May 23, 2024

Family firm doubles in size and receives top award nomination during Coronavirus pandemic

A family business that has doubled in size during the Coronavirus pandemic is in the running for a top award.

Unico 3 Limited – run by mother and daughter duo Jane Barker and Rebecca Dean, has expanded its team from seven to fourteen to cope with demand and business growth since the UK went into lockdown.

The Walsall-based firm provides outsourced expertise in accountancy, administration and compliance for logistics companies including support for self-employed delivery drivers.

Covid-19 meant they had to come up with new ways to support clients and immediately set staff up to work from home, extended their opening hours, introduced new services while offering free advice about grants and furlough claims.

Such organisational skills and attention to detail are what has seen 27-year-old Rebecca shortlisted for Young Entrepreneur of The Year at the UK-wide Great British Entrepreneur Awards.

The former Walsall Academy pupil, who stepped into the firm at the age of 18 while she pondered her future career path, inadvertently ended up bolstering it into a leading business with an enviable growth plan, which has already been put to the test by the coronavirus crisis.

With innovative vision, Rebecca has been instrumental in restructuring and rebranding the company in 2019 into Unico 3 to reflect its three main areas of expertise.

She has also developed new software systems to allow the team to respond promptly and proactively to customers and support subcontracted drivers with audits and self-employment finance processes.

Her passion and dedication is what has put her in the running for the GBE awards, whose previous winners include the founders of BrewDog, Tangle Teezer, The LAD Bible, Clearscore & The Cambridge Satchel Company.

Rebecca said: “It’s been a difficult time for all businesses during the pandemic but we’re so privileged to be able to continue to thrive and provide the best possible service to our clients.

“I feel so proud and humbled to be shortlisted for a Great British Entrepreneur Award at such an exciting time for Unico 3 Limited.”

Rebecca said the firm prides itself on having a strong family ethos and stands out because they “take the time and effort to reward their team for their dedication in supporting clients while maintaining exceptional customer service.”

Such is her commitment that Rebecca has since completed various admin qualifications, is also a qualified tutor and has now started an honours degree in business, having also completed the Aston University Business Growth Programme.

She added: “We are an exciting business with exciting growth plans and our whole team shares our vision and passion to look for new opportunities to offer an excellent service and go above and beyond what our clients expect.

“Supporting our local area and young people with work placements, careers fairs, and apprenticeships is also important to us.

“Overall, we strive to build longstanding relationships with our clients and business network.”

Founder of the Great British Entrepreneur Awards, Francesca James, said: “Given what we’ve seen over the past few months, the 2020 edition of the Great British Entrepreneur Awards is arguably the most important.

“Now, more than ever, it’s vital that we celebrate the achievements of the country’s entrepreneurs and their determination in the face of such adversity.

“So many entrepreneurs will have been fighting to keep their business afloat over the past few months, and indeed will be over the coming months.”

Anne Boden, founder and CEO of Starling Bank, said: “These entrepreneurs have gone above and beyond in order to allow their businesses to flourish in extremely difficult times and it is a true honour to congratulate each and every one of them.”

The awards will be celebrated online on September 23.

For more information about Unico 3, visit