Page 6: Conclusion
Surrey Envelopes provides us with a good case example of the way in which 3i enables entrepreneurs with good ideas to secure the necessary backing to get started. Surrey Envelopes, based in Wimbledon, supply a range of envelopes that are printed with the clients’ designs - from simple black and white, to full colour. The company began trading in 1991. Today it has a very broad customer base and its work is mainly used in the direct marketing industry, for over 200 customers such as Orange, BT and Royal Sun Alliance. The company was founded by David Barnes and Jeff Greenleaf who had previously been directors of a major direct mail production group.
Surrey Envelopes was a ‘start-up’ company in 1991, with backing from the London office of 3i who provided equity and loan funding of £160,000 to finance the purchase of plant and machinery, the fitting out of the factory and working capital. In August 1992, 3i provided a further £93,000 to assist the company in buying a new four-colour printing press for printing envelopes with colour pictures. Surrey Envelopes has had a remarkable few years. From a standing start in March 1991 when it had no customers, it managed to achieve profitability in its first year of trading and has continued to grow with turnover now in excess of £4 million. In 1995 Surrey Envelopes won the British Venture Capital Association Award in the Start-Up category. At the award ceremony Helen Sinclair of 3i stated: We are keen to back young companies which, like Surrey Envelopes, have the potential to be the major companies of tomorrow.