Aquatics expert who took the plunge into entrepreneurship scales start up in Sheffield

With a lifelong love of tropical fish, Rotherham-based Carl Goodman is setting his sights on scaling up his ethical aquatics business after calling on help from Sheffield City Region Launchpad.

Wednesday, 9th September 2020, 4:45 pm

Carl’s love of all things aquatic began in childhood. One of his earliest memories was leaving his old life behind and meeting his adoptive parents for the very first time, with just the clothes on his back and a goldfish in a bag for company.

Carl first began exploring the idea of earning a living from his long-held hobby in 2019 . When he discovered a pet store he had supported for many years was closing its doors, the 25-year-old entrepreneur decided to take the plunge and reached out to Launchpad, a unique programme which provides tailored business support to new and aspiring entrepreneurs.

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Business adviser Darren McDool, founder Carl Goodman and director Lee Chander

Working alongside an experienced business adviser, Carl successfully secured the licenses he needed to trade in live animals, and began putting his plans into action. Unsure whether his business idea would sink or swim, Carl decided to base his business at home and set about building a large, insulated summer house which could house a diverse range of fish.

Carl learned how to write a business plan, as well as gaining an insight into how to build a website and attract customers via social media.

Today he has expanded his fledgling start-up, Sustainable Aquatics, to larger premises at Eastwood Trading Estate, creating three new jobs.

He said: “Although I knew a lot about how to build and manage aquariums, I knew that running a business would be a sharp learning curve, particularly when it came to making sure the company complied with current rules and regulations.

" I knew it was something of a minefield and after contacting my local authority for advice, I was referred to the Launchpad team who not only helped me to understand my legal responsibilities but also helped me to develop the essential business skills needed to build and grow my business.”

As part of his commitment towards supporting the community Carl has installed a new aquarium at Rotherham Hospice which he manages and maintains free of charge. Visit

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