Flora: How Startup Loans Scheme and Startup Direct helped my business Unripe Banana
1) What did Startup Direct teach you about starting up a business and the different types of funding for startups?
Startup Direct was incredibly useful when starting my business and looking for a Start Up Loan as we spoke through my plan extensively in order for me to understand where I could improve, what I needed to do in order to make my business viable and we also spoke through my costings so that I had sensible and realistic goals.
We also looked at other grants and funding options to start up if the initial business loan was not quite big enough to achieve every element of the business plan.
2) What inspired you to start your business?
Unripe banana is multi-functional, it comprises a coffee shop, a gallery and artists studios. I started it because I wanted to create a comfortable space for people to build a community whilst offering affordable working space for artists. I initially started plans when I could no longer afford to work in my own studio. The coffee shop is vegan and this is influenced by my personal ethos on life.
3) What issues have you overcome since starting up your business?
Finding a space has been the hardest part as a new business I found many places very unwilling to give me time and describing the business as “high risk”. Others asking for up to 9 months rent up front or premiums on properties. However it’s all about keeping on looking and searching.
4) What successes have you had recently?
After receiving my startup loan, I launched a Kickstarter campaign a week ago (which runs through until July 28th) and it’s going exceptionally well so far. We’ve got a brilliant dairy free mylk supplier who is working on an “in house” blend to match our coffee. We are also in final negotiations on our space and should be opening in August.
5) Where do you see Unripe Banana in 5 years?
I plan on opening another Unripe Banana in 2-3 years time potentially with a bigger space.
6) How can we follow your startup journey?
Follow me on Insta @unripebanana
My Kickstarter campaign can be found here.