All the feels for the meals served by a company with a strong business model
We caught up with ProToGo founder and former model, Valérie Aelbrecht. Launched in 2016, ProToGo has seen rapid growth since its’ launch and is showing no signs of slowing.
Tell us what your ProToGo is and what your business offers?
We make healthy on-the-go meals that are high in protein, all natural, clean, creative and tasty, as well as transparent in nutritional values.
All of our products we deliver straight to your door; via our website. We’re equally as happy delivering to a local gym or straight to your office desk. Whatever is most convenient for you.
What was it that inspired you to set-up your own business?
When I was modelling I was constantly travelling and on the go. I found it very hard to find something healthy that is also filling on the high street in London.
The more people I spoke to, the better idea I realised I was coming up with. It seemed a lot of them were struggling with the same problem. After extensive research and testing, I realised that protein was the key to keeping you full, satisfied and healthy for longer. So this led me to launch ProToGo in June 2016 which was a very proud day.
Do you think an Entrepreneur ISA and a Small Business Savings Allowance would have helped aid your company’s growth in the early stages?
100%. As I am not paying a wage to myself yet I took a loan from my parents. The Entrepreneurs ISA would have helped me with establishing a more stable base. Also I believe the Small Business Savings Allowance could have helped us dealing with cash flow problems better.
Good ideas which can have a positive impact on people, should not be stifled by the lack of cash-flow opportunities. The better the impact on society, the more support that new businesses deserve to get.
What have been the biggest challenges you have faced so far?
The biggest challenge is growing while being on a tight budget. Often you need to take a hit first before you can grow. The investment in growth until now always came from our own balances, which puts a lot of pressure on the cash-flow. A little extra support from the Government could well have given me a kick-start and would certainly have help me grow.
What advice would you give to budding entrepreneurs?
Starting out alone can be a very daunting prospect. Many people start-up with someone else due to this. I was confident that I could do this, as long as I had the right people around me. This led me to look for a business mentor. And I was fortunate to find a very good mentor.
What is your proudest achievement to date as a company?
We launched a new platform at the beginning of the year and grew our team by four extra people this month. We’re still growing and we'll be a team of seven once the new team members join the ranks!
Valérie Aelbrecht is the founder of ProToGo