Square recently partnered with Crowdfunder to ask the entrepreneurs of the nation “What’s Your Idea?” – and they answered! Square is all about supporting small businesses up and down the country and providing them with the means to help them grow and to prove it, we pledged £1,000 to the best startups we came across.
We asked small businesses in need of a little funding to submit a 100-word pitch to grab our attention and secure them £1,000 towards their Crowdfunder campaign. The competition was tough and talent was high but we managed to pick ten winners, but first, a bit about our partner in this quest to promote small businesses.
What is Crowdfunder?
Not heard of Crowdfunder? Then your small business could be missing out! Crowdfunder is an online platform that lets small businesses, entrepreneurs, designers and creatives pitch ideas to the public. It could be a new bin for your local park, funding for a new prototype of innovative design or just a campaign to get your food stall rolling. If people like what they see and want to support you, they can donate to your cause, as much or as little as they like (with added bonuses for those who are extra generous). Crowdfunder gives you a set time to drum up interest and get those pledges rolling in, so set your target and watch your funding grow.
Of course, even the noblest, most popular or most delicious of campaigns could do with a little extra boost, which is where Square’s pledge to add £1000 to any campaign comes in.
There were plenty of applicants and many tough decisions, but here are the winners of our Crowdfunder campaign:
Rose Gin by Tinkture
What’s even more stylish than the most stylish drink of the moment? Infusing it with roses, of course. Tinkture is committed to making delicious liquors that are great in more than just flavour, or to put it in their own words:
“Tinkture is the result, a personal journey into the drinks that should always have been. The finest alcohol, organic ingredients, nothing nasty, amazing flavours and, well, just a bit of fun!”
The first product of their venture into clean drinking is Rose Gin, made by hand-distilling fresh, organic roses in copper pot stills in their Penzance distillery. Delicately floral and just a bit magic, watch it turn from gold to pink when mixed with tonic. As unique in flavour as in looks, Tinkture’s Rose Gin comes in distinct Grenade Pull’©️ apothecary-style bottles and to save on packaging, refills come in recyclable plastic pouches.
If this tempting tipple gets you into the spirit of things, you can find out more on the Tinkture Crowdfunder page.
I See Sea – The Collection
‘First world problems’ may be a running joke against the millennial mindset, but they’re not always a laughing matter. I See Sea’s collection of patches, pins and accessories help dispel the stigma that comes with the mental health issues that have become a daily struggle for many young people.
Designed by and for a young professional suffering from mental health issues, this pins are “little badges of honour” that fellow suffers can wear, a proud sign that they are part of a unique club and not alone, as well as serving as an invitation to others to speak openly and truthfully about this often taboo subject.
It is a small but potentially hugely helpful effort in the massive battle against anxiety, depression and self-doubt, with the aim to offer strength to others with merely a glance, as they explain, “a passerby might see someone wearing an Anxious pin for example and think, ‘Oh, someone else who feels a bit like me’ and then be able to take a little extra strength from that”.
To hear more about this secret support club, head to I See Sea’s Crowdfunder page.
Graystone Action Sports Academy
Designed to get young people active and help buddy Olympians achieve their goals, Graystone Action Sports Academy is a proposed sports facility based in Manchester that will give beginners or pros a fully-equipped, world-class venue in which to learn, train and truly challenge themselves. As well as being home to the UK’s first big air to foam pit, a climbing wall, yoga and dance studio and trampolines, the academy will give locals the opportunity to develop new passions, with a Ninja Warrior course, parkour terrain, skate plaza and digital media studios.
Leading sports names are already lining up to make this upcoming sports paradise their home, including GB Park & Pipe Ski & Snowboard and Parkour Generations, the world’s largest provider of free running training. Aimed to find and develop grass-roots athletes, the sporting eyes of the nation are sure to be closely watching this venue for sparks of fresh new talent.
Head to the Graystone Action Sports Academy Crowdfunder campaign for more information, everyone who donates will be immortalised on the academy’s “Founders” wall.
Deskmate, The World’s Affordable Standing Desk
Standing desks are an increasingly common sight in any self-respecting (and posture-respecting) office. Inactivity during the standard 9 – 5 is the biggest cause of sick days, which there are over 30 million of a year. The standing desk keeps workers upright and in an active stance, which is proven to help with weight loss, increase focus, improve posture and boost overall health.
The market for standing desks may be growing, but so are their price tags – Deskmate brings an end to all that. An easy to transport, easy to set up innovation, desk mate can be added to any standard desk to add height, and necessary tiers to transform the dull office desk into a health-boosting standing desk.
