Irish skincare company Ógra has turned to Ireland’s first Crowd Funding platform for SMEs, Linked Finance to create an international marketing campaign.
Ógra, based in Tullamore, Offaly, was founded by Bill Kenny in 2008 and is a great success story.
Kenny’s interest in the healing properties of Peat was sparked when he burnt his arm as a child.
“My mother actually put peat on my burn, she put a cloth over my hand and left it there. There were large blisters on my arms, after four days she took it off and it was pink, the skin was perfect. I knew from then onwards that there was something special in the bog”. Bill says.
Bill researched peat bogs and their properties from preserving near perfect Celtic bog bodies, to healing properties and reducing the appearance of cellulite.
The result of his research is ÓGRA, and it is Ireland’s only full range of cosmetic products that uses peat as an integral ingredient in its range.
From the Roman Empire right through to modern times, natural peat has been used in cosmetic formulations and beauty rituals, the world over for thousands of years.
Now, the skin care manufacturers want to expand their customer base internationally and to achieve this are launching a global marketing campaign. Ógra have turned to Crowd Funding to achieve this goal.
Crowd Funding is a new initiative in Ireland where businesses can apply to have their loans fully funded by members of the public through a new online company called Linked Finance as an alternative to the banking system.
Ógra is a sound investment for potential investors. It boasts an array of products and year on year success
The company currently employs seven people and hopes to create more manufacturing jobs in the coming years through a planned global expansion.
Managing Director of Ógra, John Kenny said: “When we started up the business we got a great response from local people and many offers of help and assistance so, when we heard about Linked Finance and what they had to offer we thought it was a perfect fit. It is an opportunity for our supporters to invest in our company for a good return while bypassing the banking system. It is inclusive and transparent and really is a win-win situation for everyone.”
Since Linked Finance was commenced in March of this year 51 businesses across 16 counties and a huge variety of business sectors have been accessing finance to expand and grow.
More than 1.2million has been bid on the marketplace and more than 4000 registered users are looking to support SMEs and to get a good interest rate return on their lending.
More than 50 jobs have been created as a result of business loans being facilitated through Linked Finance.
Peter O’Mahony who runs the Laughter Lounge in Dublin set up the company with the backing of prominent businessmen Kingsley Aikins, Bobby Kerr and Feargal Quinn.
Peter O’Mahony said: “This concept is new to Ireland, but is a successful method for SME funding in the UK. It is a simple way to inject cash into supporting small to medium sized enterprises, bypassing the often restrictive and cumbersome banking system. We are delighted that a business as innovative as Ogra ha come on board.”
For more information on becoming a borrower or lender visit linkedfinance.com.