Hannah Pierce joined our Edinburgh programme in March 2019 (at the age of sixteen) and launched an online magazine business called Communitea with Orbit’s support. Communitea aims to “make a difference to how you see the world” by fighting the stigma and giving a voice to people living with disabilities.
“I always felt like an outsider when I was growing up”, said Hannah. “I was diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy – a condition which affects my speech, movement and coordination – and have been a full time wheelchair user since I was four years old.” Hannah expressed her desire to make something of herself and help other people living with disabilities in the process.
Hannah learned about Orbit’s programme whilst studying in Edinburgh’s Firrhill High School and applied to the programme. Despite having no technical or coding experience she decided to launch her online magazine with no start-up capital. “Launching a business can be tough”, said Hannah. “You’ve really got to be determined to make it work and to overcome the inevitable hurdles you’ll experience on the journey”.
Hannah was mentored by Tony Lewis – a senior banker from the Royal Bank of Scotland – and digital marketing guru Josh Sweetnham when launching Communitea. She was introduced to a UK wide funding competition by Orbit’s team and secured £1,000 in startup capital to develop her website. She then pitched for £10,000 at a London start-up competition which attracted talented young entrepreneurs from across the United Kingdom.
When asked about her future ambitions, Hannah said “my aspiration for the future would be for Communitea to change peoples lives as much as it has changed mine. I would love to have Communitea events one day for everyone to come together and contribute towards making a difference in how people see the world.”
Learn more about Hannah’s business by clicking here.