Ultimate Care - £70,000 over 5 years, 20 jobs saved
“I challenge the view that investing in female-led businesses is more risky. Women are an untapped resource in our country’s growth. We are strong, resilient, flexible and resourceful. I see my team channelling this same ethic into their work life and I know I do too. Surely that makes us a safe investment?” - Nicola Rowland -
Early support from Foundation East enabled Nicola Rowland to prove the viability of Ultimate Care, so when the opportunity to diversify came along we were her first port of call.
Nicola first sought Foundation East’s help to grow her domicillary care business in 2008. The high standards Ultimate Care provided to their customers generated positive recommendations and the business flourished in the early days. Securing CQC accreditation was required though if the company was to grow and be able to bid for social services contracts.
“We needed additional carers. Maintaining high standards is central to our success and requires that all staff, both existing and new receive training in the Ultimate Care way, regardless of their previous experience. Training each carer costs about £600 and compromising just wasn’t an option for us. To gear up, we needed finance.” Nicola said.
She went to her bank however they required 2 years trading history, not the six months Ultimate Care had. Thankfully we saw the potential in Nicola and her business plan and agreed to lend her the funds she needed.
Seven years on an opportunity to acquire a residential care home in Ipswich arose and Nicola approached us again for the funding needed to expand Ultimate Care, to now include residential as well as domiciliary care. Once again we were pleased to help.
Ten years on and Ultimate Care now employees 30 people, 94 per cent of whom are women, and has positively impacted the lives of many families living in rural Suffolk.
“Running a business is very much like a jigsaw puzzle. Finding the right pieces to fit, be that staff, funding or clientele, can be challenging. When one of these is taken care of, the others tend to fall into place. Your loan has helped us take care of two pieces of our puzzle. We would not be where we are without you.”