Business Matters

Neomi is stocking up success

Neomi Bennett was a student nurse at Kingston University when she came up with the idea for Neo-Slip. A little over a year later, and it’s already won several awards.

Neo-Slip was an instant hit with both nurses and patients, because it makes the notoriously difficult-to-fit surgical stockings, a common preventive measure for the potentially fatal deep vein thrombosis (DVT), easier to put on.

Neomi came up with the idea as part of her dissertation paper on hospital risks. After experimenting with different materials, she entered her prototype for its first award – and won.

Nine awards later, the newly qualified nurse is trying to keep up with whirlwind success.

“It was quite a surprise,” said the 40-year-old mother of three, and Wise Woman Award nominee from South West London. “My plan was to become a sister or matron on a ward, then people bought it and called me an entrepreneur, so I started to see myself that way.”

There was a real need in the market for a product like Neo-Slip. According to the National Institute for Health and Clinical Guidance, a massive 25,000 people in the UK die as a result of DVT, which causes blood clots in the legs that can travel to the lungs. It most often occurs following periods of prolonged inactivity. Those most at risk include the bed-bound, and those on long distance travel. Compression stockings, used to help stimulate the circulation of blood in the legs, are a common measure, but they are so difficult to put on that many patients don’t bother.

Neo-Slip solves this problem and works, says Neomi, because “it’s been made by a nurse, and out of my own experience. As an auxiliary nurse, I was putting on up to 30 stockings on patients a day.”

It is now sold in pharmacists and used in hospitals across the UK, and Neomi, who has a second product in the pipeline, has been invited to tender as an official supplier to the NHS.

Nevertheless, the last year has been a bit of a steep learning curve for the newly qualified nurse.

“There have been lots of challenges – self motivation, dealing with distributors, knock-backs, financial – going on to the next round, and especially having to make sales and work out projections and forecasts. It was through faith and praying about it – and through relationship with God – that I got through.

“When God has a plan, He sends signposts, and it’s almost like being guided. He has been there through the whole process.”

Her advice to other Christians in business is to “persevere and keep having faith; use the resources available to you; go to seminars, events and exhibitions in your field, and do not to look too far ahead. If I had thought, ‘Well, I haven’t got any money’ or looked at the challenges before I faced them, I would never have gone to the next stage of business.”

Despite Neo-Slip, Neomi still works as a nurse part time. “I put so much effort into studying for it, it would be so terrible not to be nurse.”

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