An Aberdeen-based adventure travel company is preparing for further growth after securing financial backing for its expansion plans and benefiting from the travel boom during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Established in July 2020 by former oil and gas business manager Eileen O’Farrell, Camperceilidh Campers secured £ 25,000 funding from DSL Business Finance to purchase their second VW camper van, leveraging a package an initial loan of £ 25,000 which was provided as part of the British Business Bank start-up loan program.
With bookings up 175% compared to the same period in 2020, Eileen is also evaluating the potential of the financing to acquire a third vehicle this winter and Camperceilidh Campers is on track to turn a profit in its second year on the market.
Customers with summer stays have so far welcomed the company’s accommodation offer, with the company regularly receiving five-star ratings.
Prior to founding Camperceilidh Campers, Eileen was a Chartered Accountant advising clients such as Halliburton, PSN (now Wood) and Centrica.
Following the fall in oil prices in 2015, she left the oil and gas industry to pursue a new adventure and joined parts of the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race before becoming a Royal Certified Commercial Yacht Captain. Yachting Association.
With the hospitality and sailing industry hit hard by Covid-19’s social distancing requirements, Eileen turned her love of adventure into her own business, securing a loan from DSL and British Business Bank to help growth.
Eileen, Director of Camperceilidh Campers, said: “I have had the adventure bug since backpacking the world in 1996 and during the Covid-19 lockdown I decided to throw in the deep end and create an adventure travel business.
“To make it profitable and profitable, I knew I would need more than one vehicle fairly quickly.
“From my sailing experience, I knew there was a demand for adventure vacations across a wide range of people.
2I am passionate about Scotland and know all it has to offer.
“With the right infrastructure and the right services, we can compete with countries like Canada and New Zealand as the number one adventure destination.
“When I took the plunge to start the business, I first approached leading banks and managed to get financing in principle, but couldn’t get the package I wanted. were looking for the right price. “DSL’s financing met my requirements and I quickly had access to the capital to buy the second motorhome.
“DSL has been very supportive and very committed throughout the process.
“To anyone considering starting a business for the first time, I would say let’s not give up!
“You are never too old to be an entrepreneur.
“It took me a few years to think about and plan a Scottish adventure business and I had explored the loan market – which at the time was low risk for new starts – but if you are committed and dedicated you can do it. “
Camperceilidh Campers is one of 360 businesses in Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire to receive a start-up loan from the British Business Bank. Together, entrepreneurs in the city and the wider region have received just over £ 3.7million in funding to start their own businesses since the program launched in 2012.
Mark Sterritt, UK Network Director for Scotland at the British Business Bank, said: “Start-up loans were created to help entrepreneurs like Eileen start a business.
“We invest in creative and ambitious talent of all ages through our network of delivery partners across Scotland and the UK at large.
“In addition to loans, we can help individuals with the practical aspects of starting a business – whether it’s creating a business plan, accounting or marketing – and give them access to learning partners. , such as The Open University. “