Wiltshire-based entrepreneur, Luke Craven, has received Start Up Loan funding via SWIG Finance to launch his new sustainable food brand, BiJimini Spices.

BiJimini Spices is using the £21,000 loan to set up supply chains, cover initial manufacturing costs and support the marketing of the official business launch.

Designed to help tackle the harmful environmental impact of industrial meat production, BiJimini Spices uses cricket powder as a supplement to provide nutritional as well as environmental benefits.

In comparison to beef production, crickets produce under 0.1% of the carbon emissions produced by a cow, and only need 20% of the water intake to produce the same level of protein. In terms of nutritional benefits, high-protein crickets also contain all 9 essential amino acids and are abundant in minerals.

The business was launched on 28 June 2021 and its first product to enter the market is Cajun Spice, which can be easily added to any cuisine. You can purchase BiJimini Cajun Spice via their e-commerce website.

The product is aimed at those consumers who want to make eco-friendly choices when it comes to their food. The product also has enormous benefits for athletes, as well as those who may be on a restricted diet and require additional protein.

Luke Craven, the entrepreneur behind this venture, began his edible insects journey whilst studying International Business Management for Food and Agriculture at the Royal Agricultural University.

Sustainable food production is an important topic to Luke, and when considering sustainable options for feeding the growing population he soon realised he could make a big impact through the use of edible insects.

Although insect consumption is not widely recognised as part of a staple diet in the Western world, in Eastern culture, edible insects have been consumed as an essential source of nutrients for thousands of years.

The market for edible insects is growing in the West though, and according to The Guardian, a third of Britons believe insect consumption will become mainstream in the UK by 2029.

If you are interested in switching up your protein source but not quite sure how it could fit into your diet, check out the recipe section on the BiJimini Spices website for some tantalising and inspiring ideas.

Of the funding, Luke commented “As with any manufacturing business, start- up costs can be very high. This funding has helped me to define my supply chain and begin manufacturing my products so I can launch my business at this critical time when the population is realising that climate change caused by food production needs urgent addressing”.

Luke’s dedicated SWIG Finance business manager, Nicki Kimberley said “As someone who is conscious of the environmental impacts of food production, edible insects are a great way forward. Luke is highly innovative in his approach to sustainability, and we hope to see these products widely stocked by the supermarkets in the coming years”.

Richard Bearman, Managing Director at Start Up Loans, said: “Start Up Loans exists to help aspiring businesses owners and early-stage businesses to get access to the finance and support they need to thrive and so I’m delighted that Start Up Loans has been able to support Luke Craven and play a part in the success of BiJimini Spices”.

About SWIG Finance

SWIG Finance is the South West’s leading Community Development Financial Institution. We are passionate about bringing social and economic benefits to people and places in the South West.

We do this by providing support and finance to Start Ups and growing SMEs that can create and secure employment opportunities.

As the South West’s leading delivery partner for Start Up Loans UK, we can provide Start Up Loans from £500 – £25,000. For more information visit https://www.swigfinance.co.uk/start-up-loans/

We also have business loans from £25,000 to £250,000 available to South West SMEs who cannot access sufficient funding from their bank https://www.swigfinance.co.uk/business-loans/

For businesses based in or relocating to Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, we work with FSE, the appointed CIOSIF Fund Manager, on delivering smaller business loans as part of the £20 million allocation for debt finance in Cornwall & the Isles of Scilly https://www.swigfinance.co.uk/ciosif/.

If you would like to have an informal discussion about your funding requirements, get in touch with our friendly and professional team to find out how we can help: [email protected] / 01872 227 932.