A bank committed to helping firms grow has combined forces with an ambitious young award-winning entrepreneur, to help fund a London-based eco-friendly car service.
Climatecars has secured £200,000 of funding support from Clydesdale Bank to expand the company’s fleet of eco-friendly hybrid cars, which are an alternative to black cabs or other taxi/minicab services.
Nicko Williamson, the 27 year old founder of Climatecars, secured the funding through Clydesdale Bank’s ‘Investing for Growth’ initiative, which is part of the bank’s promise to lend £10 billion of new finance to UK business and mortgage customers by October 2011. The ‘Investing for Growth’ package of support is available across its 73-strong network of Financial Solutions Centre (FSC), 20 of which are in the London and South region.
A reflection of the success Nicko has had in building Climatecars came with his recent naming as a winner of a sought-after Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award 2011 for the London and the South Region.
“Nicko epitomises the type of business that we believe will quite literally drive forward the economy,” said Johnny Rowe, Partner at Clydesdale Bank’s London West End FSC. He added: “In four years he has successfully built a business, not by luck or chance, but by hard work.
“He has enlisted the support of experienced business people and has a number of non-executive directors to provide constructive advice, rarely seen in a business of this size. The strong foundation has enabled him to raise additional capital to fund the growth of Climatecars.”
Founded in 2007 by the then 23-year-old Bristol University graduate, today Climatecars has sales of £2.2m from running a fleet of more than 70 Toyota Prius, with drivers who cover the whole of Greater London.
Nicko said: “The move to Clydesdale Bank follows a decision by our previous banker to put the brakes on our growth by only offering day-to-day banking and no additional lending, showing they had little appetite for our sector.
“As an ambitious and growing company we are pleased to be working with Clydesdale. We see this deal between ourselves and the bank as an encouraging sign for the economy and UK small and medium sized enterprises.
“The new vehicles will allow us to further grow our client base and offer a better service to existing customers with faster response times around London 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year.”
A key element in the success of Climatecars, and criteria for ‘Investing for Growth’ funding is its business planning, and the ability of Nicko to implement the plans into the operation.
Johnny Rowe added: “As well as Nicko’s entrepreneurial flair he has embedded a robust financial reporting system and knows exactly where the business is against the plan on a monthly basis. This gives the bank and the shareholders comfort that accurate monitoring is in place to identify both strengths and weaknesses in the financial position of the business. By having monthly reporting Nicko can react quickly to improve the overall financial performance.”
Climatecars specialises in business account customers with more than 600 companies London wide currently using their service. They also accept cash and credit card bookings.
With plans to add a further 45 cars to its fleet in the financial year 2011/12, Climatecars’ aspirations for growth are impressive.
For more information about Climatecars visit www.climatecars.com. To book a Climatecar call 020 7350 5960.