Cornwall-based entrepreneur, Sam Downing, has received a £15,000 Start Up Loan to develop his running apparel business, Ponnek Ltd.
The funding will help secure an ethical supply chain and purchase initial stock. The loan also supports marketing ahead of the business launch.
For Sam, running is about more than exercise. It’s about grit, determination and willingness to succeed. Three admirable qualities often applied to running a business as well.
Sam is currently the sole employee at Ponnek, however, he plans to take on a part-time employee within the first 12 months of trading.
Sam is also employed full-time as a civil engineer. Having previously worked for his family business in international wine sales, Sam has a good understanding of how to run a business, particularly how to manage people, budgets and cash flows.
Eventually, Sam wants to develop the brand into an all-inclusive running club. For now, Sam is laying the foundations. Having built a ‘plogging’ group (jogging and picking up litter), Sam helps keep the beautiful coastal paths where he lives and runs litter-free.
Of the funding, Sam said “Without this funding, I would have struggled to give Ponnek the start that it has had, or even to have started it at all. It’s great that I can repay the loan in manageable monthly repayments, this helps with the business’s cash flow. The fact that I was assigned a mentor upon receiving the loan, has also been invaluable.”
SWIG Finance’s Mark Thayre commented “Sam is passionate and focused. His loan application was refreshing because he was not over-ambitious with his sales forecasts and had set realistic sales targets. Crucially, Sam is fully aware of his knowledge and skills gaps and is addressing these shortfalls by enrolling in several business support programmes. Sam’s determination to succeed is commendable.”