’t wait to get started. Other than that, I have one or two entrepreneurial projects that I am working on in the background, so watch this space! Once you have the entrepreneurial bug, I don’t think you can stop!
What is your tip for Newcastle University students and graduates in the process of setting up a business?
Make the most of your free time as a student, speak to Rise Up and go for it!
How was your experience of working with Rise Up?
Rise Up have been fantastic in supporting me both start and accelerate on my entrepreneurial journey. The access to experienced business advisors, mentors and wider business network has been priceless.
Chloe Mortimer, The Supply Box
Course: BA History, 2011
Business Start Date: 01/09/2015
No. Employees: 1