A Cornish designer of baby teething toys is the latest business to benefit from the South West Investment Fund.
Gummee, which is led by entrepreneur Jodine Boothby and her husband Steve, has received a £26,320 smaller loan from SWIG Finance as part of the South West Investment Fund, to support their cashflow as they develop new products to bring to the market.
The £200m South West Investment Fund covers the entire South West region and provides loans from £25k to £2m and equity investment up to £5m to help a range of small and medium-sized businesses to start up, scale up or stay ahead.
Gummee was established in 2012 following the birth of Jodine’s first child. As her son began teething at a very young age, Jodine found that there weren’t any products on the market to specifically cater to infants who were too young to hold traditional pacifiers. This led her on a journey to create a brand-new product offering – the Gummee Glove, which is a teething mitten.
The Gummee Glove has been designed with care to prevent babies from damaging their skin and has proven to be particularly beneficial for children with special needs. In fact, the Gummee Glove is now being produced in various sizes, including extra-large, which is aimed at adults suffering from neurodegenerative disorders like Alzheimer’s.
Since bringing the product to market, Gummee has won several awards. Jodine’s biggest achievement to date is winning an award from Small Business Sunday, an initiative set up by ex-Dragon’s Den star, Theo Paphitis. In fact, following the win, Theo helped Jodine write the foreword for her autobiography which explores Jodine’s business journey with Gummee. You can find out more about Jodine’s autobiography here.
Business owner Jodine said “The loan will help us to launch our new products, which we know will sell very well. With the current cost of living crisis, our cashflow has taken a hit and bank loans are difficult to attain, so this funding from the South West Investment Fund has offered us a lifeline. Our experience with SWIG Finance was surprisingly smooth. We felt heard, understood and supported.”
SWIG Finance’s Business Manager, Rachael Taylor, who supported Jodine with her application, commented: “Jodine is incredibly passionate about her products, and this really shined through when we were discussing her application. Jodine and Steve are always looking for new ways to grow the business and grow themselves professionally – we were really impressed with their entrepreneurial spirit”.
Jody Tableporter, Director UK and Regional Funds at the British Business Bank, said: “Jodine and Steve spotted a gap in the market and since then have constantly innovated with new products and applications. I’m delighted the South West Investment Fund is able to support Gummee’s further growth.”
The purpose of the South West Investment Fund is to drive sustainable economic growth by supporting innovation and creating local opportunity for new and growing businesses across the South West. The South West Investment Fund will increase the supply and diversity of early-stage finance for South West smaller businesses, providing funds to firms that might otherwise not receive investment and help to break down barriers in access to finance.
About SWIG Finance
SWIG Finance manages the smaller loans part of SWIF across the region.
SWIG Finance is a non-profit company that supports viable South West businesses that can’t secure sufficient funding from their bank. By empowering underserved small businesses to overcome their financial barriers, we are working to create a more balanced financial ecosystem.
We’re growing every year. In 2022/23, we lent £14m to 478 businesses, helping to create and secure over 1,000 jobs and generate £44.6m in social impact. Download the report here.
If you’d like an informal chat about your funding requirements, get in touch with our friendly and professional team to see how we can help: email@example.com / 01872 227 930.