Welsh dental hygienist overcomes dyslexia to see new business shortlisted for national entrepreneur award
Neath dental hygienist, Kirsty Shaw is on a mission to improve the country’s oral health one smile at a time, and her new business the 28 Day Smile has been shortlisted for the Great British Entrepreneur Awards 2020.
After finding out she was dyslexic in her 20s and having to resit her final-year university exams, Kirsty’s new venture is in the running to win the Health and Wellbeing Entrepreneur of the year at the national awards.
The Great British Entrepreneur Awards acknowledges the hard work and inspiring stories of businesses and entrepreneurs in the UK, and previous winners include the founders of BrewDog, Tangle Teezer and The Cambridge Satchel Company.
Earlier this year, Kirsty, 32, launched the 28 Day Smile in a bid to revolutionise oral health in the UK by teaching good oral hygiene practices and toothbrushing techniques through an online 28-day programme.
Kirsty, who was born in Aberdare but now lives in Glynneath, said the 28 Day Smile is far from a new invention. “There is no new ground-breaking technology here, but this programme is something this industry desperately needs,” she said.
“As a dental professional I have a good understanding of what patients want, and that’s a healthy, clean, white smile with fresh breath, but even with the advancements in oral treatments, I couldn’t help thinking something was missing. And that something was education.”
The dental hygienist, who also works at a dental surgery in Neath town centre, said she was shocked and thrilled to be shortlisted for the awards after launching the online business just a few months ago.
“I am so proud to be shortlisted for this award with a business I am truly passionate about,” she said.
“The 28 Day Smile is an innovative, easy-to-follow programme designed to educate patients and improve oral hygiene.
“I realise that to many people it is just toothbrushing, but the first thing any award-winning person will do is smile,” she added.
The COVID-19 pandemic means this year’s awards will be held online on September 23rd, 2020 and will be judged by Hayley Parsons, who founded Go Compare, Cath Kidston, Lord Bilimoria of Cobra Beer and Kanya King, the founder of the MOBO awards.
Founder of the Great British Entrepreneur Awards, Francesca James, said: “Given what we’ve seen over the past few months, the 2020 edition of the Great British Entrepreneur Awards is arguably the most important. Now, more than ever, it’s vital that we celebrate the achievements of the country’s entrepreneurs and their determination in the face of such adversity.
“So many entrepreneurs will have been fighting to keep their business afloat over the past few months, and indeed will be over the coming months. That’s exactly why we launched the Pivot category; to recognise those that have managed to adapt and thrive throughout this period.
“I want to send my congratulations to each and every single entrepreneur who has made it to the shortlist this year, and I wish them the very best of luck for the regional finals.”