Press Release | 27 Sep 2021

Vodafone’s Business Unusual podcast aimed at inspiring entrepreneurs returns for a second series hosted by Claudia Winkleman

Dragons’ Den star Steven Bartlett and social media fitness influencer Grace Beverley are among the list of dynamic and inspiring entrepreneurs scheduled to appear on the podcast.

  • Vodafone launches second series of Business Unusual, its weekly podcast featuring interviews with the most dynamic and inspiring entrepreneurs today
  • Strictly Come Dancing presenter and radio personality Claudia Winkleman returns to her role as host of the entertaining and informative series
  • Dragons’ Den star Steven Bartlett and social media fitness influencer Grace Beverley are among the list of dynamic and inspiring entrepreneurs scheduled to appear on the podcast

United Kingdom: Business Unusual, a weekly podcast from Vodafone aimed at the start-up and scale-up business community, is set to return for its second series with Claudia Winkleman taking on the role of host once again. The podcast gives access to some of the most dynamic and inspiring entrepreneurs in the UK today.

Guests for the new series include the newest addition to the BBC’s Dragons’ Den programme, Steven Bartlett, as well as social media fitness influencer and 2020 Forbes 30 Under 30 inductee Grace Beverley.

Produced by audio production company Listen, each half-hour Business Unusual episode features interviews with leading challenger brands – start-ups and scale-ups who are shaking up their industry and challenging the status quo.

There will be a total of 10 episodes for the second series. Episode one, which launches on Tuesday 28 September, sees Claudia Winkleman in conversation with entrepreneur and Co-Founder Ning Li, who has now launched skincare company Typology Paris. The start-up is causing a stir in the beauty industry with its range of premium, natural and vegan cosmetics in sustainable packaging.

The newest addition to the Dragons’ Den investor panel, Steven Bartlett, founded his own media companies Social Chain and Media Chain when he was just 22 years old. He will feature in episode four of the series. Episode three will star fitness influencer Grace Beverley, who launched her athleisure brand Tala in 2019. Episode six will hear the story of Khalia Ismain, founder of Jamii, a discount card and marketplace for black British creators.

Business Unusual Series 2 full guest schedule:

  • 28 September – Ning Li, Founder, Typology Paris
  • 5 October – Pip Murray, Founder and CEO, Pip and Nut
  • 12 October – Grace Beverley, Founder, TALA
  • 19 October – Steven Bartlett, Social Chain
  • 26 October – Michelle Kennedy, Founder and CEO, Peanut
  • 2 November – Khalia Ismain, Managing Director, Jamii
  • 9 November – Ailbhe Keane, CEO, Izzy Wheels
  • 16 November – Farah Naz, Founder, EX 1 Cosmetics
  • 23 November – Taymoor Atighetchi, Founder and CEO, Papier
  • 30 November – Howard and Vivien Wong, Co-Founders, Little Moons

Andrew Stevens, Head of Small Business, Vodafone said: “We’re delighted to bring back the Business Unusual podcast for a new series. Since launching last year, the podcast has played a pivotal role in helping us connect with entrepreneurs, providing a source of inspiration and information.

“We’ve received such a great response to the podcast from the small business community as it provides a platform to hear from some of the most dynamic and progressive SME business leaders in the UK today – from a diverse range of sectors, backgrounds and experiences.”

Business Unusual podcast presenter and radio personality Claudia Winkleman said: “Whilst the past 18 months have been challenging for small businesses, many have found innovative ways to adapt. That’s why getting to the heart of the most dynamic entrepreneurs and their journey is what makes Business Unusual a fascinating podcast for anyone looking to start their own business or is already at a more mature stage. These discussions are designed to provide a source of inspiration to ensure that the great British entrepreneurial spirit is never broken.”

Entrepreneurs are increasingly turning to podcasts to learn from other established business leaders to develop their own knowledge base. Entrepreneur and Dragons’ Den Investor Steven Bartlett commented: “Podcasts like Business Unusual are a great learning resource for anyone wanting to start a business or is already well into their journey. I started my own business at 22 years old and effectively had to teach myself; I listened to leading entrepreneurs daily to help develop my own strategies.

