A 24 year old from Liverpool has realised her dream of running her own business with funding from The North West Fund for Micro Loans managed by Merseyside Special Investment Fund (MSIF).
Anna Slater from Sefton Park launched North West Linen Services - a bespoke linen service business - last year with a £20k loan from MSIF through a combination of funding from the Start Up Loans Programme and The Regional Growth Fund (RGF).
MSIF has now provided a further £38k loan through The North West Fund for Micro Loans which has been used to set up commercial premises, invest in equipment and take on new staff.
North West Linen Services offers clients a dedicated linen service sourcing linen which is bespoke to each customer and providing a full laundry service.
The business’s customer base comprises pubs, restaurants and hotels across the North West including a chain of 7 gastro pubs throughout Lancashire and a Holiday Inn Express.
Miss Slater said: “I spent 9 years working in a linen business in Liverpool and also worked in France. I had been thinking for some time about setting up my own business. When I returned to the UK I was approached by a former client asking if it was possible for me to provide a service for the company he worked for. I negotiated with a local laundry to subcontract to them whilst I built up a client base before opening my own facility.
“Because I’m so young and with no previous track record of running a business, financing the idea was always going to be a bit of a problem. However I was introduced to MSIF by a former employer who had successful lending through MSIF in the past.
“MSIF and Sue have been so supportive. Without them there is no way I would have been able to launch the business. The fact that they have had the faith to provide a follow-on investment has really spurred me on and fuelled my ambition to continue to grow the company. I’ve already created 5 jobs and expect to take on a further 2 staff within a year.”
MSIF investment manager Sue Chambers said: “It is really heartening to see such drive to run a successful business in someone so young. Despite her age, Anna has a real commercial acumen and she has done incredibly well to grow the business to its current size from a standing start. She is delivering a high quality service which has ensured existing clients keep coming back to her and seen her gain new customers as well.
“We are really pleased to be supporting her – she is an inspiration to other young people who are considering setting up on their own.”
The North West Fund for Micro Loans is part of The North West Fund which is a substantial evergreen fund supported by the European Investment Bank and European Regional Development Fund to supply debt and equity funding to growing small and medium-sized enterprises in the North West of England.
ApplicationsTo apply, businesses can complete an online application form at www.thenorthwestfund.co.uk or contact the fund managers directly on:
The North West Fund for Micro Loans
David Martin, for Cheshire, Greater Manchester, Lancashire and Cumbria:
0161 245 4952
Sue Chambers, for Merseyside:
0151 236 4040