In 2020 whilst teaching in a primary school I frequently brought different animals into lessons, providing an exciting way to start new topics and introduce pupils to an array of animals. Throughout my time teaching I realised my passion for animals, this was something I have always loved, especially seeing the excitement on the childrens faces whenever I introduced them to animals they had never seen before.
This is where the name ‘Bug lady’ originated. Despite the specific title our portfolio includes a mixture of reptiles, amphibians and bugs, with a total of 30 animals at present. This figure is constantly evolving as we constantly take on new animals, the majority of which are rescues.
Despite always having an interest in animals I never imagined having a business centred around my passion. However, after research I discovered there wasn’t a local animal experience business. The gentlemen that previously ran animal parties in the area had retired, and whilst we were struggling to find someone that had availability for school visits it became apparent there was a gap in the market. With this in mind, I decided to set up Bug Lady UK in August 2021.
Not long after starting my business, I was advised to contact the Councils business adviser, Phil Means. I found the initial conversations with Phil useful, prior to this I was constantly searching online to find support, needless to say this was very difficult to navigate. Phil reviewed what I was doing and informed me about the support that was available, specifically the ARG Start-Up Grant, which following a successful application I received grant funding in December 2021.
Overall, the support was really helpful, not just with the ARG Start-Up Grant but Phil’s knowledge around setting up a business, he talked me through the stages and reassured me that things I had already done were correct, it was great to have that reassurance. Phil also questioned certain choices and asked what the process behind my decisions were, which again was incredibly helpful to reflect on some of the key decisions and ensure I was taking the right approach for the business. I would definitely encourage other businesses to contact Phil Means, I’ve already recommended him to one of my friends that runs their own business.
I’m grateful for the support from North Kesteven District Council, and Phil Means. I’m looking forward to 2022, I have plans to extend visits to special education schools, alongside the current offer that includes, childrens parties, educational visits and care home visits.
Lois Oliver ,
The Bug Lady UK
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