Carolyn Hogg: An Entrepreneurial Leader covering all the Tasks
“I consider the product development and the development of the awareness of greywater reuse in partnership and have a holistic approach.”Background and Role at Cascade
As a child athlete, Carolyn wanted to run for Scotland and be in the Olympics (Ambition). In the 1970s, the Scottish National Coach introduced her relaxation and visualization at a school’s athletics camp. She has consequently used such techniques, along with meditation, to help on her entrepreneurial journey. She had a very challenging time with a long-term relationship, but still managed to be selected to run for Scotland. (Resillence)Now Carolyn looks back and wonders how she was able to even step on a running track. Being a single parent with 4 young boys under 7 years old honed many transferable skills! (Faith and sense of purpose) There were three separate occasions when she could have died; giving birth to her twins in 1992 was the last occasion.
Carolyn is more than a P.E. Teacher! She is Carolyn Hogg, Managing Director, Cascade Water Products Ltd. Her life experiences as an athlete, single parent of four boys (all achieved a university education), social tennis player, and P.E. teacher have increased transferable skills, talents & personal qualities. She has competed in the Scottish Athletics Team for several years. Since starting in business, she has attended a variety of courses and workshops. People admire her passion, strength, resilience, grit, and determination. Friends and colleagues admire her perseverance, dedication, leadership, and ability to focus on a task and getting things done. She has been told that when she talks about the company, its objectives and how it can be a force for good in achieving a sustainable future, she lights up & passion radiates from her.
Passion to Help the World
The aﬀordable Aqua Gratis has the potential to make a signiﬁcant impact on the world by giving 30% saving on domestic water consumption. Carolyn’s enthusiasm for Cascade Water Products and Aqua Gratis is irrepressible. Her ambition is to help the world to be more water-eﬃcient through the development of the company’s products and by informing people about the beneﬁts of adopting microgreywater recycling systems in domestic and commercial settings. The seed for this passion was sown during the long hot summer of ‘75. Carolyn was 13, there were a drought and water restrictions. John Noakes and the Blue Peter team gave tips for saving water. This must have made an impression on her, and meeting Peter Holdsworth, inventor & engineer, in 2009 sealed her fate.
Fearless of Challenges
Carolyn is not afraid of challenges. She has overcome many diﬃculties. She sees them as an obstacle to cross, being an international hurdler may have helped her leap over the barriers in her way!
- Carolyn was a complete novice when started a business in 2013. She was not computer literate, mind you few were. Just look at how computers have developed in the past ten years!
- The business support agencies did not understand what the team was doing so we’re unable to give the appropriate guidance.
- Finding funds to keep the company going. She is grateful to her late mother for her support and to family and friends who want to see her succeed.
- People out to take advantage of her naivety and inexperience.
- “People saying, they will help get us “Investor Ready” for a large fee. A potential investor told me to give 50% of the company to his friend who would make it investor-ready!”
- Not getting support and investment because she is female.
- Being told the company is not scalable. Within two months she has won European Union funding of €50,000 and then ten months later £200,000 from Innovate UK.
- Potential investors not wanting to work with a woman.
- Men thinking, she is diﬃcult and do not know how to handle her!
- Lack of funds – Cascade Water Products has developed an amazing system through bootstrapping. Some companies have spent millions to develop a microgreywater system and go to market with a proof of concept model or given up. Because Peter is an extraordinary engineer, the company has created its tried and tested prototype system with little money and now it is working with Thames Water, the biggest water company in the UK.
- It is not easy developing a system which will work with the majority of properties and occupants’ lifestyle.