A North-West food business who set up a natural and organic children’s snacks company, has been chosen to represent successful UK start ups by the government-backed Start Up Loans Company for its annual Ambassador Programme.
The founders of Naturelly will be honoured at a dedicated launch reception at the Houses of Parliament in London to celebrate some of the UK’s most successful small businesses. The Shadow Economic Minister to the Treasury, Jonathan Reynolds MP, will attend the event, along with Lord Smith of Kelvin, the Chairman of the British Business Bank.
Dean and Joanne Dempsey struggled to find healthy snacks for their children so decided to take matters into their own hands and create their own. Launched in 2015 with the help of a £25,000 loan, Naturelly produces two main products, Ben & Holly’s Magic Jelly, which is aimed at pre-school and nursery aged children, and Juicy Jelly in a pouch, aimed at primary and secondary school children.
Before successfully getting products stocked in Sainsbury’s, their pitch was rejected four times. Now the products are sold in 555 Sainsbury’s stores across the country. They are also available in over 200 Waitrose stores and have exported oversees including the Middle East and Asia.
The launch event in Westminster will kick-start the year-long Ambassador Programme which will see Naturelly and the other Ambassadors take part in a series of local and national events, where they will offer advice to other aspiring business owners about becoming their own boss.
Dean Dempsey, co-founder of Naturelly, said: “When we first started looking at snacks for our children, we couldn’t believe how much sugar there is in the products on the market. We were inspired to take action and create our own healthy snacks. The Start Up Loans Company allowed us to make real progress in our business, and we are so happy to be a part of the Ambassador programme.”
Kelly Tolhurst, Minister for Small Business, said: “With more than 1,000 starting up every day, the UK’s small businesses are the backbone of our economy and at the heart of our modern Industrial Strategy. Congratulations to the newly-appointed Ambassadors for the Government-backed Start Up Loans Programme, which helps aspiring business owners across the UK turn their dreams into a reality with finance and mentoring support.”
Patrick Magee, the Chief Commercial Officer of the British Business Bank, said: “From healthy snacks for children to gourmet baking kits and waste-free supermarkets, our 2018 Ambassadors showcase the wonderful range of small businesses that we have in the UK.
“All of our Ambassadors’ stories show the grit and ambition it takes to set up a successful business, and we’re incredibly proud of everything they have achieved. We hope that, with the right guidance and support, we can help even more aspiring business owners realise their dreams of becoming their own boss.”