Award-winning firm Inspire Insurance has been looking to grow into new premises for over a year but had been forced to freeze its expansion plans because of the terms being offered by banks to buy its own building.
But after a call out on LinkedIn, assistance from alternative funding provider Ludgate Finance and major support from the Coventry and Warwickshire Growth Hub, the company has been able to move to the Cobalt Centre on the Middlemarch Business Park.
It has already seen the company grow from 12 to 16 staff and there is room for further growth at the new property but managing director Leigh Mackey said he couldn’t have done it without the Growth Hub and Ludgate.
He said: “We’d be trying to move by accessing traditional forms of finance for sometime and it was frustrating because I could see the potential for growth and it was really holding us back.
“In the end, I put a posted on LinkedIn asking what other sources of funding were out there and Richard Mason from Ludgate got in touch with me.
“He introduced us to a peer-to-peer lender called Fundingknight and, from there, everything happened very quickly.
“I was then introduced to Jeremy Moore at the Coventry and Warwickshire Growth Hub and that really helped us to make the move.”
Through the Growth Hub, Inspire Insurance managed to secure a £50,000 grant towards the purchase of the building through the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). The overall investment in the building, including purchase, fit-out and IT, has totalled more than £500,000.
“The fact that we are looking at strong business growth and recruiting new staff meant we were eligible for grant support but the Growth Hub made that whole process really smooth and easy for us,” said Leigh. “The support we have had has made all of this possible and will lead to further new jobs in the future.”
Richard said: “We do have to keep getting the message out there that there are alternative forms of funding for businesses that want to grow.
“In this instance, we found the perfect platform for Inspire Insurance and I am delighted we have been able to assist.”
Jeremy Moore, of the Coventry and Warwickshire Growth Hub, said that it was important for businesses who had hit a funding brick wall to look for help.
He said: “I meet so many companies who feel like they have been banging their head against a wall when it comes to funding.
“We can provide support to businesses of all sizes and sectors on a range of matters and it’s always great to be able help companies achieve their growth ambitions.
“There are many facets to the help we offer and I am speaking to Leigh already about other ways the Growth Hub can support his company’s expansion.”
FundingKnight’s goal is to help British businesses realise their plans by connecting them with its crowd of investors. For Inspire, it was able to provide a bespoke solution which helped fund the property purchase and also provided a business loan to support the company.
Head of Property, Gary Mealing, said: “Inspire is a well-run, growth-oriented company, exactly the sort of opportunity our investor community is looking for. We were very happy to be able to support Leigh’s plans for growth.”
Pictured (left to right): Jeremy Moore, Leigh Mackey, Richard Mason