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20.12.04
Finance Cornwall puts a smile on the face of Smilechild

A couple from Cheltenham with a fast growing internet and mail order company have relocated their entire business to Cornwall thanks to the help of Cornwall Pure Business and Finance Cornwall.

Smilechild was set up by Rebecca and Will Cambridge three years ago. It specialises in environmentally sustainable and ethically sourced products for babies and their parents, and has seen a fourfold increase in turnover in the last 12 months.

The business was set up with the help of the Prince's Youth Business Trust and Business Link Gloucestershire, but expanded so rapidly that it outgrew its premises in Cheltenham.

Realising that the company could be located anywhere in the country, Rebecca and Will set about finding a new home for the business that would give them the quality of life they sought for themselves and their four children.
Rebecca was born in Devon and still has family based in the South West. Her Prince's Trust mentor referred her to Cornwall Pure Business, the inward investment arm of Cornwall Enterprise, which provides a red carpet service for businesses wanting to relocate to Cornwall.

Cornwall Pure Business helped the couple find a suitable work unit in the Callington Business Park and put them in touch with business finance company Finance Cornwall as a possible source of investment.

Will said: "When we started Smilechild we always knew that we could take the business anywhere and moving to Cornwall has been a great not only for the business but also for the family."

Rebecca added: "We've received a huge amount of support from organisations like Cornwall Pure Business, Finance Cornwall and South West Investment Group, whose enthusiasm has been a real boost to us. Finding new, larger, premises was fundamental in giving the business room to grow. Although we hoped to move to Cornwall one day, the investment from Finance Cornwall has enabled us to make the move straight away which was a good time for Smilechild and the children."

The £80,000 investment package has been supported with £40,000 from Finance Cornwall and £10,000 from SWIG, with the remaining from HSBC bank and private investment.

Finance Cornwall Fund Manager, Jeff Lenihan, said: "Smilechild is an innovative business and its success is directly attributable to the drive and enthusiasm of its founders, which was an important factor in securing investment from Finance Cornwall. I would trust this will give Smilechild the opportunity to become a major name in children's products and we wish Rebecca and Will all the best."

Danielle Atkins, Inward Investment Manager for Cornwall Pure Business said: "Smilechild is another example of a successful business relocating to Cornwall that has benefited its founders in terms of financial success and personal fulfilment. Smilechild is a company that we hope will flourish in Cornwall and continue to grow. Smilechild is testimony to what support is available to businesses in or relocating to Cornwall and is one of a growing number of businesses enjoying the Cornish way of life.

Will and Rebecca are hoping to repeat the success of the last 12 months and increase their turnover by fourfold again in the next year.

The couple are currently looking to develop their range of toiletries and children's clothing and are hoping to work with local producers. And with the volume of orders rising steadily they hope to take on two part-time staff in the near future.

Finance Cornwall has invested a total of £2.14 million in 44 Cornish businesses, helping to attract an additional £10.38 million of investment from the private and public sector.

For further information please contact Deborah Clark and Associates Ltd, Tel 01872 276276.

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Editor's notes:

Finance Cornwall background:

Finance Cornwall is a £20 million investment fund backed by £9 million from the Objective One European Regional Development Fund.

For more information contact:

Jason Clark
Deborah Clark and Associates Ltd
01872 276276
07980 834368

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Clare Morgan
Media Relations Manager
Objective One Partnership Office
Castle House
Pydar Street
Truro TR1 2UD
Mobile: 07973 813647
Telephone: 01872 223439

cmorgan@cornwall.gov.uk

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