International Women's Day - Celebrating female entrepreneurs
Jackie Mulligan - Founder and CEO of ShopAppy.com
In 2016, after spending time as a Principal Lecturer and Director of Enterprise, Dr Jackie Mulligan, from Saltaire in Yorkshire, founded ShopAppy.com – a social enterprise which helps communities support their local shops from home. For the last five years Jackie has been helped not only by her mother, but also her daughter too and now could not imagine running her business without them.
Says Jackie: “My mum, Maureen Hague, had been retired a few years. She had previously worked as Practice Manager for a large legal department so was highly capable and quite a force to be reckoned with. She was very active in her home village of Thornton le Beans near Northallerton and was running numerous clubs and groups - craft and chat, book donations, the village hall committee, food deliveries – you name it – she was involved! But she was still on the look-out for something else to do and took a natural interest in ShopAppy.com from the start.
“Back in 2016 we went out together to talk to small business owners to gauge interest in the concept of ShopAppy and she immediately signed up around six businesses in a morning. I discovered she was a natural salesperson – something I’d never realised about her before! In no time at all she was virtually running all the early signups throughout the UK. I later employed more local coordinators to work in different regions as there was so much interest and the business was growing so fast, and mum then moved on to a crucial role in planning and problem solving. She’s absolutely brilliant at finding solutions - whether it’s in logistics, technical issues, customer relationships or sourcing information. In fact she’s so good at sourcing info that the ShopAppy team (now around 20-strong) call her “Vera” as in the TV detective series!
“My daughter Harriet (now 12) has also been heavily involved from the start. She is passionate about the concept of supporting local shops and once even asked her maths teacher to stop talking about spending money in the “supermarket”. It should be “your local greengrocer” she told him. On one of our team outings to find out the public’s views on supporting local shops, Harriet gained over 100 signatures in an hour. With crafting skills passed down from her grandmother, she has also designed the pattern for our Easter “bunny” mascot this year, too. It’s a real family affair!
“What’s great about having my mum, Maureen on board is that she really does know me so well and I can carry on with the creative, planning side of the business while she effectively sorts out the crucial nuts and bolts. Harriet adds a young, refreshing pair of eyes and tons of creativity. And we all have such a laugh in the process!”
You can visit ShopAppy at https://shopappy.com
Jackie Mulligan (Centre), Maureen Hague (Left) and Harriet Mulligan (Right)