FROM BED­ROOM TO ROSTRUM

Hertfordshire Life - - BUSINESS LIFE -

A Hitchin lan­guage trans­la­tion busi­ness that be­gan life in a spare bed­room af­ter two friends lost their jobs has won a com­pany of the year award.

Ze­bra Trans­la­tions was founded in 1999 by Jill Wright and Lisa Kelly af­ter their em­ployer went into liq­ui­da­tion. They have now won the As­so­ci­a­tion of Trans­la­tion’s best small and medium busi­ness ac­co­lade.

The com­pany, which pro­vides trans­la­tion ser­vices to the life sci­ences sec­tor, now has an an­nual turnover of more than £1m. The duo credit their suc­cess to un­der­stand­ing the com­plex rules and reg­u­la­tions of Euro­pean medicines and an en­tre­pre­neur­ial dy­nanism: ‘When the rug is pulled from be­neath one’s feet, the brain goes into over­drive, adren­a­line pumps and we were brim­ming with ideas,’ Jill said of the spirit be­hind the com­pany.

They now em­ploy a team of nine, in­clud­ing in-house lin­guists, and work with in-coun­try na­tive speak­ers too.

Lisa added, ‘We have come to be­lieve that suc­cess is not about the good times but how you deal with the bad.’

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