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Entrepreneur Seeks Potential Business Women in Honour of International Women’s Day


An award-winning entrepreneur is looking to help others ‘Be Bold For Change’ this International Women’s Day (8 March 2017) by offering free mentoring to women wanting to start a new businesses.

International Women’s Day (March 8) is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating gender equality. The theme this year is ‘Be Bold For Change’.

Julie Chen, the Director of the award-winning Essex based business, The Cheeky Panda, has a proven track record in international business. There is little she does not know about starting a successful new venture, having taken an idea for bamboo toilet tissue and made it a reality; a process involving everything from dreaming up a product and getting it made, to crowdfunding and producing a much-admired brand.

Knowing what it is like to find success herself after making some bold and successful changes in her life, Julie now wants to help other women who want to start a business of their own.

Julie, who is originally from China, but now lives in Shenfield in Essex, explains:

“I was born in a small town in China, moved to a big city for university, then went on to study in Japan and later University of Glasgow for my Masters, so I understand what it is like to make bold but successful choices, having also made a success of a number of businesses I have worked with.

“For me, this has all culminated in running the award-winning The Cheeky Panda. I now feel with all the skills I have, it is a good time to give something back to other women by offering my support as a mentor.”

Julie is offering her mentoring to two women who are looking to start new businesses in 2017. One of the women should be based in Essex while the other can be anywhere in the UK. Julie is an expert in global sourcing, import & export and she has years of experience sourcing goods from and working with manufacturers in the Far East.  She is also experienced in branding, crowdfunding (see notes), digital marketing, social media, and search engine optimisation (SEO).

Julie, who is fluent in four languages, said:

“Running The Cheeky Panda, I am passionate about sustainable business, so I would be particularly keen to hear from anyone who wants help starting a green business. I would also be interested to hear from anyone with an international background like me, although I am delighted to consider all applications and will pick the two I think best meet all the skills I have so I can support them to my best ability.”

The Cheeky Panda, winner of Essex’s Big Business Boost Award 2016, makes 3-ply bamboo toilet paper. This means rather than using traditional toilet paper or recycled toilet tissues (which use de-inking chemicals that can cause potential health hazards), people in the UK will now be able to purchase toilet paper which is made from 100% virgin bamboo pulp that is 100% tree free.

One of the great things about bamboo is the fact it is a grass and unlike trees (which take 30 years to grow), bamboo harvests every year. It has many skin-friendly benefits including being super-absorbent, hypoallergenic and naturally anti-bacterial (great for toilet paper use).

Julie Chen also said:

“We all want to make better choices. Sometimes we are just simply not bold enough to make a change. By offering a free mentoring service to women who wants to start their own businesses, I’m hoping to encourage more people to make better choices for their lives and for our planet.’’

Women interested in having Julie as their mentor are asked to go to the contact page on The Cheeky Panda website and enter their name and contact details (including email, phone number and address) and explain in 200 words or less what the business is they would like to start, or have recently started in 2017.

To apply visit