Peter Sorsby and Tristan Cowell
A Sheffield company which supplies branded homewares, garden and gift products for clients including major supermarkets, high street retailers and garden centres has secured a £150,000 loan to support its growth from NPIF – Enterprise Ventures Debt Finance, part of the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund.
IC Innovations produces a wide range of home, garden and gift products, from BBC Good Food kitchen tools and electricals to fun Christmas products under The Snowman brand, and now supplies over 6,000 retail outlets across the UK. The funding will support the business through its ongoing expansion and help it to meet the increased stock requirements following the recent high volume contract with its new BBC Gardeners’ World product ranges.
The company employs 18 staff in the UK at its Sheffield Headquarters and has two distribution centres in Nottingham and Derby, with Far East offices in Shanghai and Guangzhou in China. It plans to create a further 10 skilled jobs in the coming year.
IC Innovations was founded in 2004 by current MD Tristan Cowell who had invented Card HangUps™, an innovative product for displaying Christmas cards. The company soon expanded its range of gifts and seasonal products and identified a demand for high quality household products. Tristan, now 35, was one of a number of young entrepreneurs who were invited to 10 Downing Street last year..
Peter Sorsby, Investment Manager at Enterprise Ventures, part of Mercia Technologies PLC, said:
“IC Innovations is a real success story which shows how a company which started out with one product can expand rapidly and become a trusted partner to big brands by identifying and fulfilling customer needs. The company now manages a global supply chain and has built expertise across the whole process from product design to quality control, packaging, shipping and fulfilling orders. This funding will provide additional working capital to help Tristan and his team scale up their operation.”
Grant Peggie, Director at British Business Bank, said:
“NPIF’s debt finance fund has been incredibly well received by the local business community and is already making a real difference to ambitious companies looking to take the next step on their growth journey. This latest funding provides IC Innovations with the finance it needs to expand and create new jobs.”
The Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund project is supported financially by the European Union using funding from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020 and the European Investment Bank.