Enertor, Ipswich insoles brand which supports Usain Bolt, makes bid for £750k crowdfund-backed expansion

Sprinter and eight-time Olympic champion Usain Bolt with his Enertor insoled running shoe.

Sprinter and eight-time Olympic champion Usain Bolt with his Enertor insoled running shoe. - Credit: Enertor

A Suffolk company which makes insoles used by top athlete Usain Bolt has launched a bid to crowdfund its £750,000 expansion plans.

Andy Croxson, chief financial officer and co-founder of Enertor, and Nick Beresford, chief executive

Andy Croxson, chief financial officer and co-founder of Enertor, and Nick Beresford, chief executive, with some product. - Credit: Enertor

Enertor, based at Great Blakenham, near Ipswich, says it needs to create extra capacity and a greater supply as demand for its products soar.

The insoles, designed in Suffolk, are made in China then shipped over to the UK, but its warehousing facility at Boss Hall, Ipswich, is not large enough for the growing volume of orders, said chief executive Nick Beresford, who joined the company last year after working for consumer goods firm Procter and Gamble.

Enertor launched its bid to raise the investment funds for a 6.98% equity stake in the business through crowdfunding platform Crowdcube and it was 18% towards its goal within a few days of the month-long campaign, he said.

The business behind the Enertor brand, RSscan Lab Ltd, was started by Nick’s parents-in-law, Christopher and Bente Smith-Rewse, in 1999. It specialises in orthotics, a branch of medicine dealing with the use of artificial devices such as splints, braces and insoles and uses patented impact technology.

Nick Beresford, chief executive of Enertor.

Nick Beresford, chief executive of Enertor. - Credit: Enertor

The Enertor insoles have been taken up by the British army as well as by athletes and Usain Bolt had taken a small stake in the business. The firm sees untapped potential for further growth through the many members of the general population which are thought to require insoles.

“We are in 10 markets - we are about to be in 20,” said Nick. “Only 5% of people use one (an insole) - we are trying to change that.”

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The company now employs 29 staff - up from 23 a year ago - and turnover has risen year-on-year from just over £1m in 2015 to £1.8m last year, an estimated £2.2m this year and potentially £4m next year.

“It’s really exciting. It’s a mad rollercoaster at the moment. We are expanding so quickly it’s a little bit difficult to keep up,” said Nick.

A company in Gt. Blakenham has been making insoles for years but everything has suddenly taken off s

A company in Gt. Blakenham has been making insoles for years but everything has suddenly taken off since Usain Bolt started using their products. Pictured is director Bente Smith-Rewse. Orange product is a special material that is used in the insole. - Credit: Gregg Brown

Bente said they were “proud” to be a Suffolk firm, adding that it had gone from strength to strength. The aim was to meet growing demand.

“It’s our design with exclusivity and they are produced in China to keep the costs down. We have to do that unfortunately,” she added. “It’s for everyone and that’s what we are trying to get through to people.”

A company in Gt. Blakenham has been making insoles for years but everything has suddenly taken off s

A company in Gt. Blakenham has been making insoles for years but everything has suddenly taken off since Usain Bolt started using their products. Pictured is director Bente Smith-Rewse. Orange product is a special material that is used in the insole. - Credit: Gregg Brown