One of the most exciting things about working at Crowdfunder is getting to see what happens next. What happens after someone is funded by the crowd? What happens when the doors to the business are officially opened or the website goes live? Or, in this case, what happens when two very excited project owners face a line of dragons?
In 2009, Jonny and Antonia—a husband and wife duo from Newcastle Upon Tyne—set out on a journey to create a hand cream like no other. Before the coronavirus pandemic, nurses and midwives washed their hands an average of 55 times a day. This repetitive hand washing had, and continues to have, extreme side effects on their skin with 80% of nurses having suffered from severely irritated, dry and cracked hands.
In fact, on average, the NHS spends £9m per year to cover for sickness and absence caused by contact dermatitis.
So when Antonia was forced to take two weeks off work from her job as a paediatric intensive care nurse because of her hands, the couple had an idea that would change their lives. They set out to create the perfect hand cream to soothe, nourish, and protect hard working hands.
In 2011 they began working with Newcastle Science City and a panel of British nurses to come up with the perfect formula that was approved for use in hospitals.
Though it wasn’t just loved by nurses. Their product was perfect for anyone suffering with dry and cracked skin, from mums to carpenters to hairdressers.
But what next? They had a product with the possibility to change lives but they needed the funding to get it out in the world.
In 2018, the duo set up their very own crowdfunding campaign with an aim to raise £20,000 to fund their first production run. They also made a promise. That for every pledge and product sold in the future, they would give free hand cream to a nurse or midwife. A promise which still stands today.
“The NHS is quite simply, one of the finest organisations in the world. Anything we can do to make it easier for those who work in it – sign me up.”
“Fully supportive of you both. Having suffered with contact dermatitis several times now because of excessive hand washing, I’m always looking for a good hand cream specific to the needs of nurses.”
“Love this initiative. Supporting in honour of my little sister & countless other nurses who take such good care of us in times of need!”
Needless to say their campaign closed successfully having raised £23,338 from 439 supporters!
What happened next?
In the years since crowdfunding, Nursem has gone from strength to strength. They’ve created more products, including an unfragranced range for those with extra sensitive skin, and continue to change the lives of nurses and healthcare professionals.
But that’s not all.
Tonight, at 8pm, the duo will be pitching Nursem on Dragons’ Den in the first episode of the new series.
Ten years ago, Nursem was just an idea. Then the crowd came together to make it happen and now this duo are ready to face a line of dragons for a product that can change lives.
Everyone here at Crowdfunder is ecstatic and we’ll all be tuning in tonight to see what happens.
After a year that has seen NHS workers face unimaginable challenges, we have everything crossed for Nursem and hope the dragons agree.
A Dragons’ Den update
After pitching their business to the Dragons, the couple had a big decision on their hands. You see, they received offers from all FIVE Dragons!
In the end, they accepted the bid from Tej Lalvani, the CEO of the UK’s largest vitamin company Vitabiotics.