FOUNDER of The Little Soap Company at Bretforton, Emma Heathcote-James is to be the inspirational speaker at the Passion for Rural Business conference in Shropshire on Wednesday.

Organised by WIRE (Women in Rural Enterprise) the day is geared towards maximising growth in 2011 for rural businesses.

Miss Heathcote-James will tell how she created her company two-and-a-half years ago and how little got large, from shivering in sub-zero outside markets to getting barcodes to join the big boy brands at Warner Budgens to later lining shelves at Waitrose and National Trust shops.

Expanding the business in other directions, a Little Beast dog and small pet shampoo bar has joined the range and awarded a 10/10 in Dogs Monthly magazine, beating market leaders, Enthused with her new way of life and to encourage others to get the bug of self-sufficiency, Miss Heathcote-James has created the Little Soap School which offers luxurious day courses in soap making and skin care as well as holding the hands of start-up toiletry companies as they cut through all the red tape, legal jargon and EU regulations.

“It goes to show that a lot of determination, enthusiasm and, perhaps most importantly, ensuring the business remains full of energy and fun goes a long way,” Miss Heathcote-James said.