Stevenage Borough Council has chosen luxury lingerie brand Elissa Poppy (pictured below), based at The Business and Technology Centre (btc) on Bessemer Drive, as the winner of its £2,500 Stevenage Business Grant.
The company was started by designer Elissa Grainger two years ago and has already broken into international markets. She supplies online fashion retailer ASOS and boutiques across Europe, has featured in Vogue, and recently won the ASOS Fashion Discovery Award.
The business is based in Stevenage, started in 2016 and has three employees. Elissa Poppy’s signature is luxury Latex lace underwear and she plans to use the grant to extend the current product range into the ready to wear market, open a store in London and have her designs in well-known luxury stores.
She said the Stevenage Business Grant was going to help the business to grow. “We are creating a ready to wear range and this grant allows us to expand more quickly. It’s really great news for us.”
Runner-up in the business awards was A.R.K. Lasting Powers and Wills who also started in 2016 and is also a client based at the btc. They were awarded £1,500 to expand the business providing wills, lasting powers of attorney and pre-paid funeral plans. Relton Associates, a business based within the btc’s business start-up incubator, were also awarded a grant, of £800, for their digital marketing and brand consultancy which offers website building and online marketing services.
Other finalists were Westend Wifi which supplies Wi-Fi and broadband services, and Impactory, who produced a sustainability reporting platform on energy, water and waste.
Businesses were encouraged to compete for the grants and successful applicants were invited to the council’s headquarters to produce a pitch to a panel on how the money would be spent.
Councillor Ralph Raynor, Executive Member for Economy, Enterprise and Transport, said: “Congratulations to our Stevenage Business Grant winners. We were impressed by the calibre of entrants and look forward to hearing more about Elissa Poppy’s growth abroad.”
Caron Kendall, Development Manager Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire for the Federation of Small Businesses said: “We saw five really great businesses but were really impressed by the way Elissa has grown the business organically, entering international markets.”
Dr Abrar Jawaid, Technology and Productivity Specialist Business Adviser at the Hertfordshire Growth Hub said: “We were really impressed by the diverse range of businesses, but were particularly impressed with the winner’s attitude, approach and ambition for growth, highlighting the ever increasing opportunities internationally for all businesses.”
All 5 finalists of the Stevenage Business Grant this year are clients of the btc, the enterprise-centric centre run by social enterprise, Wenta, based on Bessemer Drive which provides a wide range of support for start-ups and small businesses. Congratulations to Elissa Poppy, A.R.K Lasting Powers and Wills, Relton Associates, WestEnd Wifi and Impactory Ltd, all of whom follow in the footsteps of last year’s Stevenage Council Grant Winner, Chloe Prior of Dignity LC Services who is also part of the btc community!
For more information on Stevenage Borough Council’s support for businesses visit: http://www.stevenage.gov.uk/business-advice