Propel programme helps Rose’s business bloom
When Rose Kane accidentally discovered a new way to bake bread, which she realised would appeal to children, she decided to turn it into a business.
With support from Invest Northern Ireland she developed a home baking kit for kids that produces loaves of bread with logos or doodles on every slice, and so Doodle Bread was born.
Rose, who has a design degree and previously worked as a chef, set up the business with Denis Anscomb, and her husband, Ronan. The business quickly attracted attention and won a national design award.
Doodle Bread operates mainly through an online presence and so far Rose has sold over 1,000 Doodle Bread kits online. “We’ve built up an online community and now also have a presence in retail outlets including the House of Fraser. Our vision is to be the Lego of educational food toys,” says Rose.
With such an ambitious plan Rose felt she needed more support to develop her business skills so signed up for Invest NI’s Propel programme. The programme is designed for entrepreneurs with ideas for businesses that have the potential to scale up and reach significant export growth. Propel provides salary support, initial seed investment, master classes, mentoring from local and international experts, and access to potential investors.
Rose says: “The Propel programme gave me the ability to focus and streamline my thinking. It also helped me get the business ready to seek investor funding. We've been awarded the E-Synergy Proof of Concept grant for £40,000 but will be seeking further investment to allow us to develop our range of products. Propel is excellent in that as well as providing group master classes and expert advice, we had access to a mentor on a one-to-one basis, which was invaluable. ”
Invest Northern Ireland is currently looking for entrepreneurs with new fast knowledge based businesses ideas to participate in the Propel programme. The programme is designed for entrepreneurs with ideas for businesses that have the potential to scale up and reach significant export growth.
The deadline for applications for Propel is Friday 15 April 2011 and applications can be made online through the dedicated website www.propelprogramme.co.uk.