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Walking sticks will no longer go astray

Alison Willis has been great whilst I was applying and looking for options in regards to funding. Caroline Brown

Caroline Brown’s business idea was simply to design a walking stick holder that would stop the problem of walking sticks falling to the floor. This led to the walking stick holder that is versatile enough to attach to almost every surface aptly named StickStay being created. The product has been carefully designed and developed with assistance from the HDTI (Health Design and Technology Institute) at Coventry University to provide just the right amount of flexibility to embrace the majority of walking stick types and styles.

Caroline faced three challenges when starting her business:

1  Finding a manufacturer that is based locally so that she could keep an eye on manufacturing.
2  Finding the best possible way of selling the product online. Caroline had originally planned to use Ebay but after problems they switched to Shopify.
3  Securing finance back in 2008 Caroline was originally rejected from Dragons Den.

Through the programme StickStay has managed to secure a SWIG loan of £7,500 which will go a long way to moving the business forward this coming year.
Caroline was given the different options that were available to her in terms of funding by the team at Start & Grow, and was guided through the process of applying for the SWIG loan and offered advice and support whenever she needed it.

As the business moves forward Caroline hopes to get marketing and social media advice and training from the Start & Grow team.

Caroline Brown is a client of Business West, delivering business support in the South West.

Under the Start & Grow programme, Caroline received 28 hours of support and attended 2 training days.  She raised £7,500 in funding to match her own personal investment into the business and 2 jobs have been created.

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