The MBA alumni who started a business in lockdown

The coronavirus pandemic has hit businesses hard, leading to sweeping numbers of redundancies and millions of workers being furloughed. Despite the downturn, Jayne Lawson, CEO of ShieldWear, decided to take the brave step of starting a business.


As a full time student Jayne Lawson, 28, was studying for an MBA at London Business School when lockdown began. Whilst her course suddenly switched to online learning, she decided to spend her time helping a care home source personal protective equipment (PPE). Whilst doing so, Lawson became frustrated by the lack of professionalism, care and diligence in the PPE industry. She encountered unreasonable markup prices, uncertified and fraudulent product, lack of on the ground stock and questionable supply chains. She was eager to find high quality PPE at modest prices in a high demand market.

Supporting one care home led to many and so Lawson, along with a fellow grad school alumnus, Claire Blumenthal, founded ShieldWear to support the UK care home sector get the PPE resources they required in light of the COVID-19 outbreak. In the current pandemic, they were quick to identify the lack of infrastructure to source the level of protective equipment required to reduce the risk of infectious spreading.

While it remained ShieldWear’s priority to ensure those working in health and care settings were supplied with the PPE they needed, the duo quickly recognised the need to ensure supplies to organisations wanting to get their employees to return to the workplace after months of working from home during lockdown.

ShieldWear imported millions of masks

“We’ve already delivered several million masks and respirators and we’re constantly expanding to new markets and product lines”

Lawson now leads ShieldWear, supported by a team of experienced sales, marketing and procurement professionals across cities in the UK, France and Switzerland. The team is a product of Covid-19, having been recruited during lockdown through video calls and working together to help supply reliable, certified, and cost-effective personal protective equipment (PPE) to care homes and corporations in need.

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