Pioneering design consultancy, Forward Design Innovation has secured a £15,000 loan via the Finance for Business North East Microloan Fund. The regional loan scheme is committed to providing straightforward loans anywhere between £1,000 up to £25,000 for businesses based in the North East.
Based in the Northern Design Centre in Gateshead, Forward Design are a catalyst for commercial innovation. Working closely with clients to collaborate and generate a fresh perspective through employing design research and thinking tools. They work only in the front end of the design process to create value propositions for their customers.
Director James Shutt founded the business in 2013 after completed both an undergraduate and postgraduate degree at Northumbria University specialising in design whilst running a successful catering company. On graduating, James was appointed as an Innovator in Residence at Northumbria University, continuing to develop professionally and work on commercial projects over two years. With this appointment coming to an end, James founded Forward Design Innovation Ltd, continuing to work closely with Northumbria University and its portfolio of clients.
James said, “The funds we secured through Rivers has allowed us to focus on developing new client relationships. We’ve been able to expand our client base and start to create a diverse and robust portfolio. This in turn allows me to be confident about expanding my team and operations.”
The loan secured from the Fund will enable Forward Design to employ another member of staff and focus more time and resources on business development activities to expand their current client base.
James Holloway, Investment Executive at Rivers Capital said, “Forward Design Innovation has outstanding potential, they have a wealth of knowledge in this industry and they will use this to develop the business. It is impressive to see what James has built, and rewarding to know that we have helped the business in its next stage of development.”
The Microloan Fund offers loans of £1,000 - £25,000 to small businesses that are unable to receive financial backing from mainstream lenders. Rivers value the quality of the business rather than their assets. It is a quick and easy process with successful applicants receiving their loan on average in just two weeks. The Microloan Fund aims to boost the regional economy and since inception in 2011, has created over 520 jobs and safeguarded over 750.