Burning ambition pays off for Sheffield graduate

Burning ambition pays off for Sheffield graduate

A Sheffield graduate is on a mission to banish harmful fuels from the planet after securing £300,000 support towards developing a range of cleaner, safer candles and firelighters.

Young entrepreneur Lewis Bowen founded Air Global five years ago, after discovering figures relating to the millions of deaths that occur annually from indoor pollution caused by fuels such as paraffin, wood and kerosene.

The company’s best known product is LightMe, a bio-oil candle that is refined from a sustainable source of palm kernel oil. It burns more cleanly than traditional candles and extinguishes itself when knocked over.

Finance Yorkshire has supported Air Global’s growth plans with a £300,000 investment from its Seedcorn Fund. The money will enable Air Global to invest in stock and boost marketing while researching and developing new products.

Lewis said: “Our aim as a business is to take consumer products and make them better for the environment. Our first goal has been to stop deaths occurring as a result of indoor air pollution.

“LightMe has been our most successful product to date and we are now looking to develop variations such as scented candles.

“The investment from Finance Yorkshire means that we can meet the needs of current and future customers, develop new ideas and create change for good across the world.”

After achieving a turnover of £150,000 last year, Lewis is now looking to the future, with plans to increase this to over £3m over the next three years.

The firm has also partnered with camping equipment manufacturer Vango to provide fuel for its portable stoves, and hopes to develop similar partnerships in the future.

Alex McWhirter, chief executive at Finance Yorkshire, said: “This investment comes at a vital time for the business, enabling it to scale up and realise the significant opportunities it sees in the market.

“We will continue to work alongside Air Global as they realise their growth ambitions.”

Emma Cross, investment executive at Finance Yorkshire, added: “We were impressed by this young and entrepreneurial management team and their exciting new product range.

“Their passion and drive to eradicate harmful fuels, mixed with a commercial edge, makes this business one to watch.”

 

 

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