The offices of the world are well on their way to a standing conversion, but Deskmate has set its sights on a more needy cause – UK schools. With childhood obesity being on the rise, it’s more important than ever that kids are kept active. A kiddy-friendly version of Deskmate, aptly called the Minimate is ready to be deployed to schools, they just need a helping hand in getting them there.
Find out more on Deskmate’s Crowdfunder page.
Tinkebu – Handcrafted, Sustainable Wooden Toys
Tinkebu is a toy brand with a difference. In the era of throw-away plastics, they have committed to doing things more responsibly and Tinkebu toys are all made from sustainably sourced, reclaimed materials and each item boasts its own charming imperfections, making them perfectly unique. And, to make sure they really are sustainable, the brand works with One Tree Planted, for the most child and eco-friendly toys around.
From adorable fuzzy Highland cow rockers to a simple tractor toy, these handmade toys from the coast of Cornwall are the perfect blend of hard work towards protecting the environment and good old-fashioned fun. Head to the Tinkebu Crowdfunder hear more.
Love & Honor – Cool Clothes for Hip Kids
Organic, Fairtrade and boasting UPF50+ swimwear made of fishing nets – Love & Honor does the cool thing for the planet and for little fashionistas. Sharp and stylish designs that reject the wastage that comes with the seasonality of mainstream fashion, these garments are made to be stylish all year round, year after year, with a pure and simple design that keeps kids happy, comfortable and looking cool.
With prints and motifs inspired by their Cornwall location, the parent founders of this kid-centred brand are using their clothes to get kids looking and feeling great as well as embracing the outdoor lifestyle that inspires them. Show a little love and learn more about their Crowdfunder here.
Secret Sausage Stall
Originally launched in Bishop Stratford in an EC approved manufacturing unit, this sausage stall is ready to be the South West’s worst kept secret and is bringing it’s delicious wares to local markets – provided it can raise the funding.
Initially started with the aim of bringing gourmet German sausages to UK dinner tables, the humble sausage has taken on a whole new persona at the Secret Sausage Stall where variations such as hog roast and nutmeg, ginger, mace and clove mixes make for some truly delicious bangers.
Run by a passionate foodie, these sausages are made with only 100% sweet pork shoulder, packaged without plastic and even come in gluten-free varieties. To help get the Secret Sausage Stall to as many punters as possible, the stand will need to be kitted out with a gazebo, cooker, tables and refrigeration. Hear more over at the Secret Sausage Stall page.
Doncaster Dry Gin
It’s hip, it’s in but it’s not always done right, which is why Doncaster Dry Gin has dedicated their brand to creating premium craft gin. Made with traditional methods in copper alembic stills and using locally-sourced botanicals, this brand aims to make totally local and totally amazing spirits.
The next step in their journey is to set up a micro-distillery, and that’s where their Crowdfunder plays a key role. To get up and running they will need to raise funds for rent, HMIC compliance, prototype batch funding and DDG branding and marketing. Tapping into their local roots, the gin the produce will also draw on the heritage of the city.
BeerCraft of Bath – Creation of a Tasting Room
Having first opened its doors to the public in 2017, BeerCraft of Bath has already become a popular fixture with tourists and locals, offering over 600 different beers from around the world and giving special attention to local brews with its on-tap beers. Now, as their popularity grows, they need more room for thirsty customers to sit, relax and while away the afternoon with a tasty international beer.
The shop’s storeroom could be just the solution, but it will require a suitably stylish transformation before anyone can enjoy a beer down there. Bath is a town full of charming pubs, but a tasting room with over 500 beers is a new one, and it’s a gap in the market this brand can’t wait to fill. Learn more about giving Bath’s best beer a new home.
Great beer is one thing, but a great cause is better – Toucan Microbrewery hopes to combine the two, run by Toucan Employment, the longest-running charity in the UK for supported employment of people with learning difficulties and disabilities.
The brewery will be a not-for-profit business with the ultimate aim of sustainability and to be manned mainly by those with learning difficulties, with a small team to provide support and assist on production. Aiming to offer jobs and work experience, the aim is to provide training and the opportunity to learn and trade, allowing workers to achieve permanent employment in the long term.
Set to be located in Southwark, London, the charity has been operating in this area since 1989 and has strong ties with the community. Find out more about developing London’s most unique brewery on the Toucan Microbrewery Crowdfunder page.