Over 50 business leaders attended an audience with Denise Elphick, founder of two tech businesses as part of Merton Chamber of Commerce’s celebration of Global Entrepreneurship Week. Using an interview style approach, Chamber Chief Executive Diana Sterck, talked to Denise about the successes and challenges of running two online businesses – firstly Top Table and then Pets Pyjamas.

Top Table was launched in 1999 and sold just 11 years later for £35 million, as one of the biggest restaurant booking services in Europe. Just one year later Denise set up Pets Pyjamas, another on line business, providing a single portal for everything to do with pets, including clothing, toys, pet friendly hotels and restaurants and diversifying into more services, all related to our love for our pets!

Denise stressed the importance of getting the right tone in all business communications and really getting to grips with what the customer wants. Answering many questions, she summarized that her business success was down to getting finance in place, tenacity and negotiation with suppliers and partnerships that extend the reach into other communication channels, providing a win/win for all concerned.

Part of the Chamber of Commerce’s new Leadership series, sponsored by local firm of chartered accountants, Hartley Fowler, Diana Sterck said “We want to bring inspirational business leaders, information and advice to local businesses. Working with Merton Council, businesses can receive this through the Merton Business Support Service. For further information or details about future events, please contact the business helpdesk on 0208619 0700 or email helpdesk@mertonbusinesssupport.co.uk

 Diana and Denise with guests

 Pictured: Diana Sterck interviewing Denise Elphick Denise Elphick, Pets Pyjamas

Pictured: Denise Elphick of Top Table and Pets Pyjamas



About Merton Business Support Service

The Merton Business Support Service is financially supported by the London Borough of Merton and is an advisory service providing high quality, practical advice and support to help small businesses and start ups develop and expand. The service is delivered by the Merton Chamber of Commerce and a network of some of London’s leading private sector business

advisory and support firms. The business helpdesk is the first point of contact and your gateway to business services.

For further information please contact Merton Chamber of Commerce on 020 8944 5501 or Merton Council on 020 8274 4901


About Global Entrepreneurship Week

Global Entrepreneurship Week is the world’s largest campaign to promote entrepreneurship. Each year, it plays a critical role in encouraging the next generation of entrepreneurs to consider starting up their own business.

In the UK, the campaign is co-hosted by Youth Business International and three of YBI’s member organisations: Startup Direct, UnLtd and Virgin Startup; all four organisations provide support to young entrepreneurs to start and grow their own business and create employment.

We believe that a large national campaign to promote entrepreneurship is a vital part of making the UK more entrepreneurial, to encourage more people to start up their own business.

Our aim is to create a collaborative, local and practical week which enables people to learn more about the wealth of support that is available to entrepreneurs in the UK.