A business Grant provided working capital for Frank Recruitment Group to develop and launch its website.

Frank Recruitment Group has gone from a niche IT recruitment company based in Newcastle to global market leader. Its journey started with a small Grant to develop and launch its website.

Nigel O'Donoghue Chief Commercial Officer at Frank Recruitment Group
Nigel O'Donoghue, Chief Commercial Officer at Frank Recruitment Group

Business fact-file

BusinessFrank Recruitment Group
RegionNorth East
SectorIT/Recruitment
Type of fundingGrant

Key Takeaways

The Challenge

We needed working capital to develop and launch our website. As a recruiter it was important we had a functional and user-friendly website for candidates to browse jobs.

The Ambition

We'd never looked into financing a business before this. We weren't sure how successful we would be with the application for this Grant. We had a strong business case so had no reason to feel apprehensive about applying.

The Finance

£8,000 in 2007

The Outcome

2016 marked our 10 year anniversary. We reported £126.5m in turnover in November 2016, up 33.3% on 2015.

The journey to finance

  • Frank Recruitment Group started trading out of Newcastle in 2007. Since then we have grown into a multi-brand global outfit, recruiting for different branches of niche technology.
  • In 2007, we needed a website with both the functionality and user experience that would encourage candidates and clients in Europe to start using our services. We needed a more professional looking website for the UK, as well as multiple languages to step up our online presence in the European market where we were often approached by businesses looking for staff. Our website allowed us to meet that demand and we have enjoyed success since then.
  • We'd never looked into financing the business before. We were aware that business Grants did exist but didn't know the extent of our eligibility or the types of things that business Grants would be suitable for. The key thing is to look at your upcoming expenses and investment and then ask your accountant or local Grant if anything is available.
  • We applied for a Grant from North East England Investment Centre, what's now Invest North East England, and the application was surprisingly straightforward. The main focus was on why we wanted the Grant and how it would allow us to flourish as a business.
  • We secured £8,000 for the business at a crucial stage in our development, enabling us to develop a highly functional website, without which we would not have been able to make the same impact on the European market.

Frank Recruitment Group's Top Tips

  • 1

    Contact your local Chamber of Commerce to find out what kind of funding options are available for your business.

  • 2

    Regardless of how niche your business is, look into different Grants and financing plans for different institutions.

  • 3

    The worst that can happen is your application is rejected. Learn from the process.

The best bits about Grants

  • One of the greatest benefits of a Grant is that you don't have to pay the money back!
  • It's not money for nothing; we had to submit annual reports on headcount, ROI and website statistics but none of this was too intrusive.
  • Securing the funding meant we could build a credible platform to launch into mainland Europe from Newcastle.