Posted: April 12th, 2015

Lucy moved to the UK 11 years ago, initially working for a recruitment consultant and after 2 years of progression within the firm she set up on her o

A Case study of an Entrepreneur – LUCY: Recruitment firm and “ILS Translation”


Lucy moved to the UK 11 years ago, initially working for a recruitment consultant and after 2 years of progression within the firm she set up on her own.  She now runs this and a second translation business.  Her businesses are based in Boston, Lincolnshire and now employ XXX people.  She also works for Boston College and a range of private, commercial and public clients.


Motivations and Beliefs – assessing the entrepreneurial character

She “loves what she does” and has a very supportive team of people working with her in each business.  One of her motivations is to give something back to communities and she regularly commented on the importance of high standards and ethical values.  (EXPLAIN IN RELATION TO THEORYON  ENTREPRENEURIAL MOTIVATIONS AND POSSIBLY SOCIAL ENTREPRENEURSHIP)

As part of her Polish university degree she had the opportunity for a 2 month exchange visit to the UK.  She enjoyed the independence that this offered, the polite people and the feeling of liberty that it provided.  After this visit, the recruitment agency held a job for her to return after her degree.

Her parents were not so accepting – for two years her dad wouldn’t speak to here.  In her mind she was “just a person travelling and exploring new opportunities”.  She said that she liked her independence and she intended to “see what happens” with “no plans whatsoever”.  (CITE INDEPENDENCE, DETERMINATION, OPPORTUNITY-DRIVEN ETC)

Subsequently, she referred to the support that her family had given through education that had enabled her these opportunities and the motivation that they had offered through her management degree so she was grateful to them.(FAMILY SUPPORT – PRIDE MODE DESPITE THE ABOVE?)

During her 2 years with the recruitment agency, she took extra business and accountancy training.  Her attitude was “do it properly or don’t do it at all”. (QUALITY MATTERS – ASPIRE TO BE THE BEST)

Despite the promotions, she was unhappy about the ethical trading, values and standards of the firm that employed her and this encouraged her to explore a different way to do the business.  “The industry has a bad reputation, I wanted to do it properly” (MOTIVATIONS TO GO IT ALONE – SELF BELIEF, ETHICS, INDEPENDENT MINDSET AGAIN)

She said that it was a risk but that it was a low risk because she didn’t have much to lose! A friend recommended her a retired solicitor in Boston and with this advice she was able to set up.  (LEVEL OF RISK – VERY PERSONAL)

She quickly got HR and accounting advisors on board too. (BUILD A TEAM/NETWORK)

As part of the business, maintaining local links and helping people to integrate was part of the motivation.


Entrepreneurship, Innovation and growth in the business

ILS translation was set up in 2009, this time against advice!  She had a feeling that there was a niche and an aspiration to help the local community. She gathered a group of friends to help set up the business – not a partnership as she was the sole proprietor.  The purpose was to help private individuals with EU languages and focused on the Boston area. (GUT INSTINCT, SELF BELIEF)

After 6 months she had many enquiries for many languages so she had to expand.  In particular, she found a lot of commercial clients coming on board too so it quickly became an international business with clients in the US, Belgium and Germany too.

In line with her emphasis on standards and raising aspirations, she sought accreditations for the business and she also secured a number of local awards.  She gives back to the local community through “Young enterprise” and working with Boston College.

She relies on a close team of trusted colleagues although has to buy in freelancers for some of the work now that it has grown.

Lucy was 21 when she set up her first business, after 2 years’ experience in the sector. (CHECK – does that means he got her Polish degree aged 19?)

“I wouldn’t dare set up in business without the necessary expertise and knowledge”  (EDUCATION AND SKILLS REDUCES PERCEIVED RISK)

The Polish community was important to held her to become established and to provide key networks and support.  However, now, it is less important as her business is firmly established and integrated into the local area.


Consultancy Advice – Future Expectations and growth plans

Further internationalisation?

New growth opportunities – audio/skype translation?

What challenges might further growth bring?


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