Blackpool entrepreneur gets a boost to grow her new business

Blackpool entrepreneur Jennifer Duthie hopes to see her innovative brand of children’s trainers stocked in stores next year after receiving free business support.

The ‘Skribbies’ have a special surface, similar to a whiteboard, which can be customised with magic pens and stickers. Children can wipe off the designs and create new ones as often as they like.

Jennifer, who only started trading in Summer 2013, required additional support to prepare her new business for growth. She accessed free support through the Lancashire LEAP start up programme, which is run by Regenerate Pennine Lancashire and Winning Pitch as part of Boost Business Lancashire, the £7.2m Lancashire Business Growth Hub.

Jennifer accessed free boot camps which provided her with essential knowledge required to run a new business, including sessions on how to access finance and plan ahead for growth. She also received free business coaching, a mentor and accessed partial finance for Skribbies through “growth vouchers”. These will contribute towards the promotion of the product.

Jennifer said: “The support has been incredible. It really honed my focus on critical aspects of my business particularly in the financial and legal areas. The interaction with other start-up stage entrepreneurs was particularly insightful and encouraged me to be more lateral in my thinking.”

“Since the bootcamp sessions, revenue is growing and new products are in the design and development stage. We are looking forward to further growth in 2014!” Boost Business Lancashire is the £7.2million Lancashire Business Growth Hub led by the Lancashire Local Enterprise Partnership. It is part financed by the European Regional Development Fund Programme 2007 to 2013.

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