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Smiles all round for Rye entrepreneur as business booms

Ex-Soldier turned entrepreneur proves small business is booming in East Sussex as his events business moves from strength to strength.

Carl Turner, based in Rye came up with the idea for Smiley Face Events through relentless fundraising for Rye Town Boxing Club, a local charity he set-up. After honing the perfect fundraising solution through hiring out bouncy castles and food stalls for events, he saw the potential for a business.

Smiley Face Events launched in August 2013 with two bouncy castles, sumo suits, a candy floss machine and a van.

To help Carl expand his business and cater for events during the winter period, he got in touch with Let’s Start Up and successfully applied for a £5,200 Start Up Loan (SUL) which acted as a vital cash injection.

Carl said:

“Without the support from the Let’s Do Business and the Start Up Loan I believe I may well have lost faith in my business during the first winter months.

The loan meant I was able to purchase a winter hire fleet that kept my enthusiasm and drive high, as well as the bookings flowing in.”

More than one year later, Carl has established his business with summer’s fully booked, secured investment from a local businessman man and significantly expanded his business.

Carl explained:

“Smiley Face Events now has in excess of £60,000 worth of equipment; from an extensive range of bouncy castles and an inflatable obstacle course, to commercial marquees, food stalls and the world’s leading rodeo machine.

This year has already been very busy and bookings have doubled from last year. The overall aim is to become the largest events hire company in the South East and to be a familiar face at all high profile events across the region.”

The SUL scheme helps start-ups and young businesses to successfully get up and running through mentorship and access to a low-cost loan. The LDBG deliver the Government-initiative throughout the South of England.

Head of Start Up Lending at Let’s Do Business, Mike Trotter commented:

“Carl is a great example of how the Start Up Loans scheme gives new enterprises a valuable helping hand, enabling them to build solid foundations from which they can grow and thrive. We’d like to congratulate Carl on his achievements so far and wish him all the best in the future.”

Read more Start Up Loans here, read our FAQ’s, take a look at our Resource Centre and, when you’re ready, you can complete the Starting Your Enterprise form online and being your start-up journey!