The Start Up Loan Company’s national award for the Best in Business 2013 has been won by SWIG Start Up applicant Lucy Roberson.
26-year-old Lucy from St Agnes in Cornwall got the idea for starting her own business after a tragic accident where her horse was critically injured after jumping an electric fence which failed to have any affect due to its winter turnout rug.
Lucy did not want to own another horse with the continued risk and realised she could not be the only horse owner who had a similar problem. The idea developed into a turnout rug which kept horses warm in the winter while allowing the electric fence to remain an effective safety precaution. The patent-pending design allows the rug to act as a direct channel between the fence and the horse, meaning the horse will respect the fence as it would when not wearing a rug.
Lucy came to SWIG with a product which had already launched however needed Start Up funding for greater and improved product development, including investing in differing rug weights for breeds and varied weather conditions as well as marketing the product. Lucy was successful in receiving £10,000 from SWIG Start Ups allowing her to invest in marketing strategy and finalising rug designs.
The products have been innovative to the equestrian world and Guardian Equestrian remains the industry leader for electic fence turnout rugs. Lucy sells the rugs currently through her website with customers predominantly coming from the South East, Cambridge, Surrey and Devon. Lucy has recently developed a relationship with Cornwall Farmers and is test trading the products in three of their stores.
Winning £250 to spend on marketing along with the accolade Lucy plans to create further retail and distribution links with equestrian companies and continue to promote the product in 2014.
Despite her success, Lucy is a surprised entrepreneur who admits she never expected to be running her own business.
“Winning this award is a wonderful achievement for us and it will really help to propel Guardian Equestrian into the retail landscape. I am completely over the moon, it’s a brilliant start to 2014!”
If you think you could benefit from a Start Up Loan, find out more at www.swigstartups.co.uk