Startup spotlight: Voucher Shares, enabling ethical shopping
As we continue our series of flash interviews on startups to watch in 2020, we speak with Tatiana Larsen, CEO of Voucher Shares, the UK’s leading green voucher codes website.
Hi Tatiana, could you explain Voucher Shares to me?
Voucher Shares was founded in 2018 with the idea of creating something that could be truly rewarding for everyone. The business was co-founded by myself and my colleague, Miranda Coombes. We are two experienced female entrepreneurs who are both working mothers and keen nature lovers, who care deeply about our planet’s future.
Voucher Shares has quickly become the UK's No 1 Green Voucher Codes website which is revolutionising voucher code sharing, by giving its users the ability to save on thousands of great products. They can also share voucher codes, offers, discounts and deals and be rewarded for doing so. And it does not stop there. Voucher Shares is proud to support the World Land Trust (WLT), an international conservation charity that provides permanent protection for the world’s most biologically significant habitats and wildlife. So, we are enabling our users to save money, earn money and help the planet along the way.
What sets Voucher Shares apart from other voucher platforms?
What sets Voucher Shares apart from our competitors is our sustainable and sharing ethic. Whilst welcoming all UK online retailers, we are educating our users that sustainable shopping does not have to be expensive. They can still shop with their usual favourite retailers, but offset the potential impact on the environment by supporting World Land Trust - the international conservation charity, where Sir David Attenborough is a patron.
The sharing element of the business came from my previous experience with internet businesses, where the business was built mostly on the “revenue share” offers to our affiliates. Whereas at Voucher Shares, we are giving the option for shoppers to share deals with their friends and get rewarded for it. So, every pound spent by our shoppers on VoucherShares.co.uk ultimately helps to save our planet.
3. What was your last major milestone / award?
After being involved in some very exciting projects and selling one of my successful start-up businesses, my main milestone for www.VoucherShares.co.uk was successfully launching it to the market and proving its unique monetisation model.
The voucher codes market is extremely competitive and launching something new, that is liked by both, retailers and shoppers alike, is quite a significant achievement. And of course, the sustainability angle and World Land Trust support means a lot to the business and to me.
Creating any successful business creates a lasting legacy - be it developing a new product, exploring a new market, or just simply creating jobs and income for many employees and their families. With Voucher Shares, we have an opportunity to create a more significant and long lasting legacy by helping to save our planet, which has been a long term ambition of mine.
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4. Is there any exciting news you’d like to share with our Business Chief Europe readers?
Voucher Shares as a business shows it is always possible to find innovative business ideas in an overly competitive industry. When starting the company, we had very limited resources but a large amount of creativity, which has proven to be significantly valuable. Along with this and being full time mothers, we want to leave a legacy which says that, if you are passionate enough about something then anything is possible, if you put your mind to it.
In terms of news, we are incredibly satisfied of how far the business has come over the past year, and we are aiming to grow bigger in 2020. And as the business grows, we are working towards being more proactive in providing direct support of sustainable businesses here in the UK and abroad.
5. What can we expect from your company in 2020?
For 2020, our focus is primarily on growing the business and raising awareness of the environmental issues that are impacting our planet. A recent study of ours has shown that 63% of females and 48% of men felt guilty of buying ‘fast-fashion’ in 2019. So, at Voucher Shares we want to use our influence to educate consumers on how they can be more sustainable and environmentally aware when shopping online, going forward into 2020.
We also plan to launch new website features to increase customer engagement and expand our business outside the UK. Internet businesses can never be the same, it is a fast and technologically intense market. So, we have many great ideas on how to keep evolving with the times, deliver the best user experience and customer value.
About Tatiana Larsen
Tatiana started her Internet business career in the early 2000's. She has co-founded and managed a number of successful projects that evolved from self-funding start-ups into multi million pound businesses. One of her latest ventures, a Swiss Tech company, was successfully sold in 2015.
After this, Tatiana decided to focus on something that can bring immediate benefits to those who are around right now, and those who will follow them in future. After discussing Voucher Shares with Co-Founder Miranda Coombes, it was decided that the new business model had to be based not only on the individual benefits for website users, but also on sharing the benefits with the planet.
For more information on all business in Europe, please take a look at the latest edition of Business Chief Europe.
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