Rachel Pendered is Founder and Co-CEO of award-winning creative comms agency Media Zoo headquartered in London.
Rachel is a successful entrepreneur, who founded her business, Media Zoo in 2003. She has built and scaled her company from a small start-up production business to an award-winning global agency that is a Sunday Times Fast Track 100 Company.
I have worked in content and TV for years. When I set up Media Zoo – a creative communications hub – I saw it as an opportunity to build something from scratch that I could put my heart and soul into. Now 20 years on, I am so proud of what I have achieved. The recent investment in Media Zoo means that I can continue to grow the business as CEO – driving forward exciting strategic opportunities such as offices in new territories and key acquisitions which will strengthen the company from within.
Yes and no! I knew from an early age that I lean towards entrepreneurship. Being my own boss was really important to me and has shaped the decisions I have made over the years.
I wish the education community would do more than simply talk about entrepreneurship. Schools should teach younger generations the soft and hard skills to run a business, not just the simple facts on how to tackle traditional old fashioned careers. I believe planning and organisation are vital for success, combined with always having a really clear vision of what I want to achieve. Visualising your goals is a very powerful way to making things happen.
More than I can count! Media Zoo has weathered a few storms overs the years. The recent pandemic was a real challenge, but we dug in deep and have come out stronger and better from it. We pivoted, adapted and tried out new services for our clients which proved incredibly successful. We are now more able to face the future. The whole team was incredible during this time and proved that strong collaboration, support and communication are the driving force behind our achievements at Media Zoo.
When Media Zoo won both The Grand Prix at Cannes and The Grand at the New York Film and TV Festivals in the same year I had a major moment. I had to pinch myself that we had done something that no other UK agency has ever achieved. At a female founder and working with a female director on ‘Saving Mr Renton’ it felt we could achieve anything and we are still reaching for the stars for our clients.
Tenacity! It’s an under rated skill.
I have been fortunate enough to experience both. Being a mentor can be incredibly rewarding, a chance to give back, a chance to help someone and see them develop. But equally I have been lucky enough to work with some amazing women over the years who have been there to offer advice, explain how to expand and grow through investment, and also to know how to be brave, to be bold and to have a vision.
At Media Zoo we regularly practice Shine Theory by celebrating our great talent and always ensuring that credit is given where it’s due.
Media Zoo has worked for many years with The Daily Mile – an in-school children’s health and fitness initiative. We’ve helped the charity grow from one school in Scotland to over 3 million kids taking part all over the world. If I could change one thing it would be to do something similar to support an in-schools female entrepreneurship programme, raising the profile of great role models and helping the next generation of entrepreneurs to have the confidence to achieve their ambitions. As a female founder and entrepreneur I want to play my part in helping to build on the success of Alison Rose’s ‘Rose Review’ and champion great role models whenever I can.
I would tell my younger self to have courage. To worry less about what others think and stay focused on your own vision of success. Whatever that may be.
We are excited to launch into new territories this year. We plan to open two new offices in the next 12 months, this should generate opportunities internally for the Zoo Crew. Our purpose at The Zoo is to use our creativity as a force for good, and in the current climate with all of its challenges, we look forward to working with our clients to achieve more good in the world.