Wednesday 24 July 2019
Pink Umbrella Studios designs and creates websites for charities and social enterprises. Their services include design and development, branding and secure hosting. The company employs prisoners and ex-offenders who are learning to code via CODE4000.
Founder Michael Vreugdenhil explains how support from the Forward Enterprise Fund has helped get the business off the ground.
How did Forward Trust help with your business development?
MV: We received a grant for business development - predominantly to work on our business model and financials. We tested our assumptions in a financial forecast which led to finalising our business proposition for the main loan. We received very good information during this time from a company called Numbers for Good, recommended by Forward Trust. Forward Trust have helped us grow as a business in a very short time frame. We are already helping prisoners and ex-offenders!
Did you apply for funding, if so how much did you receive?
We applied for £55,000 and have already received the first draw down.
What advice do you have for others who are looking to get a new venture off the ground?
Business is not easy. In 2019, most businesses generally have the entire world as their competitors. This means that everything needs to exceed expectations and be of excellent quality. When you come from a challenging situation, it’s good to be positive and remember that hard work does pay off. Stick with it and you will succeed. Be humble and work hard. With regards to business, create a USP and remember that social value is key to customer trust and growth.
What is the future for Pink Umbrella Studios?
Pink Umbrella Studios has grown and is continuing to expand its portfolio and services offered. We recently gave a workshop in prison about entrepreneurship and starting up a business. Also, we’ve now taken on two ex-offenders as remote interns (much earlier than anticipated). We’re extremely happy with our fast growth and potential to excel in terms of our social goals. Our end goal is to create a co-op of ex-offenders working in tech and design.
To find out how the Forward Enterprise Fund can help your business, contact Stephen Anderson at Stephen.Anderson@forwardtrust.org.uk or on 07584908346