Beautiful York business investment
A collective of designers and writers that specialise in rebranding and advertising is continuing to grow after an investment from Finance Yorkshire.
The Beautiful Meme, based in York, has been helping local and national brands reach an audience for three years, but now with a £40,000 Business Loan the company is setting its sights on building its portfolio.
The Finance Yorkshire funding has enabled the firm to employ a new designer and copywriter, meet additional overhead costs and freed up time for senior staff to concentrate on pitching for new clients.
The Beautiful Meme was established by Tom Sharp, 37, who has been working within Yorkshire’s creative industries for more than 15 years.
Tom said: “I have been working with like-minded, creative people on projects in the region for many years - from lifestyle magazines and design work, to copywriting and producing a comedy festival in York.
“In 2009 I decided to set up my own business using my knowledge and contacts and so I brought together writing, design and advertising specialists to form The Beautiful Meme.”
The aim of the creative agency is to craft ideas for brands who want to be noticed whilst challenging the marketplace in order to give consumers fresh and engaging adverts, slogans, logos and branding material.
The term meme was coined by British evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins when explaining ‘the spread of ideas and cultural phenomena’ and Tom said in every piece of work the firm produces it looks for the ‘beautiful meme’ - a visually stunning idea that will live beyond the marketing from which it begins.
Last year the company was awarded gold at the Transform Awards, which celebrates excellence in brand transformations and was named by advertising and media magazine, The Drum, as one of the Top 25 emerging UK agencies.
Despite launching a business in the recession, The Beautiful Meme won some major advertising and branding contracts including naming and developing new brands nationwide for OakTree Capital, an $80billion fund, and international print and film advertising for AkzoNobel Aerospace.
Father-of-two Tom added: “Our vision is to become an internationally recognised creative agency. We’re very ambitious and want to expand the business so we turned to Finance Yorkshire for help.”
Tom presented his business plan to the Finance Yorkshire team and said he relished putting down on paper his ideas and figures. The application was successful and Tom began working with Finance Yorkshire Investment Manager Ian Atkinson.
Ian said: “The Beautiful Meme is a great creative hub in the region and its portfolio showed that it is a profitable business that is gaining momentum in the media industry.
“We were happy to come on board to help the business grow, which would in turn employ and develop local people because there is a wealth of talent in Yorkshire.”
Tom added: “Working with Ian was great – I felt like from day one he understood the company’s vision and had a genuine interest, he was very supportive.”
Finance Yorkshire provides seedcorn, loan and equity linked investments, ranging from £15,000 to £2m to help a range of small and medium sized businesses to meet their funding requirements for growth and development.
The project is supported financially by the European Union. It has attracted £30million investment from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) as part of Europe’s support for the region’s economic development through the Yorkshire and Humber ERDF Programme, £15million from Yorkshire Forward’s Single Programme, and £45million match funding from the European Investment Bank.
For more information about Finance Yorkshire, please visit www.finance-yorkshire.com or ring 0845 649 0000.
Picture caption: (L-R) Tom Sharp, Creative Director of The Beautiful Meme with Ian Atkinson of Finance Yorkshire.
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