UCL Innovation and Enterprise


Winterwood Tutors

16 August 2013

Growing with confidence

When Winterwood Tutors approached SMILE in 2011, they were expanding at an alarmingly fast rate. While this was brilliant for the company, it presented the young directors with a host of problems to tackle that they had no experience with previously.


Winterwood Tutors are a high-end private tuition agency based in north London providing tutors of exceptional quality (all are educated to a postgraduate level and have significant teaching experience) run by Co-directors Dr Thomas Parkinson and Jade Everingham. To help them manage their rapid growth, Tom and Jade turned to UCL Advances and SMILE.
Recognising that they needed guidance in running their expanding business, SMILE was able to introduce Winterwood Tutors to Jolyon White, a life sciences professional with experience as both a general manager of a large corporation and with SMEs.

The mentor advised Winterwood Tutors on management technique, how to structure the business, how to delegate, project executive authority and how to increase the remit of the business.

“His advice has been of huge benefit to the business, and we have often turned to him at times of crisis, or when we needed an experienced second opinion.”

When the business was offered a partnership by one of their Russian clients in the autumn of 2012, it seemed like a daunting process. Unsure of how to proceed, Tom and Jade were able to call upon the knowledge of their mentor, who helped them make financial assessments, weigh up the pros and cons of the offer, and instil confidence in the directors to strengthen their position of negotiation.

“This sort of advice [was] of immense benefit to [us], and really helped build confidence, making the transition from an inceptive business to a mature, stable, profit-making entity.” Tom Parkinson, Director, Winterwood Tutors

Since collaborating with a SMILE mentor, new positions have opened with the company and turnover has increased by nearly 400% in 12 months. Winterwood Tutors is still growing incredibly fast, but with the support and backing of SMILE and UCL Advances, the directors are better equipped to handle the challenges that this presents.