Hammie Tappenden of Island-based [Solent-based] business IntoBiz has been changing lives for almost 30 years, and in recognition, has been awarded the MBE in the New Year’s Honours List. Hammie, who has been helping people set up their own businesses since 1992, works mostly with people for whom self-employment is the only viable route to work, however scary that might be for them.

Hammie’s unique and successful approach means that she works with the person, rather than delivering a standard programme on start-up business process.  She knows that being able to successfully run your own business is as much about confidence, self-belief and resilience as it is about having a good product or maximising profit margins.

Hammie started her own business from university, and was successful internationally before choosing  to live on the Isle of Wight. Now working between the Island, Southampton and Portsmouth she is an advocate for supporting women into their own businesses, having run many programmes over the last 20 years for women in the Solent region.

Hammie is most proud of her work with those for whom full time employment is the hardest to achieve – the long-term unemployed, women returning to work, those on probation, recently naturalised refugees.  For these groups, self-employment is their only realistic option for a return to work and their own income; but also, a way to regain self-respect and self-confidence.  Hammie’s work with these groups has been instrumental in helping them to develop their own employment, and many new businesses in the Solent region.

“There is only one person to go to on the Isle of Wight that can truly help and move forward new business” said Airon Baker of A.B Events and V-Dub Island, “and that is Hammie Tappenden. Without Hammie helping and guiding our business we would have really struggled”.

Hammie’s creative approach to business training – including a programme that links the baking of bread with the understanding of business finances (“let’s make some dough!”)  and a programme that develops active upcycling skills as a route to product development is as engaging as it is successful, for transferring business skills to participants almost despite themselves.  It is this ease, engagement and human approach that has made Hammie one of the most successful start-up support consultants in the country, and sets her achievements apart from other more orthodox consultants.

Hammie may not have helped in the creation of million-turnover business (not yet, anyway) but she has helped hundreds to find a better life through sharing her expertise, counselling small businesses and helping people to believe in themselves as Entrepreneurs.

Hammie also works with Learning Links with the Junk 2 Funk project which helps people move forward in life! Junk To Funk offers the support you need if you have aspirations of employment and self-employment. Helping you to make your business ideas a possibility. We are really proud of you and the work you continue to do! Well done, Hammie!