Children’s book publisher, Hungry Tomato, is the latest business to receive funding from the South West Investment Fund.

The business, which is based in Truro, has received an £84k smaller loan from SWIG Finance as part of the South West Investment Fund to procure more stock and to support working capital to publish new books in 2024.

Hungry Tomato

The £200m South West Investment Fund (SWIF) 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.

Hungry Tomato was established in 2015 to publish soft learning books for children, its mission is to engage and stimulate children’s natural curiosity with fact-packed non-fiction books.

Led by Sharon and John Twiggs, who have significant experience in the publishing sector, the business currently employs five members of staff, with four new jobs expected to be created over the next 12 months.

Sharon said “This funding will help us to invest in the creative process which includes commissioning authors, artists and editors and buying in new stock. Without it we may have had to change our publication programme which would have slowed the pace of our growth which has been carefully planned, and it would have prevented us from hiring additional staff”.

SWIG Finance’s business manager, Rachel, commented “By encouraging children to read, Hungry Tomato is playing an important role in helping to cultivate young people’s minds and build their prospects.  As well as this, they are aiming to employ graduates from Falmouth University, and by doing this, they are creating high quality jobs in publishing, which aren’t usually available”.

Jody Tableporter, Director UK and Regional Funds at the British Business Bank, said: “With the support of the South West Investment Fund, we’re delighted that Hungry Tomato will be able to maintain its pace of growth and take on more staff as it expands its publishing portfolio.”

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: / 01872 227 930.

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