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Hammie Tappenden of Island-based [Solent-based] business IntoBiz has been changing lives for almost 30 years, and in recognition, has been awarded the MBE in the New Year’s Honours List. Hammie, who has been helping people set up their own businesses since 1992, works mostly with people for whom self-employment is the only viable route to work, however scary that might be for them.

Hammie’s unique and successful approach means that she works with the person, rather than delivering a standard programme on start-up business process.  She knows that being able to successfully run your own business is as much about confidence, self-belief and resilience as it is about having a good product or maximising profit margins.

Hammie started her own business from university and was successful internationally before choosing to live on the Isle of Wight. Now working between the Island, Southampton and Portsmouth she is an advocate for supporting women into their own businesses, having run many programmes over the last 20 years for women in the Solent region.

Hammie is most proud of her work with those for whom full-time employment is the hardest to achieve – the long-term unemployed, women returning to work, those on probation, recently naturalised refugees.  For these groups, self-employment is their only realistic option for a return to work and their own income; but also, a way to regain self-respect and self-confidence.  Hammie’s work with these groups has been instrumental in helping them to develop their own employment and many new businesses in the Solent region.

“There is only one person to go to on the Isle of Wight that can truly help and move forward new business,” said Airon Baker of A.B Events and V-Dub Island, “and that is Hammie Tappenden. Without Hammie helping and guiding our business we would have really struggled”.

Hammie’s creative approach to business training – including a programme that links the baking of bread with the understanding of business finances (“let’s make some dough!”)  and a programme that develops active upcycling skills as a route to product development is as engaging as it is successful, for transferring business skills to participants almost despite themselves.  It is this ease, engagement and human approach that has made Hammie one of the most successful start-up support consultants in the country, and sets her achievements apart from other more orthodox consultants.

Hammie may not have helped in the creation of million-turnover business (not yet, anyway) but she has helped hundreds to find a better life through sharing her expertise, counselling small businesses and helping people to believe in themselves as Entrepreneurs.



“There is only one person to go to on the Isle of Wight that can truly help and move forward new business or help grow established business and that is Hammie Tappenden. Without Hammie helping and guiding our business we would have really struggled.

“When Hammie is helping our company, she gives it 150%. It’s refreshing and feels like a huge weight comes off your shoulders when her guidance and direction starts to channel our business in the right direction.

“What a star, and she deserves a “heart of gold” award for her years of helping people in business.”

Airon Baker, Owner, AB Events, bars &consultancy; V-Dub Island; Nice & spicy records


“Hammie is like a Business Fairy Godmother. She is genuinely passionate about helping people to achieve their business goals and will go above and beyond for anyone. Hammie’s guidance, support, encouragement, honesty and knowledge was invaluable during the overwhelming journey of starting my business and I certainly wouldn’t hesitate in recommending her services”.

Rachel Street Isle Engage Social Media www.isleengage.com


“I met Hammie at the chamber business start-up session. I instantly liked her enthusiasm and eccentric flare. She put me at ease and helped make my ideas reality. Four years after meeting her she is still considered a go-to member of our team and we are regularly able to persuade her to join in one crazy project or another. Her can-do attitude is a constant winner both with my team and the young people she charms.

“I couldn’t recommend anyone more”.

Becky Blach of Bebeccino Kids Café, Newport Isle of Wight http://www.bebeccino.co.uk/


“Hammie was invaluable to our fledgeling business. She helped and supported us through a testing planning application and forward to obtaining a significant Rural business grant. Hammie helped us put together a business plan and forecast and is skilled at compiling the information that is required during a grant application. We certainly could not have managed without her”.

Helen and Frazer Cunningham, Tiny Homes Holidayshttp://www.tinyhomesholidays.com/