An innovative North East care introductory service is looking to quadruple its turnover over the coming year after securing a six-figure investment from the North East Growth Capital Fund Loan Fund Supported by The European Regional Development Fund.

Happiest At Home provides an app-based relationship management service which brings carers together with people who need care support for a variety of reasons, including learning difficulties, physical disabilities, mental health issues and acquired brain injuries.

Formed at the start of 2021 by a team of experienced care sector professionals, the Newcastle-based firm is the only business of its type in the north of England and already works with clients right across the UK.

It has now worked with regional fund management firm NEL Fund Managers to bring in the £100,000 investment, which it is using to upgrade its business development activities and expand its team to manage increasing demand.

Having quickly built a turnover of £750,000 in its first full year, Happiest At Home is looking to increase this to around £3m in the coming

12 months and is expecting to create around 50 new jobs at its head office and elsewhere over the next three years.

Its nationwide team of carers work for the business on an agency basis and are contracted on a significantly higher rate of pay than the industry standard.

The next stage of the business’s development will focus on North West England, with plans in place to build up a critical mass of carers and clients in specific locations before looking to establish the brand in other areas.

And it is also looking at opportunities for developing new partnerships with charities working in its sector.

Samantha Hackett, director at Happiest At Home, says: “We recognised a need to do something different in an industry where the levels of demand are constantly rising and it’s increasingly difficult to find enough staff with the right mix of skills and experience.

“Bespoke care strategies are needed for every client, depending on their individual conditions and needs, and our service is designed to bring the skilled staff that can deliver them with the people that need their support.

“Managing these relationships via our app makes it easy to manage for everyone involved, and we’re able to attract highly-skilled carers by offering them significantly higher rates of pay than they can find elsewhere.

“The market demand for the high-quality services we facilitate has been clearly demonstrated by what we’ve been able to achieve in a very short space of time, and as one of very few companies in the UK providing this service, we’re now looking to accelerate the scaling up process.

“The funding model that NEL offered really suited the needs of this stage of our growth strategy and the investment team made the application process easy to manage.”

Jane Siddle, senior investment executive at NEL Fund Managers, adds: “The Happiest At Home management team has a clear hold on the needs of carers and clients in what is a rapidly expanding market, and our investment provides the business with the resources it needs to continue its growth journey.”

NEL Fund Managers has been accredited under the Recovery Loan Scheme by the British Business Bank to provide loans of between £25,001 and £250,000 to regional firms as part of its wider investment offering of up to £500,000.

The North East Growth Capital Fund has been designed to create around 790 jobs in more than 70 regional firms over the life of the programme and offers unsecured investments of up to £500,000 to established businesses looking to realise their growth potential.

The overarching £120m North East Fund will provide financial support for more than 600 businesses, creating around 3,500 jobs and delivering a legacy of up to £80m for further investment into the region.

NEL Fund Managers is also responsible for managing the £9m North East Growth Capital Fund Loan Fund, which typically offers loans of between

£10,000 and £100,000 to businesses in Tyne & Wear, Durham and Northumberland.