Claire Merrifield - Great Companies Women Entrepreneur Award Winner 2023
Name: Claire Merrifield
Business Name: Selph
Location: London, UK
Establishment (Year): 2019
Category/Industry: Health and Wellness
Profession/ Specialty: Health and Wellness
Social Media: LinkedIn
She is a doctor and scientist. She trained in the NHS as a graduate and became disillusioned with the reactive nature of modern medicine. She wanted to create a company that embodied holistic, preventative healthcare to enable people to live long healthy lives and take control of their health. She offer at-home diagnostic testing and health coaching services so that people can understand where their health is and move it forward, in a positive direction, with support, encouragement and the latest scientific evidence.
Unique Selling Proposition or Competitive Advantage:
They are the only service offering a holistic offering to support longevity. There are many testing companies and many coaching companies but they aim to bring both diagnostics and treatment into the same team. Their coaching platform incorporates daily messages from a real coach which provides accountability, support and encouragement to make sustainable lifestyle changes.
Challenges Faced During the Journey:
They had first started the company back in 2019, then Covid hit. They were just in the pilot phase of their testing at the time and as they had a good relationship with a diagnostic lab they decided to pivot to offer covid testing. This became an enormously successful and busy e-commerce site. At the time that they were running this company, she was completing her final few months in GP training then starting work as a new GP. It was extremely busy and she would frequently work 12 hour days in the NHS during the pandemic only to come home at night to work. It was stressful and I received some coaching from a doctor who had left medicine to become a coach. Ultimately she realized she needed to leave the NHS in order to commit to Selph fully and when the pandemic wound down they started to get back to their original mission, to help people live better, for longer. It is not an easy journey and starting something new that she have no experience in means she has to work on my confidence and self-esteem daily. Every struggle she go through she use to inform the content of their health coaching programme to hopefully provide shortcuts to others who may experience the same issues.
Advice for Women Entrepreneurs:
Theodore Roosevelt once said "Comparison is the thief of joy" and I think that is particularly true in the entrepreneurial world. It is so easy to look at other people’s websites and companies and despair of every reaching similar levels of success. But they should remember, everyone starts with precisely nothing, just a hint of an idea that they have to bring their energy and belief to, day after day.