Programme:Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund
Manchester-based Brazilian Jiu Jitsu sportswear brand Progress Jiu Jitsu (Progress) has been boosted with a six figure investment to fund export growth and new job creation from NPIF – FW Capital Debt Finance, managed by FW Capital and part of the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund.
Progress was launched in 2018 by purple-belt James Tighe, who identified a gap in the market for high quality Brazilian Jiu Jitsu clothing. Working alongside his dad and nephew, James has grown the company today into a seven figure turnover business and one of the largest Jiu Jitsu brands in the UK.
The growth funding provided by NPIF – FW Capital Debt Finance is helping Progress to meet the growing demand for their products with increased investment in their stock levels and marketing activities to service and support more sales. The investment will also be used to support their European exporting activities and will create six new jobs by the end of the year in operations, customer service and marketing.
James Tighe, Managing Director at Progress, explained: “This is very much a family business, created after we all fell in love with the Brazilian Jiu Jitsu sport. Our dream was to one day quit our jobs and work on the brand full time, being involved with the Jiu Jitsu community, to help it grow as much as we could. Fast forward to January 2021, we finally achieved our goal and launched the brand full time from our distribution centre at Trafford Park. Today we have established Progress as a leading online retailer and wholesaler of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu clothing.
“The investment from NPIF – FW Capital Debt Finance is giving us the confidence and platform to grow the business. Brazilian Jiu Jitsu has experienced a sharp growth phase in popularity, and we’re delighted to be able to supply our customers with high quality clothing. Having the capital in place really will open doors and allow us to purchase the stock needed to meet this increased demand.”
Simon Berry, Senior Investment Executive at FW Capital added: “I have been greatly impressed by James’ vision for the future. He has created an exciting, high quality brand which started out as a hobby and today is a thriving and growing family business which works closely with the World and Welsh Jiu Jitsu champion Ffon Davies. The potential growth in Europe and America will make a real difference to Progress and has already resulted in job creation to strengthen their offering and support their expansion strategy.”
Sue Barnard at British Business Bank, said: “This investment into Progress Jiu-Jitsu exemplifies the work that NPIF is doing across the North of England. By supporting businesses with the funds to recruit new staff, export into new markets and move premises, we are creating a more prosperous regional economy for the future, and in turn helping to create a stronger North”
FW Capital can provide loans in the NPIF region with a focus on Cheshire, Cumbria, Greater Manchester, Lancashire, Merseyside, and the Tees Valley.
The Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund project is supported financially by the European Union using funding from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020 and the European Investment Bank.
FW Capital Limited is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority as a small authorised UK Alternative Investment Fund Manager under firm reference number 506719
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