A Bournemouth business has taken the South West Microcredit Fund, part financed by Competitiveness European Regional Development Fund and delivered by SWIG Finance over £1 Million lent across the region.
Launched in July 2010 the fund aims to support start up and existing businesses in selected urban areas across the South West which have been unsuccessful in accessing sufficient funding from commercial sources and has so far funded more than 170 businesses across the region.
Acaiteria, set up by Jadwiga Cwynar and Lucas Dalleprane from their home in central Bournemouth sells mobile fruit sorbets based around the Brazilian fruit, Acai.
Acai is a multi-stemmed plant which grows mainly on the flood plains of the Amazon estuary in Brazil. It has been harvested by natives for centuries but was first recognised in Europe in 1824, by the German physician and botanist Carl Friedrich Philipp von Martius.
Mr Dalleprane, aged 27, is from the town of Guarapari, which sits approximately 250 miles north-east of Rio de Janeiro, on the east coast of Brazil.
Mr Dalleprane works on the IT, website design and search engine optimisation, as well as the van mechanics, while Ms Cwynar looks after sales and marketing.
Ms Cwynar, who is 28 and originally from Poland but studied marketing in South Wales before moving to Bournemouth after living in Bristol, said: “Acai is really popular in Brazil and in the US as well. We’d love to replicate the success that some of the main brands over there have had.
“In Brazil it is eaten in certain ways but our aim is to serve it really healthily, sometimes combined with other organic foods and antioxidants, so that our customers get maximum benefits from this amazing superfood.”
The pair were successful in applying for £7,500 from the South West Microcredit fund as well as a £6,500 government-backed Start Up Loan, also delivered across the South West by SWIG. Using the money on developing the logo design, branding and marketing as well as the van, the pair also received business support from Outset Bournemouth.
Ms Cwynar said: “Without the loans from SWIG Finance we wouldn’t be at the position we are now – it would have been impossible to get the business off the ground.
“We tried a few different routes to secure the finances for this but we were very lucky to receive the funding. It was really straightforward to do, I’m really grateful for the help we have had and I’m proud to be starting up the business here.
“We’ve got the website ready, the health and safety checks have been done and it’s exciting to have nine months of work behind us and being ready to start selling.”
The original article appeared in the Bournemouth Echo