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Former nurse embarks upon nutrition mission

Kate Wall, founder of Sheffield-based start-up Kate Wall Nutrition

A former nurse, who developed a passion for debunking fad diets and clearing up confusion when it comes to understanding nutrition, is hoping to help people across South Yorkshire fall back in love with the joy of eating.

Kate Wall launched her Sheffield-based nutrition business last October, working alongside her job as an NHS nutritionist, where she specialised in weight management, However, after calling for help from Launchpad, a unique programme, aimed at equipping new and aspiring entrepreneurs to succeed, Kate left her job behind in March to concentrate full-time on her fledgling business venture.

During her work within the NHS, Kate began to explore the often-hidden factors that can impact upon weight gain including diet, the environment, mental health, genetics and life experiences. She embraced a holistic approach, designed to give her clients the confidence to break unwanted eating patterns, but crucially without laying down strict rules when it comes to taking charge of their dietary habits.

The holistic approach Kate has developed rejects the common weight loss mantra of ‘eat less, move more’, replacing it with no set rules, instead focussing upon the joy of eating and helping her clients to understand the psychological link between eating habits, self-esteem and body image.

After trialling her ideas, Kate realised her approach was yielding long-term results, and during lockdown, the Totley-based entrepreneur began developing her ideas and transforming them into a business venture. Having devoted much of her career to working within the NHS, the prospect of running her own business seemed like a daunting one, and little more than a pipe dream.

She began to realise that the main thing holding her back was a lack of business knowledge.
After scouring the Internet for advice, to understand her responsibilities as a business owner, Kate contacted the Launchpad programme for guidance.

Working with Launchpad helped to give Kate the confidence to put her plans into practice. Collaborating with Launchpad, Kate talked through her ideas with an experienced business adviser, but she knew that giving up her full-time job would take a leap of faith, and one that she wasn’t quite ready to take.

Instead, Kate decided to continue working in her day job, giving her time to refine and develop her plans. Initially offering virtual consultations, to Kate’s surprise she quickly found her services to be in high demand, and since opening her business, she is helping people across Sheffield and the rest of the UK to help them lead healthier lives.

Kate has continued to actively participate in the Launchpad programme, helping her to develop her business knowledge, through one-to-one advice sessions as well as taking part in a number of workshops. Since working with Launchpad, Kate has successfully built her own website from scratch, developed a clear marketing plan for the business, as well as getting to grips with the all-important finances of starting a business.

Having dipped her toe into running her own business last October, Kate felt confident enough in the skills she developed through working with Launchpad to concentrate upon building her company full-time. Today, she is using her knowledge and expertise to help others tap into her philosophy of being able to eat without rules or guilt and is working towards delivering group sessions, workplace wellness initiatives, as well as working with schools and young people.

Kate Wall, founder, Kate Wall Nutrition, said:

“The link between what we eat and how we feel about ourselves has fascinated me for many years. Nutrition can impact upon many parts of our lives: from the quality of our sleep, ability to move and even our mental health. Very often conditions such as obesity are symptomatic of other problems we experience in our lives, and I wanted to work with people on a deeper level so I could get to know them, their needs and address the root causes of their nutritional behaviours.

“I knew launching a business from scratch would be a huge gamble, especially as I’ve spent most of my career working in the healthcare sector. Working with Launchpad made me realise that I could take things at my own pace. I decided to trial my business, whilst continuing to work, and this gave me the time I needed to explore how the business would work, as well as helping me get to grips with the fundamentals of running my own company.

“Working with Launchpad gave me the confidence to believe that my business idea could succeed, and the workshops have helped me to achieve things I could never have imagined in my wildest dreams, such as building my website, as well as providing an opportunity to ask questions and get answers, which has been invaluable as the company has evolved and developed.”

Jane Gregory, Launchpad adviser, said:

“Starting any new business can be an exciting journey, but Kate realised that she would need time to build her client base, as well as understanding what would be involved in running her own company. One of the most common mistakes many new entrepreneurs make is thinking that they will instantly be able to earn a living from their business idea. In reality, it takes time to build and grow a sustainable business.

“It’s one of the reasons many successful businesses start life as a part-time venture. This can be invaluable for new entrepreneurs as it provides the time needed to build a strong business model, as well as testing their ideas.

“The workshops Kate attended gave her the confidence and knowledge to build her own website, which I think is an incredible achievement, especially as it’s helped her to secure clients from across the UK, who are tapping into her wealth of knowledge and expertise when it comes to improving their relationship with food.”

Launchpad is a business support programme for new businesses. Financially supported by the European Regional Development Fund and delivered by local authorities within South Yorkshire, Bassetlaw and The Prince’s Trust. The programme provides free help and support to budding entrepreneurs who are thinking of starting their own business or looking for help to achieve business growth.

For more information on the Launchpad programme and how it operates, contact the Growth Hub Gateway on 03330 00 00 39 or visit the SCR Launchpad website