Creating signs and opportunities
EBO’s story is one to be proud of. When a sign manufacturer in Ebbw Vale went into administration, Stuart Newell and Jonathan Bell wanted to establish another high quality sign business, and offer employment to people managing disability in a part of Wales known to be an employment blackspot.
Jonathan and Stuart rapidly needed to access the working capital to get the business up and running, and that’s where NatWest Social & Community Capital were able to step in. Stuart said he was delighted to find a lender “who understood what the company stood for; not just your high street bank that looked at you solely as a commercial enterprise.” Consequently EBO was able to establish itself as a social enterprise, not only providing employment, but owned by all the employees (in fact, EBO stands for Employee Buyout). Team member, David Eacott, had been on Jobseekers’ Allowance for over three years before EBO. He said going for the interview there was “the best thing I’ve ever done”.
Two years on, the 11-strong team at EBO are proud of the reputation they’re building for the quality of their products, their growing number of nation-wide customers and the potential growth that lies ahead of them.