News & blog

Diverse Grafix – Building a blueprint for global expansion

Case Studies

Diverse

diverse-log2016

Diverse Grafix – Building a blueprint for global expansion

For a PDF version of this story please click diversegrafix

Chinese trip sparks ambitious growth plans for Cheshire-based print machine sales company

“I’ve worked in the print business for more than 16 years and the things I’ve learned are that change is evitable, the challenges are constant and opportunities are always around the next corner”, says Steve Hopkins, owner of Diverse Grafix, an innovative new Cheshire-based print machine sales company.

Inspired by a recent Northern Powerhouse Mission trip to China – an opportunity signposted by Steve’s own Cheshire and Warrington Growth Hub adviser and funded by UK Trade and Investment (UKTI) – Steve has set his sights on the global expansion of the business he co-owns with his wife Bernice.

Steve has spent the last 18 months scouring the world for new and innovative printing products. However, it wasn’t until the third day of the three-day mission to China that he was able to secure an exclusive dealership agreement for Diverse Grafix to sell and distribute hi-tech Chinese printers in the UK and Ireland. He’s also currently exploring opportunities offered by the growing 3D print market, as well as more partnerships in Germany and in other areas of the UK.

“Right now, we’re at a critical point in terms of business,” Steve added. “It feels like the spadework has been done, we’ve pulled together some fantastic partnerships and we hope there are more to come. The business is in a good place, the foundations are set and now we’re focused on securing the funding we need in order to grow.”

The funding challenge is an ongoing one. It’s one that Steve describes as a “nightmare”, but it is something that been “made bearable thanks to the help of the Growth Hub team”. Steve and Bernice burned a lot of hours paying for external funding consultants to help, however, it ultimately led to them chasing funding pots they weren’t eligible for – as well as a hefty bill. “We’ve exhausted a lot of our own personal cash and, to be honest, at times I felt like giving up. But the Growth Hub has been a fantastic support partner. I’m so glad I engaged with them – lots of people have said the same to me about their experiences. The encouragement alone has been a huge help!”

Through one-to-one support offered through the Growth Hub’s team of Cheshire-based advisors, Steve is now looking at a range of start up funding options, sourcing new grants available for innovation and, in time, aiming to secure Horizon 2020 funding, an EU-wide research and innovation programme offering almost €80 billion of funding for businesses just like Steve’s.

As Steve says: “We still have a long way to go, but we’re determined to get there. The Growth Hub continues to support us with our businesses planning, financial forecasting and funding submissions. The next and most important steps are down to us, but we’re determined to capitalise on the opportunities we have in front of us.”

For more information about Diverse Grafix visit http://diversegrafix.com.

For a PDF version of this story please click diversegrafix

Do you want to duplicate Diverse Grafix’s China success story? Then find out how Cheshire and Warrington Growth Hub can help you at http://candwgrowthhub.co.uk.

LogoERDF_Col_Landscape

Share this