Success Stories

<< Back to previous pages 1 2

ihelmlogowebArianna Helm
Business: Ihelm-Enterprises Ltd Original country: Canada Expat country: UK

Arianna got engaged to her, now, British husband in 1996 and moved to live and work in the UK. After working in full time employment for a brief time, she set up her own ompany offering bookkeeping services to clients throughout the whole of England. Her USP is that she is able to offer a virtual bookkeeping service which works well for her clients and fits in with her family life.

“Research all of the different laws relating to the different types of business structures so you know what your responsibilities are. Set strict working hours and stick to them – especially if you are working from home – to ensure that you are still having family time and time for yourself. Before deciding on your business name, make sure you check that the domain names are available that reflect your business/business name, and that if you are going to be self-employed, that your business name is not registered as Limited Company.”


Social: ihelmenterprises

sweetsNoriko Jazaryeri
Business: An-An Traditional Japanese Sweets Original country: Japan Expat country: UK

Noriko produces and sells Japanese sweets in the UK. She is based in Sussex and has a strong customer base within the Japanese community in Brighton & Hove. She has become so well known within the Japanese food industry in Britain that when complete strangers meet her they recognise her as being the An-An lady! Noriko takes part in the annual Brighton & Hove International food and drink festival and Hyper Japan, the UK’s biggest J culture event, in London.

“I never thought English people would be interested in my sweets, but they really love them – especially the strawberry ones. I am very lucky to be living near Brighton because the people here appreciate what I do and there is lots of opportunity to sell my sweets.”


Get in touch with Noriko:

Listen to Noriko’s interview here




simplyskinVivienne McAlister-Geertz
Business: Simply Skin Original country: Great Britain Expat country: the Netherlands

Vivienne relocated the Netherlands to experience life in another country and to change and improve her quality of life. Vivienne left the corporate world and the stress that comes with it to open her own boutique shop selling handmade body products. Simply Skin’s body and facial products are lovingly designed and expertly hand-crafted from recipes incorporating only the best and necessary ingredients for healthy looking and feeling skin.

“Just do it. There’s only so much research you can do and you’ll never have time or be able to research everything to decide if the business will be right for you or not. You should give yourself a deadline and then just do it, even though you may not have researched everything. If you don’t just do it, then you’ll never do it. The longer you wait, the harder it’ll become. Tell everyone you now what you’re planning to do. That way your pride will get in the way and you’ll not back away from your initial plans just because you start to feel afraid.”



Social:FB SimplySkinEU / @SimplySkinEU




AM_LogoEmmy McCarthy
Business: Amsterdam Mamas Original country: UK Expat country: the Netherlands

After having moved to the Netherlands to be with her boyfriend, whom she has since married, given up her job in the UK and had a child, Emmy started up her own business which helps to support other parents.

“The Netherlands, and Amsterdam in particular, are very oriented towards the entrepreneur lifestyle. People are able to work flex-weeks to balance their paying jobs with their own businesses. The Chamber of Commerce in Amsterdam is fantastic with information available both in Dutch and in English.”

Social: FB amsterdam.mamas / @ams_mamas


papaspuds-logoRob Meyer
Business: Papa Spuds Original country: USA Expat country: Ecuador Current country: USA

While in the Peace Corps in Ecuador, Rob observed the local markets and gradually became familiar with the day to day distribution process getting the fresh food from the coast up to the smaller villages. Once back home, Rob noticed there had been a surge in the farm to table food area and the fresh and local food movement had begun to take off. This got him thinking and Papa Spuds was an experiment that came out of that brainstorming. From that initial “experiment” Papa Spuds has now grown to include Rob, one additional full-time employee and 12 part time employees. He now offers customers a range of over 100 products to choose from and has expanded his offering from fresh fruits and vegetables to include locally farmed and produced meat, dairy products, baked goods and pantry staples.

“I had nothing to lose. This was an experiment, I had tons of time on my hands while studying for the GMAT and taking the steps to see if my experiment would work did not involve a huge financial investment.”


Social: FB PapaSpudsNC / @PapaSpuds