Applying for investment can be tricky for any business, however conservation projects seem to be in a league of their own!
Our experience tells us that ocean conservation projects normally lead with the heart and therefore the “brain” has to make the numbers work for it to be viable for investors. Although everyone agrees ocean conservation is necessary, finding someone to fund is a task in itself.
After looking for alternatives to sacrificing equity at such an early stage, we discovered Virgin Start up who specialise in helping entrepreneurs. Having seen the passion Sir Richard clearly has on ocean conservation projects we applied for funding. Arc-Marine is proud to announce we have gained invaluable support from the Virgin Start up group, set up by Sir Richard Branson himself.
The process took over 12 months to complete, but was worth the sleepless nights and paperwork that came with it. We have been assigned our very own Virgin mentor who assists with strategy, investment and future goals, our co founders have access to funding of up to £50,000 over 5 years at a fixed interest rate (with no equity lost!).
The business loan we received will fund the first artificial reef of its kind in the UK. In 2016 we aim to deploy at least 100 reef ball units within the Torbay harbour authority limit. In a short space of time this will prove the positive impact these structures have on our damaged marine environment.