Business name: CEG Productions
Business type: limited company
Industry: Lighting, Sound, AV & Staging Hire
Location: Diss, Norfolk
It’s 2007 when three friends – aged just 15, 16 and 17 – whose paths crossed during voluntary and paid work providing stage management support, decide to organise and advertise their services. They grow from strength to strength, as more jobs result in even more referrals.
Their passion turns into a business when the youngest of the three leaves and they join forces with a colleague already running a company.
In order to match the demand they needed to increase the amount of equipment and that became the biggest problem. Original founding member, Emrys Green, explains: “This involved an investment of a relatively small amount, £1,500. Our bank manager was supportive but because of our ages, we had no credit history and so her hands were tied when it came to giving us a loan. She suggested we contact a local organisation, Foundation East, who considers applications from businesses with little credit history, and so we did that.”
Valerie Jarrett, Business Loans Manager for Norfolk and Suffolk, supported the trio and keep an eye on their progress. “Things turned out far better than they would have done, had we been able to secure the loan from our bank. Valerie helped us formulate our business plan and would proactively call us to see how we were getting on. I always knew I could call her if I needed to”. Foundation East approved a loan giving CEG the push they needed to develop their business. But that’s not all...
Emrys' former Deputy Headmaster, clearly impressed with what the company was now doing, stepped in to lend them £10,000. The company, with a year-on-year growth of 100 % for the last 3 years, launched an on-line shop. Emrys then made it to the national finals of the Enterprising Young Brits competition. The future looks promising.
Where they are today
Emrys Green, Gavin Thorrold and Ben Bowles still work together, running CEG Productions (www.cegproductions.co.uk)and CEG shop (www.cegshop.co.uk). They also have a fantastic warehouse and shop front in Diss, from where they showcase their expertise to clients from London and the South of England.
Valerie sums it up beautifully: “Although a realistic business plan and cash flow projections are prerequisites for a loan, business is about people. The team behind CEG were young but they have the drive and entrepreneurial spirit to make the company a success. It has been good to see how a small injection of cash has helped to propel the business forward.”