‘The Deliveroo of life events’: Lancashire entrepreneur in Telegraph NatWest’s 100 Female Entrepreneurs to Watch

Buying a house is one of the most stressful things one can do. Each step of the process is fraught with tension and regulation, precarious moving parts and large sums at stake. Christina Melling understood this, and wanted to make the whole journey smoother.
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A born entrepreneur, Chorley-born Christina is the co-founder and CEO of Stipendium, an online platform which combines all the professional tools necessary to navigate major life events such as buying a house, remortgaging, or making a will, making such processes cheaper, quicker, and more simple. Stipendium is the ‘Deliveroo of life events’.

“The process of buying a house can be a stressful and fragmented journey and there’s a big opportunity for simplification through innovation,” says Christina, 33, who founded the business last year. “There’s a vast cost to the UK economy as a result of financial stress for families, first-time buyers, homeowners, students, employers, and employees.

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“This kind of streamlining of things like house-buying hasn’t been done before, so people’s initial response is usually ‘wow, that’s different’, but as they realise how useful it can be, the more supportive and interested they become, particularly first-time buyers,” she adds. “Innovation can benefit anyone on a house-buying, remortgaging, or will-writing journey.”

Christina MellingChristina Melling
Christina Melling

A former Parklands High School and Cardinal Newman College student, Christina studied law at the University of Central Lancashire before embarking on a career in financial planning. She took the plunge and established Stipendium just over 12 months ago, providing people with step-by-step guides, demystified jargon, and complete control.

“We’re marrying tech and traditional processes to save people money and time whilst making things simpler: it’s ‘digilistic’, holistic and digital,” she says. “Tech was already taking over, but Covid has just paved the way for tech to play an even greater role in everyday life, so for us it’s just about future growth and developing new and diverse routes to market.”

And Christina’s work is certainly catching the eye: in recognition of her sterling efforts and her company’s future potential, Christina was recently named one of the Telegraph NatWest’s 100 Female Entrepreneurs to Watch.

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“I couldn't believe it when I found out,” she says with a laugh. “To be included among so many fantastic women in business is such an incredible feeling and the perfect end to my first year in business. This type of recognition means the world to me and makes me even prouder.

Christina Melling, CEO of Stipendium, with her business hero Stephen KellyChristina Melling, CEO of Stipendium, with her business hero Stephen Kelly
Christina Melling, CEO of Stipendium, with her business hero Stephen Kelly

“Starting a business can be overwhelming and battling through the difficult economic times has only served to make me even more committed,” she adds. “We must be one of the youngest businesses on the list, so that just goes to show that, if you put the effort in, you get the rewards. I’ve learned more about myself over the past year than ever before.

“You see what you’re made of when you start your own business and go it alone and I wouldn’t change a second of the past 12 months because I've learned so much,” continues Christina. “And I’m always proud to represent Lancashire and be a female in tech - the day I stopped worrying about what people thought about me was the day I started doing good things.

“Fundamentally, imposter syndrome is just fear, which stands for False Expectation of Apparitional Reality - it doesn’t exist.”

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