In 2018, Shelby Church, a lifestyle YouTuber, uploaded a documentary-style video where she followed the CEO of Dote, Lauren, around for a day. At the start of the video, she talked about how only 2% of Venture Capital Dollars went to female founders in 2017 and how crazy that statistic is in 2018, when gender equality is such a prevalent conversation topic. I was curious as to how this would compare to the UK and found that less than 1% of Venture Capital funds in the UK go to start-up companies run entirely by women (Financial Times, 2019). In 2017, only 19% of small and medium sized enterprises were majority-led by women and women only make up 27% of full-time chief executives and senior officials (BBC News, 2018).
This inspired me to do my own research into brands that are either founded by or run by women and share their story and brand in the hopes of encouraging others to support them and their brand as a form of female empowerment.
I decided to start the series with Oggs. Oggs is a brand of plant-based cakes, meaning that they do not contain any animal products such as eggs or milk. Instead the cakes are made using Aquafaba, a chickpea-water based egg replacement, which will be for sale in supermarkets later this year. What I love about this company is that they measure their success in what matters to their target audience – the number of chickens saved, homeless meals given and jobs created.
Oggs are not only a plant-based company but are also an ethical company. The manufacture and transport process produces low pollution and CO2 emissions, all of their packaging is fully recyclable and any leftovers from manufacture are sent to local animal shelters. In addition, in the future, they are hoping to use 100% renewable energy sources.
Oggs was founded by Hannah in 2018 who, after turning vegan, spotted a gap in the market for delicious plant-based and cruelty-free cakes. The team is currently made up of six people but will probably grow as the brand gains popularity.
Whilst Oggs is a plant-based brand, their target audience is not limited to those who follow a plant-based diet. Even a seemingly small change such as choosing to purchase an Oggs cake can have an impact. According to the Oggs website, 1.9 million litres of water is needed per day to feed chickens in the UK which is equal to 500,000 people per day having drinking water. In addition, chickens will naturally lay 300 eggs per year, however, farmers force them to lay over 500 eggs per year and these chickens are often only given 1.5 square feet to live. By switching to Oggs, you are helping to make a positive impact and also taking a stand against animal cruelty.
Oggs are avaliable in both Sainsbury’s and Waitrose in four flavours: Zesty Lemon, Salted Caramel, Chocolate Fudge and Victoria Sponge. Whilst they are quite expensive at the moment, priced at £2.30 for a 2 pack and £4.25 for a 4 pack, the hope is that as they become more widely available, the price will decrease.