Enterprise Nation supports start-ups and small businesses with £15,000 giveaway

Fund101 a scheme run by Enterprise Nation, allows entrepreneurs and business owners
to apply for funds of up to £500.

The final total can be secured by the business through obtaining online votes from the Enterprise Nation online community and their own network attune to the amount required i.e. £500 requires 500 votes.

Sponsored by Paypal and Intuit as part of their drive to support small businesses Fund101
was designed to not only allow business to get going or grow but also to support and
promote their ideas through a very active and creative community of other businesses on
the Enterprise Nation site.

Emma Jones, Founder of Enterprise Nation (pictured) said: “We know from our community and research over the past 18 months that only small amounts of capital are required to start and grow a business and these amounts can be the hardest to come by. Fund101 has been an incredible success and since launch in September over 50,000 people have applied or voted via the site. The amounts of money may be small but it’s making a big difference to a lot of people.”

This year’s winners include:
Aimee Rogers, Revitalize Fitness
Aimee Rogers a Personal Fitness trainer started Revitalize fitness in early 2011 after being
made redundant from her job at the local council whilst she was pregnant.

Rogers had always dreamed of being her own boss and now with her impending motherhood she finally had the opportunity to put this dream into action. She has since built up a strong client base and only works during the evenings and on weekends allowing her to fully care for their latest edition to the family during the working week.

Rogers decided to apply for £79 through Fund101 so that she could purchase a flip camera to help develop and grow the business further. With the use of the new camera Aimee plans to film short work out videos for her existing clients for them to work out to during the week and when she isn’t available. The videos will also be a great opportunity for developing new business opportunities as prospective clients will be able to gage and
understand more about the services on offer.

Talking about the win, Rogers said: “It only took 48 hours for me to receive the required number of votes to secure my funding, I couldn’t believe how easy it was, all I had to do was reach out to my existing supporters through my Facebook group and Twitter account. However, the best part of achieving my funding was seeing how much support I had from everyone who wanted to help, it’s given me so much confidence to step forward in 2012.”

Isobel Keenan, Jolly Gorgeous Catering
Isobel Keenan has always loved cooking but after starting her food and culinary arts
course at Brighton University she knew it was a hobby she wanted to do full time. So whilst
continuing her course during the day she set up Jolly Gorgeous Catering on the side
exclusively offering tasty canapés at events around Brighton and London.

The company started in 2011 with Isobel mainly catering at events for family and friends
but as her course end date approaches she decided it was time to start growing the
business by asking for £450 from Fund101 to begin marketing it.

In order to achieve her goal of 450 votes, Isobel printed off flyers at her University and
handed them out around campus. After just two weeks of self-promotion she had the
number of votes required and not only did she have the money from Fund101 but her self promotion tactics have also landed her several enquiries for event catering over the
coming months.

Keenan said: “Going into the University and handing out flyers to complete
strangers was really daunting but it certainly paid off. I now have several enquires and an
offer for a sit down dinner for 45 people next month. I can’t wait to finish my course now so
I can get going and really grow Jolly Gorgeous Catering it’s so exciting.”

Rachel Moir, RM Childminding
Rachel Moir took the opportunity to set up her own child minding business whilst she was
pregnant with her daughter. Having spent many years working in her local bank, Rachel
wanted to be her own boss giving her the flexibility to be with the latest edition to their
family.

So in late 2011 Rachel began her training two evenings a week with the local council to
become qualified. Then three months later after being assessed she was given her license
to look after children from home. Rachel now has two little ones she regularly looks after
and expects to grow her ability to care for six children this year.

To help her achieve this goal, Rachel applied for £150 from Fund101 to buy outdoor
equipment for her garden. Whilst caring for children, minders are expected to devote time
to allow them to play outside and instead of making this time dull for them Rachel is
investing in a sandpit, swings and football set.

It only took her three days to achieve her target of 150 votes through outreaching to the
Enterprise Nation community and family and friends.

Moir said: “I love having my own business. It was daunting to start with when all the paperwork came through but it was the best decision I ever made and works so well with our lifestyle. Getting the funding for our outdoor play area is really going to help to boost our offering and I’m so excited we’ve managed to achieve this.”

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