Crimson Bear

New Business mentoring


The outlook from the Crimson Bear, the Craven based company that offers designer radiators and electrical heating products to companies up and down the country, is bright but it was a slightly different story when founders, Paul Johnson and Andrew Smith, were working from a dining room table just eighteen months ago.

Resolutely committed to making the business the success that they knew it would be, the duo worked hard to secure B&Q as one of their first customers.

Expanding rapidly, the team quickly realised that they would require premises to work from and space to store stock if they were to meet with the needs of a growing and national client base.

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Aware of the need to move to new premises, but with no previous experience of the processes to secure funding that would make this possible, the team approached AD:VENTURE for help and support.

Securing over £6,500 in investment from the grants programme the team were able to look for a suitable location to move the business to, while also putting in place the infrastructure that would set the foundations to meet with its longer-term ambitions.




Having found suitable premises and wanting to put in place a low-cost and scale-able model for the business, the company used the funds from the grant to purchase office equipment including desktop PC’s, furniture, IT kits, desks and storage.

Creating an office space that would suit the business now and in the future, the company was able to focus on meeting its targets and extending its client base even further.

It could also dedicate the time needed to raising its profile and reinforcing its reputation as it worked towards securing a turnover of £2m.

Endorsed by Dragon’s Den star, Theo Paphitis, the central heating business now counts B&Q,, Frontline Bathrooms, Buy It Direct Group and Yesss Electrical as its customers. Furthermore, the team also have cause for celebration after being named Micro Business of the Year at the 2018 Keighley and Airedale Business Awards.

“We would never have predicted how far we would have come so quickly and the trip to Copenhagen gave us further evidence of what potential our business has for the future. There is nothing to stop us from becoming a global brand within the next five years.”



Paul Johnson, comments: “When we launched the business we always intended to grow but by accessing the AD:VENTURE programme we were able to move our plans forward and put them into practice far sooner. Thanks to the grant and the practical support we were able to benefit from, we are now on track to turnover £2m, which is excellent news!

“We have also created jobs with the appointment of an Online Trading Manager and a Stock Warehouse Controller. In addition, we have invested in two local apprentices who will complete their studies this year and be offered full-time positions with the business.”

Business Advisor for AD:VENTURE, Mindir Paul, comments: “Crimson Bear had a really strong business plan and a clear vision for the future. Seeing the growth potential of the company made them an excellent applicant to the AD:VENTURE programme. As well as offering match-funded grant support, we could also provide practical advice that will set them in good stead for years to come.”

Councillor Simon Myers, Lead Member for Enterprising at Craven District Council, adds: “This is a further positive story for us to share with others that may be considering starting up a business. Not only has Crimson Bear become an award-winning example of entrepreneurship, but their continued success and future plans will have a direct economic impact on the Bradford economy.

“Knowing that they have already created jobs and have plans for further expansion is really encouraging. It’s great to see how the company has gone from being a home-based start-up to the success it is today. This is also a further example of how programmes like AD:VENTURE, which are here to support young and start-up businesses, are doing just that.”

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