Claire Goodliff, founder of Norks Limited, which raises awareness of women’s health through their products, has used Back Her Business to secure £10,413 of funding, including £5,000 from NatWest.
Jesmond-based entrepreneur Claire is just one of the scores of women in the North who has been handed the ladies-only cash from NatWest’s Back Her Business crowdfunding platform over the last 12 months.
Back Her Business supports female entrepreneurs in the early stages, and since the launch in March 2019, it has helped 129 female led projects, pledging a total of £135,400 to them.
Back Her Business is in partnership with Crowdfunder, and forms part of NatWest’s wider commitment to support the creation of 400,000 female-led businesses by 2025.
Over the next 12 months, NatWest hopes to help even more female-led businesses in the North secure business funding through Back Her Business.
Claire has used the funding to launch the first products in the Check Out Her Norks range, a trio of sports bra designs and a campaign t-shirt to raise awareness around breast health.
Each bra has been designed with a top loading interior pocket in the cup, which means they can be worn by women with prostheses after breast cancer, and for breastfeeding mums to insert nipple pads at a moment’s notice.
Claire is joined by her two business partners Amy Fettis, a product designer who owns Aim Leisure, and talent manager and business owner Katie Bulmer Cooke.
A percentage from each bra sold will be used to help initiatives that support women in the local community. During the current lockdown crisis, Norks will donate every penny of profit made through their sales to Women’s Aid.
Claire said: “After working in the fitness industry for 15 years, I wanted to set up a business that both solved the common struggle of not being able to find a comfortable and supportive sports bra, but also raised awareness of breast health and women’s health in general.
“Back Her Business was the perfect platform for us to kick start the business. We knew that we could gain awareness, interest and funding for the project, but the match funding incentive with NatWest involved, made it an obvious choice and increased the likelihood of success for us.
“We have multiple plans for Norks to expand. Not only do we want to expand internationally and use our model to support the economy of each country we trade in, we also want to grow our product range to address additional elements of women’s health.”
Heather Waters, Enterprise Manager at NatWest, said: “Our aim is to support talented entrepreneurial women in the North like Claire by helping them drive forward ambitious ideas and business growth using Back Her Business.
“More than a year on from the launch of the UK’s first female-only crowdfunding platform, we are continuing to help successful entrepreneurs across the country by providing them with industry-leading advice, coaching and mentorship.”
The Back Her Business initiative is being delivered UK-wide through NatWest in England and Wales, Ulster Bank in Northern Ireland and Royal Bank in Scotland.
Photos by Sue Todd Photography