Plant Based Business: Interview with Co-Founders of Johnson Resolutions

“Between the two of us we sometimes like to say that Cliff is the numbers guy and Simi works with people.”

Simi and Cliff are the co-founders of Johnson Resolutions, an investment company in the plant-based movement. They specialise in startup investing, financial consulting and workplace wellbeing.

At the Plant Based Bootcamp next weekend, Simi will be hosting a workshop titled ‘The Entrepreneur Mindset: An Honest Conversation About Stress’, and Cliff will be a part of the investment panel.

We caught up with this dynamic duo ahead of their appearance at the bootcamp, and asked them a few questions about Johnson Resolutions.

Can you tell us a bit about what you do at Johnson Resolutions?

We support plant-based businesses through both services and financing. Based on our very different backgrounds, JR can support you through a wide variety of challenges that any business, especially startups, may face. 

What are both of your backgrounds in?

Simi is an arts psychotherapist with experience in the NHS, HE and in private practice. She specialises in online therapy and workplace wellbeing. 

Cliff’s is an accountant (CPA) and has over a decade of experience leading finance functions at global corporations. 

Between the two of us we sometimes like to say that Cliff is the numbers guy and Simi works with people. 

Why do you only invest in plant-based businesses?

We believe that moving towards a plant-based way of living is a critical piece of the solution for a sustainable future of the planet. The time is now to change the way we live, and we are being called to take action on an individual, organisational and governmental level. Change can happen when people vote with their wallets and in order to make that possible, business with the right intention need all the support they can get in order to be a viable option to the mainstream consumer. 

What do you look for when searching for a start-up to invest in?

We look for how the product or service is filling a market gap in a sustainable, purpose driven way. We also look to ensure the economics justify the business model and the executives have done their due diligence on both. We pay close attention to businesses that are making advances in achieving targets of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s) set by the UN and are most interested in business who demonstrate achievements around these goals.  

“Get good legal advice before you sign anything and develop a good enough working relationship with your investors.”

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What advice do you have for start-ups looking to gain investment for the first time?

Do your research and prep your business plan and pitch material as much as possible. You cannot over prepare and you will always be asked a question that you haven’t prepared for, so be ready to think on your feet and ALWAYS answer honestly, even if you don’t know at that moment. 

Think carefully about the type of investment and investor you are taking on and what the expectations are from both parties. Get good legal advice before you sign anything and develop a good enough working relationship with your investors.

Simi, what is your top tip for achieving wellbeing in the workplace?

Give thought to managing stress levels which are inherently very high in start-ups with yourself as an entrepreneur and within your team. Seek out a support system of other entrepreneurs who can relate to your challenges and find a way to de-stress that works for you. Intelligent managers invest in the wellbeing of the people that work for them and that starts at any stage of a business. So think about how you can embed self-care and wellbeing into the culture of your company right from day one rather than as after thought. 

Cliff, what is your top tip for managing finances as an entrepreneur?

Other than hiring us?! Be realistic with your projections in the immediate 12 months to ensure your runway is long enough. Dreams and rainbows are ok for your 5 year plan but the immediate 12 months and hitting those targets will be critical for investor and employ confidence. 

“We want to contribute to their already great events and projects and are really excited to be taking part in this year’s Bootcamp!”

Is there anything new coming up for Johnson Resolutions, or anything you’d like to share with us?

Yes there are things in the pipeline, but unfortunately we can't share them yet :) Stay tuned via our website and on Twitter and LinkedIn for our next move.

What made you want to get involved with Vevolution and our events?

Damien and Judy’s dedication and sincere energy in the plant-based space. 

They are in line with our mission to ‘make tomorrow better than today’ and we admire their ambition and drive to support businesses in this space. We want to contribute to their already great events and projects and are really excited to be taking part in this year’s Bootcamp! 


LEARN ABOUT INVESTMENT FROM THE EXPERTS AT THE PLANT BASED BUSINESS BOOTCAMP

The bootcamp has been developed to give entrepreneurs new skills and insights needed to create a stand out plant-based business. It has been designed by entrepreneurs for entrepreneurs.

At this bootcamp attendees will hear specialised talks on investment, marketing, scaling, leadership, self-care + much more from entrepreneurs who have built some of the UK’s most iconic businesses.