My secret to staying afloat

Half of all UK start-ups fail within five years. Five entrepreneurs, including Hiver Beers founder Hannah Rhodes, share their secret to survival.

by Kate Bassett
Last Updated: 13 Nov 2017
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Down to business

'You absolutely have to spend time chasing debtors,' says Hannah Rhodes (pictured above), the entrepreneur turning honey into beer. 'And manage your supplier relationships carefully. Without a doubt, there will be times when you have to lean on them to help you with a few extra days' credit.'

Rhodes, who appeared in MT's 35 Women Under 35 list in 2014, started London-based Hiver Beers three years ago after a decade in the drinks industry, including a spell at Meantime Brewery.

Despite making mistakes along the way - including being out of stock for a whole month last summer - Rhodes is now the Queen Bee of the honey-beer industry, producing between 10,000 to 15,000 litres per month and selling it to some of the biggest names on the high street, from Marks & Spencer to Selfridges and Harvey Nichols.

Here, Rhodes teams up with four other entrepreneurs plus Karen Penney from American Express to share tips on staying afloat.


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