Business Funding Success Stories


Bob Adams

Bob Adams had been a consultant for a number of years within the energy sector.

He had been developing a new product for the logistics market that measures the optimum energy usage for warehouses. This system then modifies the energy levels within the warehouse allowing them to gain savings on their energy bills in excess of 15%.

This is particularly important for logistics companies as one of their largest overheads is energy.

Bob had spent a number of years perfecting the product and had used up much of his own resource to get it to market.

But Bob, now in his sixties, needed some further investment to get the units installed into the customers warehouses. Although the banks were prepared to go so far via a small overdraft, Bob needed additional working capital to achieve that.

Bob turned to the Business Enterprise Fund who saw the potential in this product and decided that they would support it with a £30,000 loan.

Bob was delighted and is now in the middle of rolling out these devices across the country for such people as DHL, Sainsburys and other well known logistics companies.

Butterfly Snacks

A Blackburn company that received support from Blackburn with Darwen Council's Get Set business start-up programme, including advice and assistance in preparing its business plan, has subsequently won a top regional award for its innovation.

Butterfly Snacks, a family owned business in Shear Brow, which makes snacks for coeliacs and people with other health issues, has won the Bank of Ireland award for the most innovative product at the Food Northwest Awards 2007.

The company worked in conjunction with Kendal College and Manchester Metropolitan University to develop its range of gluten-free savoury products.

Managing director of Butterfly Snacks, Mohammed Tariq Malik said:

“Thanks to the Council's Get Set Business Start-Up programme, I received a start-up grant of £1,600 to purchase necessary manufacturing equipment to get the business up and running. I also received ongoing support through an accredited business advisor; John Ball, and this was invaluable through the first few months of trading.”

Jiggery Pokery

Jane Coulthard launched Jiggery Pokery from her home in Westlinton in July 2006. Jiggery Pokery is an accessories and jewellery business that Jane was able to establish the business after meeting Bev Bamford, Longtown Market Initiatives business advisor, and completing a business start up course.

Word spread fast about her exclusive products, and the business expansion and marketing grants from Longtown MTI subsequently enabled Jane to launch Jiggery Pokery online in July 2007.

The marketing grant assisted Jane in extending awareness into businesses in Carlisle and distributing mailings to past customers, promoting the new website.

Jane says:

“I felt very planned and prepared when I first started the business but the online aspect is rather more a leap into the unknown.

"The Longtown MTI contacts, support and grant money have given me access to the right expertise and have enabled Jiggery Pokery to expand much faster than it could have done from just my own resources. Its a huge relief to know that there is advice and support available should I need it.”

Motormouse

Motormouse.com is a car brokering company, acting as the negotiator between the customer and a car dealership, to secure a substantial discount for a new car on the customers behalf.

The company has gone from strength to strength in the last two years, and was in need of an over haul of its website www.motormouse.com, to take it forward into the future, being only a small company only had limited resources to put towards development of the new website.

Thanks to the Economic Enabling Grant from Chichester District Council, Motormouse has now been able to redevelop its website which has made a huge difference to the business.

Motormouse has two directors, Keith and Michelle Hood. Keith comes from the motor industry and worked as group accountant - he decided to use his knowledge of how the industry works to benefit both customer and dealerships alike.

Michelle runs the sales/customer care and administrative side of the business. Coming from an NHS Administration background, Michelle has used her knowledge and experience of dealing with the general public to ensure the smooth day to day running of the company.

She said:

"We can now take Motormouse.com forward and feel the Grant has been a huge help in achieving this, it was not complicated to apply for, and we have received a very efficient and courteous service from Kim Pellett the Enabling Grant Officer and her team, who have guided us all the way".

Peers Garden Supplies

A talented teenager’s garden supplies business is blooming after receiving funding from a rural enterprise scheme.

Toby Peers, of Pantymwyn, North Wales, had already set-up his Peers Garden Supplies company from a garage at his aunt and uncle’s house.

The handyman originally started off making bird boxes and dog kennels, as well as supplying logs to local homes and businesses, but he needed additional support to make a real success of his idea.

He has really branched out after securing a £1,000 bursary from Cadwyn Clwyd’s Sbarc 16-30 Rural Flintshire Enterprise Bursary scheme.

Toby explains:

“I realised when I started that to make a go of it I needed a trailer, and that’s where the bursary cam in because it was £1,400 and that was more than I could afford.

“But Cadwyn Clwyd came up with the grant and that was massive for me – they provided me with £1,000 and I was able to raise the rest myself. Without their help I wouldn’t have been able to do anything – they’ve been brilliant.”

Now Toby has moved into new premises on the Ewloe Barn Industrial Estate near Mold and has progressed to selling sheds, fencing and even Christmas trees to a growing list of customers.

More details about the Sbarc 16-30 Rural Flintshire Enterprise Bursaries are available from Sian Roberts at Cadwyn Clwyd on (01824) 705802 or by emailing sian.roberts@adwynclwyd.co.uk

‘Mrs Plumber’

Teresa Mulchrone used the GET SET programme to help her start her own business, Mrs Plumber.

She lives in the Wensley Fold ward of Blackburn, which is one of the most disadvantaged areas in the UK. She saw a market opportunity for a first class plumbing service, particularly bathroom installation.

The business is doing well, and Teresa has the GET SET programme to thank for helping to establish her company. The programme assisted Teresa in the critical first stages, particularly with advice and assistance on creating a business plan, a very important aspect of starting up any business.

She said:

"It was brilliant to get my ideas into a structured business plan, it helps you get organised and its great to have professional support to turn my ideas into reality."

Sash Curtain Makers

Founded by Jenny Oates and family, Sash Curtain Makers has grown into a respected organisation and has supplied soft furnishings to TV personalities, show homes and hotels and Clarence House.

Jenny Oates brought in Business Link West Yorkshire (BLWY) business advisers in July 2006 to look at forward business planning and to devise a marketing plan to increase sales.

BLWY put the organisation in touch with the Manufacturing Advisory Service, who subsequently part-funded a three-month project to look at production and operational services.

In addition, BLWY part-funded a marketing project, which will research and analyse their target markets to ultimately improve sales and profits further.

Jenny Oates said:

“Business Link have been nothing short of amazing for our organisation. Their contacts and advice have meant that we now have a five year business plan to improve sales by 20% year on year.

"Through BLWY I now have a business mentor to call on which I have found invaluable I feel so excited about the future now.”

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