Helping businesses in the South West

SWIG Start Up Success in Bristol

SHawnika

A SPORTS therapy clinic has started up on Church Road in St George thanks to a £6,000 loan. Shawnika Sergeant has set up the Up and Running Sports Therapy Clinic after becoming too busy to treat clients from home.

The new business premises will enable her and her new therapist colleague to treat sports and general injuries for anyone from professional sportspeople to recreational athletes and office workers.

Ms Sergeant has set up the clinic after being given a loan of £6,000 from the South West Investment Group, under the Government’s Start-Up Loan Fund scheme.

The 23-year-old from Speedwell said: “I became very busy from word of mouth and the room I was using at home was very limiting. Expansion was required and that’s when money became an obstacle.

“Finding premises with a good location with enough space for two treatment rooms, client parking and no steps for my clients who struggle to walk has been one of the biggest hurdles.

“Now the business is up and running the best thing is being able to walk into the foundations and know I built it.”

Shawnika was recommended by a friend to go to SWIG for business finance. Delivering the government-backed Start-Up Loan Fund in the South West, SWIG recognised that Shawnika and her business were ideal candidates for the funding.

To support with the business planning, SWIG referred Shawnika to Brave Enterprise in Bristol to receive fully-funded advice with the business plan.

Emma Smith, business advisor and mentor at Brave supported Shawnika with her loan application.

“Shawnika is ambitious, talented and hardworking and deserves every chance to make her business successful. It just goes to show that a little bit of investment and support at the right time can help small businesses grow and create jobs.

“The Start Up Loan scheme is excellent in that it has an easy application process, an attractive interest rate and enables us to provide the business owners with some business advice and mentoring free of charge, both prior to application and for the year afterwards should a loan be awarded.”

Shawnika trained in Sports Therapy at the University of Gloucester and gained experience working extensively with football and rugby clubs in the local area, providing pitch side assistance and pre- and post-sports therapy as well as working individually with players and other athletes.

The original appears in the Bristol Post

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