The Access to Finance (A2F) team’s excellent network of financial and funding contacts has helped a fledgling business to find the capital it needed.
Blackburn-based Remexx was founded in April 2014 after the closure of the town’s Remploy factory. It was set up by two former employees David Sussex and Peter Clark, with the same Remploy values of employing people with complex barriers to work.
The company also set out to emulate Remploy’s tradition of making high quality school and office furniture but needed start-up capital in order to buy machinery, build up stock and begin employing new staff.
They approached the Hub for support and were teamed up with A2F specialist Prakash Patel who worked closely with the duo to understand their needs and help identify suitable sources of finance. After a review of their business plan and financial forecast, Prakash introduced them to relationship managers at HSBC and Barclays, where they were able to secure start-up capital of £90,000.
As Prakesh explains: “The passion of David and Peter came across in the business plan and in meetings with funders. The Hub’s involvement was in shaping some of the areas of the plan and strategy to ensure the key commercial aspects were clear and determining the structure which would meet the funding criteria for each party.”
“We knew we had a sound business proposition, but we struggled to get banks and other funders to take interest,” says David. “We were introduced by Lancashire Leap to A2F and with the help and energy of Prakash we were able to obtain the necessary capital to start the business. Without the guidance and practical help from A2F it is difficult to see how we could have got the business off the ground.”
The capital has been put to immediate good use and in just five months the company’s turn-over has risen to almost £100,000, with a further £20,000 on their order book.
The success is partly down to the company’s strong distribution network that supplies primary and secondary schools, colleges and academies with a range of products including tables, chairs and desks, all designed to take heavy use over a long lifetime.
They have now sold their products to over 90 schools and are working with other businesses, including an educational sales and marketing company in Wales operated by former Remploy colleagues, to further develop the network.
Remexx are also set to move to new premises and employ a new administrator to run the office, allowing David and Peter to concentrate on expanding the business.
Prakash adds: “Creating a quality product has always been their key objective alongside supporting those with disabilities to find work. Now the business is building itself a reputation across the educational sector as an organisation that delivers on both.
“It is a fantastic company to work with, backed by two very committed directors with a real focus on customer service.”