Big Cheese loan helps Start Up Business

A Kensington start-up food business has received the first “Big Cheese” loan from Your Credit Union.

“Big Cheese” loans are the brainchild of the credit union and Portobello Business Centre and are funded in partnership with the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea. They are aimed at helping create 50 new businesses in the area every year.

Karen Cappetta, founder of Angels and Cookies, borrowed £2,500 from the Kensington High Street-based credit union to fund a stand at the upcoming Allergy and Free From show which is being held at London’s Olympia in July, and is expected to attract more than 35,000 people living with allergies, coeliac disease, respiratory conditions, intolerances, skin and chemical sensitivities.

The cash will enable Karen to take part in the show to help promote her 14 allergy-free gourmet ready-to-bake cookie doughs which are wheat, gluten, dairy, egg, soy and nut-free.

Karen said: “I am delighted to have been given this opportunity to promote and bring awareness about my products. This small injection of capital allows me to reach out to like-minded businesses and exhibition visitors who suffer from food allergies and intolerances.

“By attending this show, we can speak to the people who can help us grow our business to the next level, at the same time officially launching the Angels & Cookies product onto the world stage.”

Your Credit Union CEO William Rhodes said they were thrilled to be able to support Karen to help expand her business.

He said: “Finding access to sources of finance early on for a business is a vitally important step along the way towards sustainability and success. It can be really tough for small firms to borrow the money they need to get their businesses off the ground despite being a viable credit risk. Even quite modest amounts can make the difference between someone taking the leap or never acting.”

Portobello Business Centre Chief Executive Allen Pluck said: “Micro-businesses are the lifeblood of our community and we aim to make sure more people get access to the support they need to succeed. The support is crucial, both in terms of introduction to advice and mentoring and in terms of access to seed-financing that is appropriate and affordable.”

Your Credit Union serves anyone who lives, works, studies or volunteers in The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, Hammersmith and Fulham, Westminster and the City of London. It currently has more than 1,200 members and has to date made loans worth over £1 million to local people.