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Hilary – Purple Shoots success story

Purple shoots success

Starting a business is never easy, but some people’s beginnings seem harder than others. Today’s Purple Shoots success story is just one such start-up.

Having had a 25-year business and legal career in both private and public sector Hilary (not her real name) had built up considerable expertise in the development of people. However, for 12 years she had suffered in an abusive relationship with a partner. After finally being able to escape, she found herself in a difficult financial situation. Mortgage arrears and debts left by her ex-partner, while simultaneously becoming a single working mum. Hilary was then diagnosed with cancer and was forced to have a lengthy time not working while she underwent the cancer treatment.

Having pulled through the cancer, Hilary decided the time was right to build a business for herself. She would be able to work around her children and put to use her extensive talents in leadership and mind-set consultancy. The business was aimed at business owners and entrepreneurs. Through networking, Hilary gained a few clients almost straight away. Then lockdown hit. Opportunities for networking and developing her business stopped. Again, Hilary found herself struggling on benefits alongside trying to dig herself out of her residual debt.

The end of lockdown restrictions saw Hilary’s resilience and determination as she tried again to start her business. However, this time Hilary needed a helping hand financially. Finance for marketing and networking to begin building the customer base to enable her business idea. Regardless of her career history, outstanding skills and the proof that her business was initially a success pre lockdown, all the funding options Hilary tried only saw her debts and poor credit score.

Through the Single Mums Business Network, run by Julie Hawkins another Purple Shoots success story, Hilary discovered Purple Shoot. Purple shoots recognised the determination, resilience and entrepreneurial spirit that she is bringing to her role and offered her a small loan.

The business is now fully open again and Hilary is steadily building her client base. The business growth is giving her a steadily increasing income allowing Hilary to repay her old debts and build a new life for herself and her children.

Although Hilary is happy for us to share her story, because of her past experiences of abuse we are unable to promote her business as we would usually.


Duport give 10% of all company profits to the Purple Shoots, helping start-ups and ongoing businesses with financial assistance.


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