Prominent female entrepreneur joins TV personality Rochelle Humes to support business aimed at reframing UK diversity among schoolchildren 

  • Leading businesswoman paired with leading literature company through Santander leadership scheme
  • Little Box of Books addresses lack of diversity in children’s literature
  • Business launches ‘Change the Story’ crowdfunder backed by TV’s Rochelle Humes (and celebrities including Fearne Cotton, Stacey Solomon and Emma Willis)

A business aimed at diversifying children’s story books is being supported through Santander’s Breakthrough Women Business Leaders’ Mentoring Programme.

Lynsey Pollard, the founder of Little Box of Books, is being mentored by CEO and serial entrepreneur Nicola Hartland, having recently joined the scheme.

With an ambition to provide schoolchildren with access to books that better reflect the UK population, via Santander’s programme Nicola is supporting Lynsey as she looks to address a nationwide gap in awareness, bringing literature into schools and households that better reflect the diverse make-up up families across the country.

With only 4% of children’s books published in 2018 featuring a BAME main character, against a backdrop of the school age population with more than a third of children of BAME origin, Lynsey’s business curates collections to ensure that all children see themselves in stories.

Nicola is the founder and CEO of data protection software business iCaaS. In her role as mentor to Lynsey, Nicola draws on her years of business growth to support Little Box of Books build on its brand awareness and penetrate new markets through innovative commercial models, also supporting the business as it looks for funding to further grow reputation and reach across the UK. This week Rochelle Humes lent her support to the initiative.

Nicola said:

“Lynsey has identified a real gap in the market, a blind spot for many. Her efforts to help rebalance how the UK’s diversity is presented to school children have been phenomenal and the business has a real opportunity for growth.

“I feel incredibly humbled to have been paired with Lynsey through the Santander Breakthrough Women Business Leaders’ Mentoring Programme, and look forward to supporting her further as the business prepares for future growth and works with advocates like Rochelle Humes to drive awareness.”

Lynsey said:

 “We are a small company and relatively new to the scene, however, we have identified amazing children’s books that better reflect the UK population, helping more children see themselves in stories and helping them all better understand the world. We save busy teachers time and help schools demonstrate their commitment to diversity and inclusion to Ofsted.

“Via the Santander programme, I’ve been lucky to meet with Nicola who is drawing off her business acumen and experience to help take the business on its next phase of growth.”