High-flying Essex Startup shortlisted for national award

  • Date

    Mon 12 Feb 24

Abisola Bright

A high-flying Essex graduate turned successful entrepreneur has received special recognition after being shortlisted for a major award.

Abisola Bright has been shortlisted for the prestigious Young Entrepreneur 2024 award in recognition of her success setting up Polishpad, a dedicated business management tool for nail technicians.

Abi set-up the platform with the support of the Essex Startups team after graduating in 2019 with a BSc in Econmics. 

During her final year at Essex, Abi began training as a nail technician in her spare time, alongside participating in Essex Startups workshops to develop her business skills and build her business plan.

Abi continues to receive mentoring from the Essex Startups team to develop her business and regularly contributes to their programmes, supporting the next generation of entrepreneurial-minded students.

Abi said: "Being shortlisted as one of the top three entrepreneurs to watch in 2024 is an incredibly meaningful milestone for me, particularly as it pertains to Polishpad.

“This recognition strengthens our commitment to leaving a lasting, meaningful impact on nail technicians and the nail industry overall. I am dedicated to reshaping and elevating the industry by pushing creative boundaries, introducing valuable solutions, and fostering positive transformations.

“As an ‘entrepreneur to watch’, I eagerly anticipate contributing to the growth and evolution of both nail technicians and the nail industry in the coming year, aiming to enhance the overall experience and success of professionals in this field."

Based on the Colchester Campus, Essex Startups offers wide range of training, support, and funding opportunities to our community of budding entrepreneurs.

The team supports students and graduates with established business ideas and those interested in working for themselves in the future, providing the knowledge and guidance to help turn dreams into a reality.

Head of Essex Startups Andy Mew added: “We are delighted to see the efforts of Abi and Polishpad being recognised in the 2024 Top 100.

“I've had the pleasure of working with Abi over the past few years and it's a well-deserved accolade. We hope that 2024 is an even better year for Abi and her business.”

Each year, shortlists candidates for the Young Entrepreneur Award, recognising the top founders under 25 whose businesses feature in the Startups 100 Index, in which Polishpad features.

The index has previously identified well-known brands, such as Monzo, Deliveroo and HelloFresh.