Paisley based Rainbow Turtle is a Fair Trade organisation selling Fair Trade food and craft through its shop in Paisley High St, through its online presence and its sale or return/wholesale service . With little reserves to grow the business, and the over reliance on one member of staff and lack of time to generate new business opportunities , they turned to Start & Grow for investment.
Rainbow Turtle received a £60K investment package to fund the employment of 3 new members of staff and working capital for stock, marketing and IT upgrading.
In previous years, with low cash reserves, they have been unable to plan ahead, operating with low stock margins, and a fear of the unknown. With the additional investment Rainbow Turtle has been able to plan effectively and ensure that their shop and warehouse has been adequately stocked for their key trading periods..
In the run up to Christmas 2013, a window designer gave of his time to create an amazing winter wonderland display which increased footfall to the shop. This has inspired the organisation to continue investing in the windows and has used art and design students from a local college to help with further displays. The investment in the shop has paid dividends with an increase in sales. Before Start & Grow spending money on marketing would have been a luxury.
The employment of staff has been a real boost to Rainbow Turtle, it has brought about real structure and ownership to the business, enabling the director Liz Cotton, to develop the business and explore new opportunities, including internships for students from the local college.
Liz Cotton, one of Rainbow Turtle’s Director said “The dual aspect of Start & Grow made it an attractive option for us. A grant would so easily have been swallowed up in the day to day operations, whereas a loan required us to have ownership of the investment; you have to make money to cover the loan.
I would recommend Start & Grow to other social enterprises looking to develop. If you have a good plan and are confident that you can generate income – just do it! It can make a real difference, it is the vehicle to realise your vision.”