#YouMeEntrepreneur: meet Deirdre O’Neill, Dave Stapleton and Spencer Jones

Toni Vicars

By Toni Vicars

December 1, 2020

When you start talking to people who have taken the step to become their own boss and create their own future, the two things they all have in common is that they are all from different backgrounds and experiences and secondly, they just did it. They took the step forward to building something new.

Deirdre O’Neill

“I’m Deirdre, I previously worked in a city law firm as a Corporate Lawyer and now I have co-founded my women’s health business, Hertility Health, to help women better understand their own biology”

At Hertility Health, we are creating an easier way for women to get personalised insights into their digital biological clock, whenever they need it. Hertility Test is a proactive hormone test that gives you insights into your egg count, ovulation and how your general health might be impacting your reproductive biology. “We’re giving you the information you need to take control of your health and plan your future accordingly.”

Why did you start your own business?

I worked for years in a City law firm and I saw a huge gap in the market for women like me. Working crazy hours meant that there was never a good time to start a family, even though it was always at the back of my mind. We track our calories and our steps, but we can’t track our reproductive health. I co-founded Hertility Health to address this. Women should be able to check-in with their fertility easily and affordably, but they can’t.

What’s the best thing about being an Entrepreneur?

Hertility is empowering women to take control and I’ve never felt more rewarded by my work than now. Going out on your own is daunting, but in the current climate, our norms are adjusting and there is so much opportunity to change the status quo — people should be encouraged to do so.

Dave Stapleton

“I used to be a Head of Sales with an Equity Fund, now I’m a founder & CEO of BUA FIT.”

BUA FIT connects people with 1000s of outdoor & online fitness classes with top trainers all over London.

When did you first think about starting your own business?

The moment was honestly way back when I was around 7/8 years old. I loved to hustle as a kid. I used to work in the family business when I was on school holiday and loved it, from that point I had a dream to build a number of successful businesses. My Dad was also a great influence as I looked (and still do) up to him a lot running his business. I always found ways to work and earn money form a very young age. For e.g. I would ask my Mum to drop me up to the local farmer when I was 10 so I could pluck turkeys to earn pocket money for Christmas. I used to buy chairs from my Dad (he had a hardware wholesale business) and sell them at margin to teachers and students when I was in boarding school. I set up my first tech services business with two friends when I was 19. These are a few of so many examples. I had a strong passion and attraction toward entrepreneurism.

Sorry to any of my previous employers but I knew I was always going to set up my own business so I worked on seasonal projects in London to satisfy my creative needs. It got to the stage when I was around 27 and I was very unhappy working for someone else, I could not shine. I had a number of failures in my roles, I failed probation periods and I knew I was always going to be at 50% working on something I liked rather than working on solving a big problem that I love.

What’s the best thing about being an Entrepreneur?

Helping others and holding yourself fully accountable when shit (sh*t) goes wrong. I worked for 3 years self-financing the Bua Fit brand. I would get up at 4.30/5 am. Work on BUA before I went to work, when I got home from work I would have dinner and I’d work on BUA until bedtime. Then again at the weekends and fit the gym in between slots. But it was all worth it. I love adding value. I love getting people outdoors to exercise. I love risk. Now I work at 100% doing something I love.

Spencer Jones

Hi I’m Spencer, I once was a nurse and now I have cofounded my health tech business, Lineus, to stop IV dislodgements.

Why did you start your own business?

I was working bedside and experienced a problem first hand that I didn’t have the tools to solve. When I realized this was a problem that most nurses faced, I decided that it was a worthwhile mission to create a device that allows nurses to help patients avoid painful and time-consuming IV complications.

What is the best thing about being an entrepreneur?

In my opinion, the best thing about being an entrepreneur is the broad skill set that you develop during the journey. Most entrepreneurs learn how to do finance, fundraise, engineer/design products, and market and sell their products along the way; things they were never formally trained on at university. That type of well-rounded experience is hard to cultivate elsewhere, and this wide scope of skills allows entrepreneurs to fit into cross-functional teams well, whether it’s at their own startup or a Fortune 500 company.

At ASPIRE we believe in the democratisation of entrepreneurship.

The ASPIRE programme is designed for those who want to take the opportunity to redefine what work means to them by starting their own businesses, becoming an entrepreneur.

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