Dragos Razvan Nistor and HoneyBee & Co – 1 Year after the Enterprise Challenge


Dragos made it to the semi-finals of the 2020 Enterprise Challenge with his business, Honey Bee & Co!

Can you introduce yourself?Dragos Nistory

My name is Dragos Nistor, and I am the founder of Honey Bee & Co, a honey distribution company based in Cambridge. I graduated from Greenwich University in 2020, having studied Business with Finance. During the same year I participated in the Enterprise Challenge with a project we are still working on at Honey Bee & co. We want to create Honey round shaped saches that melt in contact with your favourite hot drink and do not alter its taste. With the saches, we want to campaign against sugar consumption, not only for its health damage but also for the impact sugarcane and beetroot plantations and subsequent manufacturing have on the environment and green ecosystems.

How did you come up with your business idea, and how did you test whether it would work?

My family have been beekeepers for over 5 generations, and we have always had a deep connection with nature and with the bees. I slowly realised after coming to London that honey is not widely used in everyday drinks, especially in drinks you have on the go and that the honey in the supermarkets was not raw honey; most products being over filtered and mixed with corn syrup, changing the honeys composition and effectively eliminating the benefits that nectar can offer.

We have started to do some research and studies into different biodegradable packaging in which we came across seaweed that could allow us to produce our melting honey saches, however we are still doing further research on this

During the Enterprise Challenge, you had 6 weeks of mentorship and workshops, what was your experience like of these? Are you still in touch with your mentor?

Our mentor John Maynard was very involved in our project, and he helped us research and develop our product. He helped us write NDA’s and understand manufacturing processes and operations that would help our business thrive. We are still in touch with John! Not only is he one of our most loyal customers, but we have also had the opportunity to meet him a few times outside of the competition.

What was the most enjoyable moment of the Enterprise Challenge for you? 

Probably the people I had the opportunity to meet. Some of the competitors ended up having very successful businesses and we have collaborated and built long lasting relationships.

What was the hardest part of the Enterprise Challenge for you? 

The hardest part was realising during the competition that I had to change many things, after having done a lot of work on my business. The Enterprise Challenge taught me that sometimes taking a step back can actually mean taking a step forward.

How has your business grown since the Enterprise Challenge?

We are now selling online on our website and in 15 convenience stores in Kent.

We have partnered with London Pulse, London’s only Netball Super league team, and we are working with 2 NHS organisations to offer discounts to NHS staff. We have started 3 different social campaigns:

  1. #HoneyVsSugar - campaigning against artificial sugar and sweeteners, not only for its impact on our health but also on the impact it has on the environment due to pollution, deforestation and sweet water usage.
  2. #HoneyBeeEducated - Helping consumers make more conscious purchases when buying honey and providing interesting information about bees.
  3. #HoneyBeeNatural - At HoneyBee&Co we believe that when it comes to beauty, less is more! Cosmetics can be used to enhance beauty, but it should not alter its form. There is a deep connection between Natural Beauty, Cosmetics and Nature itself. Natural beauty means committing to caring for your personal well-being and the health of the planet. The largest environmental impact is how traditional ingredients are extracted or manufactured—regardless of if they are naturally occurring or not.

Has COVID-19 affected your business? If so, how?

It has, it forced us to rely more on our e-commerce platform rather than face-to-face sales. It also meant that until recently we could not distribute flyers or do any type of face-to-face marketing.

What advice would you give to people who potentially are looking to take part in the Enterprise Challenge in the future?

It is a life changing experience. You learn how to use many important business instruments with direct real-life applications. You will meet incredible people and make great friends. Potentially you might even meet your future business partners. Definitely an opportunity you should not lose!

To find out more about the Enterprise Challenge, please click here.