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Fredericks Cornwall update

28 January 2015

Coming up to our second year operating in Cornwall, Fredericks Foundation have helped start 18 new businesses in our fantastic county. And 2015 is set to be even busier.

It’s important to see our role in context, because let’s never forget the determination, tenacity and skills of the people who want to start their own business. Finance is a critical part of any new enterprise, but you can work on an idea without money. However, without passion and courage you are almost guaranteed to fail.

The reasons why people want to work for themselves are as diverse as the clients themselves, but often they are fed up with low paid work, or working in a way that doesn’t suit them, or their families. Whatever their motivation we’re delighted to keep hearing from plumbers, photographers, trainers, caterers, surfboard designers, cleaners, fishermen, designers, builders, estate agents, drivers, oven cleaners, therapists... well, you get the idea!

In 2014 we created the Cornwall Advisory Team to help with strategy and future growth, as well as support my role as client manager. It’s not always easy only working part time and what you want to do sometimes has to be whittled down to what you can do. But the Advisory Team have already helped with marketing, referrals and partnership working.

We continue to look for four things in no particular order (although my Chief Executive , Charles Dodwell, might put fundraising as the number one priority!): volunteers (loan panellists and mentors); venues all over Cornwall to hold loan panels; referrals (do you know a friend, family member or neighbour who wants to be self employed/start their own business, or do you need an expansion loan for your business?); and fundraising. And if there is anyway you can help in any of those areas, I’d love to meet and chat over coffee and cake – my treat, naturally.

For those of you with staff, volunteering offers a cost-effective opportunity for professional development. We work closely with volunteers to make sure they are getting to use their skills, learn new ones, and feel engaged and valued, and they bring those experiences and that energy back to their work place. We’re also very realistic. We’re after quality not necessarily quantity. If you feel you can’t offer enough to make it worthwhile, I’m fairly sure you can. Even a couple of panels a year, and perhaps mentoring a client or two, can make a huge difference to us - and of course, those clients. Or perhaps you have a board or conference room, or a spare office you could lend us for a few hours. That way we can keep our costs down and have loan panels as close to where the clients live as possible.

We’re proud and delighted to work with the Cornwall Community Foundation who continue to do so much for us, and we’re hoping that we achieve more - and reach many more people - going forward.


Allison Livingstone

Client Manager, Cornwall