A serial entrepreneur, who teaches at Newcastle University Business School, and her innovative company Baggers Originals is one of 18 businesses out of 7,000 to make it through to the final of a BBC documentary called Be Your Own Boss.
Angela McLean and her re-launched company Baggers Originals – rainwear and swimwear that fits into an attached pocket to make a handy bag for children to carry – is part of the new BBC 3 series fronted by Richard Reed, co-founder of Innocent Smoothies.
Be Your Own Boss will see Richard Reed follow the 18 businesses seeing the winner clinch £1million investment, in a bid to nurture and invest in the next wave of young entrepreneurs.
Following the team, the film crew will capture the business ups and downs of the re-launch.
Angela McLean said: “Taking part in this BBC 3 show has been brilliant.“One of the main reasons for re-launching Baggers is down to the fact that I have told the Baggers story to over 3,000 students over the last 12 years and the feedback about the product range is always fantastic, and I am always asked ‘where can I buy it’?”
And with the BBC cameras present, Angela – who has worked with the Business School for over 12 years teaching enterprise, entrepreneurship and marketing – invited students who take part in the Partners Summer School to hear about the re-launch of Baggers Originals: a company she started over 22 years ago.
Angela continues: “I was delighted to involve the Partners students as I have taught the Summer School for over eight years now and have always been impressed with the standard of the students. They are a delight to teach and were excited to have the opportunity to be on television. It was a great experience for them and that is what learning is all about.”
As a business, Baggers ran in to difficulty the first time-around, not due to profitability but due to cash flow – one of the main reasons new businesses fail. Angela believes that these lessons are invaluable to students or anyone starting up in business, and nascent entrepreneurs need to understand the risks of starting an enterprise and running a business.
The new clothing range is similar in design to the originals, retaining the bright, bold colours that made Baggers so recognisable 22 years ago, but the colours have been updated to ensure they are on trend.
The business model has been adapted with a strong internet presence and an e-commerce site, www.baggersoriginals.com, is due to launch this month, with an active social media campaign to engage customers ahead of the website launch.
Baggers Originals will also be selling in key retailers nationwide including Fenwick and has secured export sales into a children’s retail chain in Ireland.
Angela commented, “I am a great believer that once you have a good idea it is always a good idea, and the students’ response did inspire me to give it another go.”
Newcastle University Business School Alumni, Anelise Siddle, who has worked alongside Angela since graduating in 2011, will be heading up the re-launch with Angela and her daughter Jessica.
A current Business School student and former Partners student, Natalie Diver has also been integral to the development of the new brand, working with Baggers on a summer placement.
Angela is adamant that without the business knowledge and acumen of Anelise and Natalie the company would have struggled to restart and she plans to employ more students from the Business School in the future.
Anelise Siddle, a first class honours Business Management graduate said, “I have learnt so much in my time working with Angela in the field of enterprise and entrepreneurship, and re-launching the business has furthered my personal belief that many of the skills needed in running a business can’t be learnt out of a textbook.
“Baggers acts as a live case study and makes our teaching more relevant, current and exciting for students, allowing them to develop transferable skills that are much needed for the workplace.”
To find out what happens to Baggers Originals tune into BBC3, Be Your Own Boss, from Wednesday 12 September, 21.00. The series lasts six episodes.