Sarah Smith set up her animal welfare inspection consultancy at a time when public demand for higher quality meat products began to grow. In particular supermarkets were coming under increased pressure to prove their meat products were being produced to high welfare standards. As Sarah has an extensive range of expertise and skills in the industry, having spent 10 years working within animal welfare and farm management over that time, she saw the opportunity to develop her own consultancy services, which is mainly delivered in Europe. Her business takes her across the continent as far a field as Poland where she inspects farms supplying the food industry, checking the environmental conditions and quality of the livestock, ensures the farm practices meet the required standard and supports staff training initiatives.
Having secured her first contract, Sarah quickly realised that she would need some better equipment and some funds to help with cash flow whilst she was abroad, as she knew she would not be paid until she had delivered on the contract. She applied for a loan from her bank but was declined. This did not come as a surprise to Sarah as she was aware her credit rating was not very good and she did not have any security with which to secure a loan.
Sarah found Foundation East when she was searching for alternative sources of affordable funding on the Business Link website and decided to apply for a short term loan. Business Loans Manager Valerie Jarrett was keen to support Sarah with the finance she needed. Valerie saw in Sarah the right work ethic that is needed to make the business a success. Sarah is away from the UK most of the year but knows that she can call on Valerie for support whenever she needs it.