“I really hope my story can continue to inspire others as starting a business can often appear daunting. But with a great mix of learning and experience, it often becomes the most positive decision one can make.”

Josh Adley, Director of Commercial and Client Relations, Listen, said: “Vodafone’s Business Unusual is a brilliant example of a brand taking podcasting seriously. Podcasts should be treated as part of a long-term content plan that continuously adds value and scales in ambition. That is exactly what this series has done, and it’s been a pleasure to work alongside the whole team to bring these inspiring stories to life.”

Tune into the Business Unusual podcast every Tuesday.

The podcast is also available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Castbox and all other podcast apps.

As part of its continued commitment to supporting small businesses, Vodafone launched ‘business.connected’ earlier this year, an initiative in partnership with small business support network Enterprise Nation. It provides free digital training from experts to help boost knowledge, confidence, and skills among SME leaders in order to help them get the best out of their online business.

For more information visit the Vodafone UK website.


About TALA

TALA is the brand you always knew you wanted but could never quite find – sustainable activewear and athleisure styles at competitive prices without the need to compromise on high-performance designs and flattering fits. TALA is here to disrupt the industry and demand change with wardrobe staples and on-trend pieces, making conscious shopping choices easier for everyone.

About Papier

Founded in London in 2015, Papier is an online stationery brand that feeds curiosity and contemplation with its designs. Alongside in-house collections, Papier collaborates with upcoming artists, iconic brands and creative fashion labels to curate its emporium of notebooks, notecards, diaries and more. Whether it’s setting out your wildest dreams on the page or a simple to-do list to get you ready for the day, Papier stationery invites you to discover the transformative powers of putting pen to paper. Every design can be personalised so it means more, alive in the hands of its maker. The brand makes all products on-demand & locally, so there’s no waste/excess stock and reduced carbon emissions, and Papier uses sustainably sourced FSC-certified paper and recyclable packaging.

About Jamii

Somewhere in the UK, someone is making what you’re searching for. And you best believe it’s a step up. There are Black creators and makers who’ve made moves on a good idea, small businesses who’ve honed their craft and raised the game. You just need to know where to find them.

What if you could ditch Prime and still get your shampoo on time? Swerve Sainsbury’s and get Scotch Bonnet Hot Sauce straight from a South London Kitchen. Buy a birthday card that gets brownie points – and backs a Black British designer, too.

Launched in 2016 by female founder Khalia Ismain and meaning “community” in Swahili, Jamii is the home for Black creators and makers. We want to introduce you to the small businesses who know what you need. And dedicate their days to getting it to your door. White rum from Moses for Friday night celebrations. Shampoo from someone who’s spent every Sunday braiding. T-shirts printed with “Plantain” (no matter if you say it plant-ain or plant-in).

Everyday products and just-because gifts. All delivered with that extra buzz you get from buying Black and British. With Jamii your options are plentiful with over 250 small British makers just a click away.    @ukjamii

About Izzy Wheels

Ailbhe Keane is the Founder and CEO of the multi-award-winning brand Izzy Wheels. The idea originally began as her final year college project in 2016 at The National College of Art and Design. Her younger sister Izzy uses a wheelchair and she noticed that her chair was the first thing that people noticed about her but it wasn’t a reflection of her bubbly personality. Ailbhe created a range of stylish wheel covers for her sister’s chair that expressed her individuality and colourful style. Their motto became ‘If you can’t stand up, stand out!’

Following viral success on social media (16 million views of her video), Ailbhe grew Izzy Wheels into a global brand. Izzy Wheels are now selling in over 50 countries, they have collaborated with 90 famous designers and iconic brands including Disney, Marvel, Pixar, Hello Kitty and Barbie. They have won 15 national awards, created a BBC documentary, and both sisters were named on Forbes 30 Under 30.

