A Chat with Michelle Begy, Managing Director and Founder at Elite Matchmaking Agency: Ignite Dating

Ignite Dating is an elite matchmaking and introductions agency that is here to change the way our clients’ date. Specialising in hand-selected introductions, our matchmaking service combines a unique mix of Myers Briggs personality profiling, experienced matchmakers, intuition, and an extensive private network.

We work closely with our network of highly successful and affluent clients to help them find a life partner that shares their values, lifestyle and aspirations to achieve that ultimate goal of a long-term committed relationship.


How did you come up with the idea for the company?

Thanks to the era of online dating, the dating industry has undergone some major changes over the last ten years and, after working with one of the UK’s largest introduction agencies, I realised that the dating world was ripe for a different way of doing business. Educated and successful people did not have time for the labor-intensive scrolling of online dating, were growing bored of the ineffectiveness of database matching, and did not want to have their profiles all over the internet.

Instead, they were looking for a more personalised service that took away the effort and stress and allowed them to be more prescriptive as to what they wanted in a partner.

As a result, I launched Ignite Dating in January 2020. When most in the industry took a bleak outlook on the future as lockdowns were enforced, my team and I took a different approach, focusing on growing the business harder and faster and ensuring that people could still meet their future partner in a safe and responsible way. Our success over the last 18 months has been based upon offering a completely different perspective on virtual dating, providing clients with support and advice throughout their journey and taking advantage of the changes forced upon society rather than seeing them as impossible obstacles.

In the process, Ignite Dating has become one of the most respected names in the industry and has received accreditation from the Matchmaking Institute (MMI) – the world’s only organisation to authorise certification in the field of matchmaking.


How has the company evolved during the pandemic?

Ten weeks after launching Ignite Dating, the whole country went into lockdown. For an industry that thrives on personal contact and building relationships, there was no way of knowing the true impact that this situation was going to have on not only Ignite Dating but the industry as a whole and everyone seemed to have a bleak outlook on the future.

Faced with a situation where we could not meet face-to-face to interview clients, and they in turn would not be able to meet up to date, I admit I was initially concerned with the impact this would have on Ignite Dating. However, rather than give up at the first hurdle we took a “push harder, work longer and build faster” approach. When many people in the industry decided that they would concentrate solely on the clients that they had already taken on or in some cases mothball their agency, to get through the pandemic, we took a different approach.

Instead of waiting to see what happened as the pandemic unfolded, we increased our online marketing spend by 200%, increased the areas in England that we could offer service to and retained the services of a PR agency, achieving 23 published articles and comments in national press publications, numerous broadcast interviews and a huge drive in our Google campaigns. We also embraced the opportunities of lockdown and the more traditional relationship approach that it necessitated.

This determination to stay positive and swim against the tide allowed us to come out of lockdown stronger and in a better position than ever – something which looks set to continue.

Since restrictions started to ease, we have seen a 350% growth in the number of people taking up our matchmaking services and this is increasing month-on-month. Through working harder and continuing to grow, even when faced with adversity, I feel we have built a strong and reputable brand that saw Ignite Dating grow from just a team of two to a team of five by the end of the first lockdown and now a team of ten. Within eight months my start-up went to a six-figure turnover with a healthy profit, something that I am incredibly proud of given the situation we faced.

Through the personal service that Ignite Dating offers, we have helped our clients continue their dating journeys through the pandemic in a safe way in line with government restrictions and helped an abundance of new clients find a new way to date.

What can we hope to see from Ignite Dating in the future?

Following a year of exponential growth, we now have two offices and have rolled our franchise model out to 6 territories across the UK. The dedication and hard work that we have put in over the last 18 months has paid off and we have witnessed huge growth in the brand, with our franchisees achieving unparalleled success through the innovative formula and flexible business opportunity that Ignite provides.

Having greatly surpassed original financial projections in year one, we are well underway to expand both domestically and internationally over the course of the next 18 months, extending the service offering at the top end, entering the Australian market, and increasing to 15 UK franchises. The future is bright!!