Published: Thursday, 1st August, 2013 12:06pm
Staff sample "The Penny Loaves"
Successful Tullamore family bakers the O’Donohues have turned to people power to access credit in order to launch a new line of fully baked and frozen loaves called “The Penny Loaves”.
Crowd funding through new company Linked Finance bypasses the banking system and allows businesses to get loans funded by members of the public.
Owner Cathal O’Donohue said this week the company that employs 29 turned to crowd funding both because banks were closed for business and to connect with customers and suppliers.
O’Donohue’s Bakery was established by current owner Cathal O’Donohue’s grandfather in Mayo back in 1879.
It’s remained a family affair since then, with Cathal and his wife Frances heading up the business that’s grown from three staff members to 29 and includes their own four children among the workforce.
“I decided to go down this route of crowd funding with Linked Finance because the banks were closed for business, there was so much red tape,” Cathal said this week.
“Linked Finance was a much easier route and I fet it was a win win situation for both the company looking for the loan and the individual investing.
"I like the whole community aspect of the concept and I thought it would be a novel way to connect with my customers and suppliers. As we say in Offaly: use your loaf, keep the dough in town - support local industry.”
O’Donohue’s Bakery is the first Offaly business to sign up for a Linked Finance loan and are looking for €25,000 to increase their product range and grow their customer base.
Linked Finance’s Peter O’Mahony said this week more than half a million euro has been raised by the company to loan out to businesses since its beginning in March.
“This concept is new to Ireland, but is a successful method for SME funding in the UK,” he said.
“It is a simple way to inject cash into support small to medium sized enterprises, bypassing the often restrictive and cumbersome bank system.
"At its heart is the community and based on feedback we have already received from the business community in Offaly, we know that the O’Donohue’s project will be the first of many Offaly businesses that will benefit, creating jobs and expanding their businesses.”
More information on the project is available at www.linkedfinance.com.