five small businesses that Steven Bartlett has tipped for bright futures

Steven Bartlett's passion for business, coupled with his intimate knowledge of these exceptional small brands, makes his recommendations essential reading for those seeking fresh and innovative ventures.
Elizabeth Jenkins-Smalley

Elizabeth Jenkins-Smalley

Editor In Chief at The Executive Magazine

Steven Bartlett is an exceptional individual whose remarkable journey as an entrepreneur would impress even the most accomplished moguls. Defying stereotypes, he exudes confidence, possesses keen business acumen, and stands out with his impeccable style and charm.

Hailing from Botswana but raised in Plymouth, Bartlett has a wealth of knowledge to offer aspiring entrepreneurs. A shining example of this was his recent involvement in eBay’s WINtern Tiktok initiative, where small business owners had the chance to win him as an intern for a day. “It was an incredibly invigorating experience,” Bartlett shares. “To visit someone’s business, provide them with the vital advice I wish someone had given me, and play the role of their intern… And let me assure you, I fully embraced the intern role—I cleaned, made tea, and, of course, shared valuable insights.”

Steven Bartlett Presents: Five Small Businesses to Watch

In the current landscape, where starting a new business presents unprecedented challenges, Bartlett’s expertise as a young entrepreneur proves invaluable. “As an entrepreneur, you need to be aware of the countless things you don’t know that you don’t know,” he explains. “Mentorship can play a role, but the internet is a far more valuable resource. It holds answers to almost everything.”

For those with exceptional ideas but lacking the confidence and resources to launch them, Bartlett offers tried-and-tested advice: “The first step is to create a concise ten-page deck. The initial page highlights the name, followed by two slides explaining the problem I aim to solve. The subsequent slides outline my solution and delve into other relevant aspects, depending on the industry.”

Bartlett emphasises that successful entrepreneurs need to share their ideas with thousands of people. “Contrary to popular belief, I’ve never written a business plan in my life. Instead, I’ve always focused on creating that ten-page deck. I’ve done it around five times, and two of those businesses have achieved nine-figure success, one reached eight figures, one failed, and one is yet to launch.”

Armed with this advice, it’s time to revive your PowerPoint skills. However, whether you have a deck or not, numerous young brands are defying the odds during these challenging times. Bartlett is well-acquainted with those that truly stand out. From two companies he interned with through eBay’s WINtern competition to a fast-growing fashion brand in Manchester and an eco-conscious solution for bottled water, here are five new businesses curated by Bartlett that deserve your attention.

The Chocolate Cafe

“I had the opportunity to work with The Chocolate Cafe as part of eBay’s WINtern competition. Philip, a remarkable entrepreneur, runs this business, creating authentic, handcrafted chocolates with ethically sourced ingredients. I even had the chance to make some chocolates myself, so if you decide to indulge, you might be enjoying something I crafted. It’s a wonderful business, and I greatly admire Philip for diving into the world of chocolate without any prior experience.”


“Represent is one of the few brands I consistently wear. In fact, I’m dressed head to toe in their attire right now. This British streetwear brand, founded by two brothers, deeply values the quality and style of their clothing. I’m currently sporting their 24/7 range, which lives up to its name—I wake up, work at the office, attend meetings, and even hit the gym, all in the same outfit. Represent is not the type of brand that slaps logos on generic products bought from China; they genuinely care about their craft.”

CanO Water

“The only water you’ll find in my house is CanO Water. This ethically conscious brand is transforming the way we consume water. Sourced from the Austrian Alps, their packaging is entirely plastic-free—an initiative I fully support as I’ve made a personal commitment to reduce plastic in my fridge.”

The Perfect Gift Co

“As part of the WINtern campaign, I had the privilege of working with Kirsty from The Perfect Gift Co. She creates exquisite slate tiles and other items pressed with personalised images. Witnessing her fascinating process was an enchanting experience. Starting with a low-resolution image on paper, she combines it with a piece of stone using heat, resulting in a perfect high-definition picture on the slate. It truly feels like magic to me, and Kirsty deserves all the praise and success.”

Feel Good Club

“Feel Good Club is a small business run by two wonderful wives. One of them previously served as my ‘head of happiness’ at Social Chain, where she dedicated six years of her life. Together, they established a mental well-being brand. Their Manchester-based community hub resembles a coffee shop but offers much more—a versatile event space that remains open throughout the day. They have recently released the Feel Good Club book.”

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