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A flexible approach to SME finance

Four Convertibill customers talk about about their businesses and experiences with the company

White & Green offers luxury high-quality cotton bed linen at affordable prices from its base in Wicklow. Founded in 2016 by Sari Winckworth and her daughters Rebecca, Danielle, and Andrea, the firm was instantly successful with customers across Ireland and Britain.

“It just took off,” says Winckworth. “Everybody absolutely loved our range of products.”

White & Green has its origins some 10 years ago in Sari Winckworth’s interior design business. “I was specialising in bed linen and you just couldn’t get good bed linen in the department stores. I set up my own luxury bed linen company and that was very successful but I wanted everyone to be able to sleep in good bed linen. That’s what led us to set up White & Green.”

Convertibill has been instrumental in the company's growth and success. "Setting up the company and getting the first orders wiped us out financially," Winckworth adds. "We were in a situation where we would have had to give away large amounts of equity for a small amount of money, or borrow. Convertibill was recommended to us and they have been fantastic. They pay the factories in India for all our stock and we pay them back out of sales. It's brilliant for cash flow and they have been really supportive. Convertibill take the time to get to know and understand your business."


Carysfort Health licenses and markets niche medicines in Ireland and elsewhere. "We were the first company to launch paracetamol for neonates up to three months of age and the first to do paracetamol and ibuprofen in dosages based on age and body weight," says founder and owner Fintan Smith.

Founded seven years ago, the business continues to grow strongly and is expanding into a range of export markets including the UK, Europe, Ethiopia, Kurdistan, and Vietnam. "Cash is king when you are in a growth phase and you need a bank with the flexibility to support your needs," says Smith. "The key advantage of Convertibill for us is that they take the time to understand your business and work together with you to draw up a plan for the best way to finance the growth of the business. They also have a great customer service."

Tipperary Cheese is a farm-based, BRC-accredited cheese manufacturing business which employs 30 people in the supply of soft cheeses, cultured creams and yoghurt products to food-service markets across the UK and Ireland.

‘Simple system’

"We were one of Convertibill's earlier customers," says director Donal Hayes. "They have a very simple system. I would definitely recommend them to other companies for invoice-discounting. One of the great things about them is their flexibility. You don't have to put all your invoices with them if you don't want to and that's great. We have a very good rapport with them as well."

Having come through some tough times with the downturn in dairy markets and the fall in the value of sterling, Hayes has a positive view for the future. “There seems to be a dual-carriageway ahead of us now, having come through some rocky times.”

Change of Scandinavia is an international lingerie chain which operates stores mainly on a franchise basis. Frances Smyth has held the franchise for the store in the Omni Centre in Swords for the past three years.

While the recovery has been good for most retail businesses over the past few years, her store went through what was possibly the most difficult trading period in its history during the early part of this year. This was the result of a direct competitor with a nearby store going into liquidation and selling product at knockdown prices.

“That was a very difficult time for us,” says Smyth. “But we managed to trade through it and Convertibill were incredibly helpful and supportive. We buy about €200,000 worth of stock from head office in Denmark every year and Convertibill finances that. They provide a great source of finance for the business and it is really great for cash-flow. They make everything very stress-free and they adapt to your systems and the way you do things.”

Patrick Reynolds founded Convertibill in 2013 and says the focus on enabling businesses to cherry-pick which parts to finance has been a winner for all.  You can reach his team on Dublin (01) 685 3677.

Barry McCall

Barry McCall is a contributor to The Irish Times