Hartlepool-based hot sauce manufacturer Kilimandjaro has received a five figure investment from the Finance for Business North East Microloan Fund to support their recent growth. The chilli sauce is adapted from a family recipe, using authentic herbs and spices from Africa and the Caribbean, creating a powerful sauce that is now appreciated for its versatility, as well as its flavour.
Apollo had the idea for the product when he came to the UK and missed the sauce his mother used to make him at home in Africa so he decided to make his own. Once friends and family had tried his sauce they all encouraged him to sell it. Apollo realised there was a big gap in the market for his African hot sauce. Supported by those around him, he was motivated to improve the sauce and bottle it so everyone could try Kilimandjaro.
The creator has described his product as “One sauce for one million dishes”. He believes it can accompany any dish, but is at its finest when added to chicken. Apollo was originally selling it in small bottles, but has now been convinced to supply litre bottles to meet demand.
Nikita Bazko, Fund Manager at Rivers Capital, said “We are always on the lookout for local entrepreneurs with a great product as well as the enthusiasm and drive to make it work. Apollo fits the bill perfectly and we’re proud to help his business expand.”
Passionate about his heritage, Apollo decided to give this special sauce a traditional African name. He was born in Burkina Faso, where his mother would make a spiced chilli sauce similar to Kilimandjaro, and Apollo would have it with every meal he ate. His goal is to build a brand well known for its consistent quality and unique blend of spices.
Kilimandjaro has recently distributed his hot sauce nationally, and aims to go international in coming months. He has great expectations for Kilimandjaro and with the funding from Rivers Capital Partners he now has the potential to achieve his expansion dreams.
Apollo was recommended the Microloan Fund by a current beneficiary that felt he could benefit from the Fund too. After applying, Apollo received the loan a few weeks later and has no regrets, describing it as “a fantastic service. Quick and easy”.
The Microloan Fund offers loans of £1,000-£25,000 to small businesses that are unable to receive financial backing from mainstream lenders. Rivers Capital Partners base their decisions on the quality of the business rather than its assets. It is a quick and easy process, with successful applicants receiving the money on average within two weeks.
The Microloan Fund is managed by regional Fund Managers Rivers Capital Partners, a business run by entrepreneurs for entrepreneurs. They understand how important a small loan can be, and take pride in helping these companies to grow. Many regional businesses have benefitted from the Microloan fund since its inception in 2011. The Fund has helped create over 440 jobs and safeguarded over 660.