The Aberdare business women bucking trends, thanks to the local community fund.
Skincare brand ThatCoCoCompany based in Aberdare is among a collection of businesses founded, owned and run by female entrepreneurs, that are booming, following investment from The Pen y Cymoedd Wind Farm Community Fund.
Since The Fund launched in 2017, it has invested more than half a million pounds in championing new business ventures across the Welsh valleys, launched, owned and run by women. This has subsequently helped to create jobs, services, events, and products that have provided the valleys with the vital economic boost they needed.
Bridie Phillips, founder of ThatCocoCompany
Bridie Phillips, founder of ThatCocoCompany in Aberdare applied for a micro fund from The Fund to help her purchase the manufacturing equipment she needed to grow her business after the demand for her coconut-based candles and diffusers outweighed her supply capabilities.
Since then, the business has gone from strength to strength. Bridie is now in the process of fitting out a larger retail outlet in the town centre to allow her to meet the business’s rapidly increasing orders. Not only is the business thriving but it is attracting people from outside of Aberdare and helping to rejuvenate the declining high street.
Bridie said: “The brand and our products have really taken off. The business is growing so much that we simply cannot keep up with demand. We have developed a strong customer base both locally here in Wales as well as across the UK, and that seems to be growing. I think people are increasingly looking for more natural, ethical, and sustainable products and are willing to travel to get them. I am grateful to The Fund for the boost it has given our business and allowed us to grow.”
Kate Breeze, executive director of The Pen y Cymoedd Wind Farm Community Fund said: “We may be in the middle of a recession, and a cost-of-living crisis, but women like Bridie, have thought outside the box. They have developed innovative new concepts, products or events that are becoming established as widely recognised brands.
“Not only are they running their own businesses, juggling family life and in some cases holding down another job, but they are also managing and growing what are now successful and thriving businesses. These are all in turn helping the local economy to prosper.”
The Pen y Cymoedd Wind Farm Community Fund
The Pen y Cymoedd Wind Farm Community Fund was established in 2017 by energy company Vattenfall and is designed to provide local individuals, groups, organisations, charities and businesses in Upper Neath, Afan, Rhondda and Cynon Valleys with the opportunity to apply for funding to improve and grow a local service, product, project or activity.
Now in its fifth year, the fund has already catalysed a total of £20.1 million of community investment in the Welsh valleys, supporting more than 450 local projects and businesses in its first five years of operation.
For more information on the fund or to apply please click here