Mother and daughter win UEL entrepreneurial award

Rebekha Gooden and Marie-Anne Rase with UEL vice-chancellor, Professor John Joughin

Rebekha Gooden and Marie-Anne Rase with UEL vice-chancellor, Professor John Joughin - Credit: Thomas Shorey

A mother and daughter have been crowned the University of East London’s top entrepreneurs.

Psychology student Rebekha Gooden and her mother and business partner, Marie-Anne Rase, were crowned E Factor winners for their My Gammies company.

The pair’s range of allergy-friendly health foods for children of nursery age impressed the judges enough to win a £6,000 investment and a range of business support.

They came up with the idea after experiencing difficulties finding appropriate food in restaurants, shops and nurseries for Rebekha’s daughter, who has a fatal allergy and various intolerences.

Rebekha said of their win at Canary Wharf’s Level 39 venue: “It was really unexpected. We’re so happy to have won.

“It feels surreal but it’s lovely to have a whole room full of support.”

Marie-Anne, an alumna of the university, added the business idea was “something we’re really passionate about.”

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Timothy Isle, UEL’s Enterprise Officer and co-organiser of the competition, said: “It’s been a great end to the 10th edition of E Factor.

“But this is only the beginning for all our finalists.

“I’m really excited to see all their ideas progress and them creating credible businesses based at Knowledge Dock.”

Other pitches included an interactive art installation live streamed over the internet, a nightclubbing app, a business bringing together local services and organisations in east London and a website helping students find accommodation.