Winner of the LEAP Start Up Programme 2021 – Oanh Brophy of Return Ware

by | 5th October 2021 | Uncategorised

LEAP winner announced!

oanh brophy

A local entrepreneur has won £2,500 towards her new business start-up at the LEAP Business award ceremony at The View in Seaford.

Oanh Brophy came out on top after two separate groups presented their business plans to a panel of judges in an online ‘Dragon’s Den’ style competition.

Oanh, who has over 10 years’ experience in product design has set up Return Ware Ltd which is a reuse service platform to help eliminate food packaging waste in the takeaway industry. They deliver high quality brushed stainless steel food containers to food vendors on a subscription basis, the containers are used by end consumers and returned to be professionally cleaned and used again and again. Oanh’s team collects, cleans and redistributes the containers to vendor partners to form a circular model.

The runner-up, who received a prize of £500, was Victoria Holden who set up Chalk Productions earlier this year following redundancy. Chalk work with the best filmmaking professionals in the business to tell innovative, real-life human stories that touch the hearts of audiences.

In excess of 40 candidates applied for the LEAP start-up programme in 2021. Councillor Johnny Denis, Cabinet member for Customers and Communities and a LEAP Dragons Den judge said: “It’s so encouraging that even during these unprecedented times, the entrepreneurial spirit is still coming through. Congratulations to all candidates for showing great enthusiasm for their business ideas, especially Oanh and Victoria.”

“Small businesses are the drivers of our local economy and the Lewis District Council Co-operative Alliance will always support them and all other enterprises in the district at this incredibly challenging time.”

Thanks to ERDF funding via the Business Hothouse initiative, the LEAP business support offering was expanded last year to enable the start up programme to be delivered across a wider geographical area and also introduce an entrepreneurial leadership programme offering extensive support to business leaders. The business leaders who evidenced that the programme had made a difference to the daily running of their business were awarded a £1000 prize, many congratulations to Paul Cox of Paul Cox Sculpture and Clare Treves of LT Property Improvements Ltd.

Graham Peters, Vice President of the South East Local Enterprise Partnership, attended and reported “I was delighted to attend the LEAP Awards Ceremony and meet so many great entrepreneurs from Sussex.  My congratulations to the winners and to all the participants of the programme.”

The LEAP Start-up Programme 2022 will be open for registration in November, however you can register an interest now by e mailing The 2022 programme is open to anyone who lives in the Lewes District and is considering starting a new business.

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