Hello, I'm Bethan.
I’ve got a bit of a secret to share to start with - I’m actually an adopted northerner, having been born and bred down in the midlands.
I came to York in 2010 to study history at The University of York and left with a good degree, but little idea of what I actually wanted to do with my life. I wrote a reasonably popular blog during my studies which focused on food and local events. (You can actually still find some of that old content on this site in my blog archive.)
After graduating in 2013, I boldly decided that I wanted to eschew the usual graduate career path and start my first business, Vincent's Coffee, which was focused on building a direct to consumer ethical coffee brand. I spent a lot of time learning how to do all the business basics (like invoicing - so. much. fun.) alongside developing the brand, e-commerce store and implementing the marketing and sales strategy. This was my first taste of marketing and building brands. I was hooked.
After Vincent’s Coffee and building my understanding of ethical business practices I acquired Bright Ethics, an ethical certification standard, with the idea of developing the certification process and licensing out the IP.
Throughout my career I have always been fascinated by technology, particularly building and growing software products. Whilst I’m not a full-fledged developer, I am familiar with software development/Agile processes and have delivered projects as part of a SaaS Product Team. If you want to read more about my professional expertise and experience, please check out my consultancy page.
I’m also a regular speaker at events, ranging from local meet-ups to international conferences. My passion for building ethical companies has never gone away and you will find me spending a lot of time talking about building better businesses and how we make the tech industry more inclusive for all.
Like most people I love to travel, explore new places and try new things. I'm the kind of person who says yes to every opportunity, even if that pushes me past my comfort zone.
More about my various ventures...
I acquired Bright Ethics in 2014 with the aim of taking a concept stage business and developing it into a fully realised venture. Since then, Bright Ethics has undergone a significant period of research and development.
Our unique certification for small businesses is designed to help SME's implement, and most importantly evidence, their ethical policies and practices. In order to display our heart mark, a business or sole trader has to demonstrate that they have met our robust ethical standards in four key areas of operation.
This certification is designed as an assurance scheme, allowing customers to clearly identify ethically verified organisations and their products/services.
The York Guild of Entrepreneurs
I founded the York Guild of Entrepreneurs back in 2016 as a not-for-profit Guild which supports York’s local start-up ecosystem and provides a community platform for founders, entrepreneurs and small business owners in the city.
The Guild runs a regular programme of events and meet-ups throughout the year.
York on a Fork
As of January 2017, I have stepped down from my role with YOAF due to time constraints as my other projects expand. However I wish the team great success in the future - something which I'm sure they will achieve!
York on a Fork was started by Ben Thorpe as a food blog, with the aim of recording his culinary experiences across the city of York, UK. Around this time, 2013 onwards, I was also running a York based food blog, Audacity of Food.
With an eatery opening almost every week, we realised there was a serious market for food news in the city. We decided to team up alongside our creative director Grace Neal to create a culinary digital hub for York.
Since then we have taken a simple food blog and turned into into a digital/printed magazine and fully responsive website, reaching thousands of food fans across the city.
After graduating university in 2013, I decided to jump straight into the world of business and start my own company, Vincent's Coffee.
I wanted to create a coffee company which was not only dedicated to sourcing and blending the most exceptional coffees, but also placed ethics at it's heart (you will see there is a theme running though everything I do!)
As this was my first business, I had to overcome a particularly steep learning curve and made many mistakes along the way.
Despite many setbacks and difficulties, I count Vincent's as a personal success, as it enabled to me to acquire many of the skills and habits which have propelled me forward into new ventures.