By Mark Riches, Sales Director, International Trade Finance at Bibby Financial Services

The owners of a rapidly expanding gardening business found securing the finance to support the global expansion of their UK-based company a huge challenge, with neither the banks nor the high-profile investors of BBC’s Dragons’ Den willing to help.

VegTrug was set up in September 2009 after owners Joe Denham and Paul Owen realised a gap in the ‘grow your own’ market for products that allow people to grow their own vegetables in the smallest of places, be it in a garden or on a balcony.

Having experienced rapid expansion in the UK after securing large reseller contracts, VegTrug quickly found success in Germany and the USA, before signing distribution agreements in Australia. The fast growth of the company meant Joe and Paul were desperately trying to secure funding to finance the manufacturing and distribution of the product to global retailers and resellers.

Joe says: “We approached Bibby Financial Services towards the end of 2010 and were impressed by the financial products offered and their friendly and reliable approach. Their International Trade Finance facility provided the cash flow boost required to fund the manufacturing of our products in Japan and then distribute all over the globe.

“When we began to secure the really large contracts, the facility from Bibby Financial Services provided us with the funding we needed to operate and manage these orders more efficiently. More importantly, we retained a 100 per cent stake in our business, something which wouldn’t have happened if things had gone differently in the Den.

“We have since gone from strength to strength, and are now one of the leading manufacturers in the ‘grow your own’ market, with an established worldwide brand.”

Do you trade in other countries and do you want to raise the profile of your company? Then apply for the 2012 International Trade Awards and propel your business into new markets and accelerated growth.

Now in their fifth year, the 2012 International Trade Awards sponsored by American Express Foreign Exchange Services is the only UK wide business awards to exclusively recognise the success of exporters, importers and those trading overseas.

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