About Peanut

Peanut is the first online community to connect women throughout all stages of womanhood. Whether you’re navigating menopause, motherhood, pregnancy or are trying to conceive, the app provides access to a community who are there to listen, share information and offer valuable advice. Created for and by women, Peanut is a safe space to meet women nearby and have conversations across meaningful topics from sex and feminine health to IVF, pregnancy, first years, midlife and beyond. With over 2M+ women using the app, Peanut has become a coveted destination for women looking to connect, ask questions and find support.

About Pip & Nut

Pip Murray, 33, is the Founder of Pip & Nut, an award-winning food brand that launched to market in January 2015. Over the last six years, she’s been shaking up the healthy food and drink sector with her range of all-natural nut butters and recently launched nut butter cups. Pip & Nut is the fastest growing nut butter brand in the UK and a proud certified B corporation.

As a self-confessed peanut butter addict, Pip had the inspiration for the brand after searching, unsuccessfully, in the supermarkets for a range of peanut butters that were free from palm oil. With no options available, she started making her own natural range of products in her kitchen with her blender, before trialing them at Maltby Street Market. Today Pip & Nut can be found in over 7000 stores around the UK and Ireland. Her mission for the brand is to help people love food that loves them and break down the perception that choosing a ‘better for you’ option has to feel like a sacrifice.
Amongst other accolades, Pip was most recently named in the Evening Standard Progress 1000, London’s Most Influential People and the ‘Start-Up Entrepreneur of the Year’ at the Natwest Great British Entrepreneur Awards.

About Little Moons

Little Moons was started by siblings Vivien and Howard Wong in 2010 with the mission of being an unordinary company making extra-unordinary ice cream. It took them two years to master the mochi-making process and perfect the ice cream recipes, working with top chefs and using quality ingredients to create the perfect flavour combinations. Each Little Moon is lovingly made to create little lifts that spark positivity. Today, Little Moons is bringing the spirit of snacking to the ice cream category and is Europe’s leading mochi brand with one of their treats enjoyed every second.

About Typology Paris

Typology was born with a mission: to demystify the science of skincare. At the heart of our approach is the will to enlighten the consumer. By removing all unnecessary ingredients, we advocate a return to basics: healthy and natural products, designed with a conscience. When choosing our ingredients, we hold ourselves to one of the highest standards in the market. At each stage of design and packaging, we give priority to recyclable materials and the most environmentally friendly ways of transport.

About Listen

The UK’s leading audio company, formed by the APA’s gold-winning team. From strategy and creative development to production, distribution and promotion, Listen produce the highest quality audio content for the biggest brands, platforms and talent globally, enjoyed by millions of listeners around the world. Listen’s podcast clients include BBC, Audible, Spotify, MTV, Vodafone, BMW, Sky Bet, Churchill, Fiverr, NHS, Starbucks, Stylist Magazine, HarperCollins, Allergan, Mental Health First Aid England and more.

About Vodafone UK

Vodafone UK is a technology communications company that connects people, businesses and devices to help our customers benefit from digital innovation. Our services span mobile, fixed-line connections, home and office broadband, and the Internet of Things (IoT).

We have a strong track record as a tech pioneer, making the UK’s first mobile phone call, sending the first text message, and making the UK’s first live holographic call using 5G in 2018. We were the first to start carrying live 5G traffic from a site in Salford, Greater Manchester and now have 5G in locations across Germany, Ireland, Italy, Spain as well as the UK. Meanwhile, our 4G network coverage currently reaches over 99% of the UK population.

Today, Vodafone serves more than 18 million mobile and fixed-line customers in the UK. Vodafone is the largest provider of full fibre in the UK – our superfast broadband services are now available to nearly 12 million homes across the UK.

Sustainability is also at the heart of what we do: as of 1 July 2021, 100% of the grid electricity we use in the UK is certified to be from renewable sources.

For more information about Vodafone UK, please visit:

Vodafone UK Media Relations

Telephone: +44 (0) 1635 693 693


Twitter: @VodafoneUKNews


Vodafone Limited

Registered Office: Vodafone House, The Connection, Newbury, Berkshire RG14 2FN

Registered in England No: 1471587