Thursday 10 October 2019
How much funding did you receive from FEF?
We received a £6,600 business support grant through CAN Invest, an £84,660 loan and a £14,940 grant under the FEF.
How did the business support element through FEF help TSM?
The business support element of FEF came through CAN Invest. It was really helpful to not only put us in a position to be able to complete the FEF process, but also to help us with our financials and governance.
What did the loan investment from FEF unlock for your organisation?
The funding from the Forward Enterprise Fund has been a real springboard for growth for us: things were already going well for us, but having that additional financial support allowed us to get there faster. The investment allowed us to buy our second brewery site out earlier than we would have otherwise been able to do, which takes a huge pressure off our monthly cash flow.
The cash injection at the right time and properly directed frees time up, because it takes some of the pressure of your time where it’s not best spent and allows you to refocus on the areas that really matter. For us that was trying to put more meat around the bones of our prisoner training programmes, focusing on the bigger strategic growth picture for opening new outlets and bringing the second brewery properly onto our books.
What advice do you have for others looking to get a new venture off the ground through social investment?
You need to be quite personally resilient to start up a new business: to have a certain appetite for risk, and to be able to sleep at night with all the different risks that are inevitably involved. You also need to devote an enormous amount of your time to a new business as it grows. You then have to put a team around you who share your motivations and also have complementary skills.
What does the future look like for TSM?
We’ve grown tenfold in terms of our bottom line since we started. With the loan investment from FEF, we’ll be able to focus on other areas of the business, which include opening another retail space for beer wholesale, coffee shop or bar/event space in Oxford or the South East. We will also be able to devote more of our time and energy into working with the guys from the prison.
To find out how the the Forward Enterprise Fund can help your business, contact Stephen Anderson at Stephen.Anderson@forwardtrust.org.uk or on 07584908346