Occold: Mini First Aid Norfolk sees business bought from one family and franchised by Occold entrepreneur
Two families have been central to the rise of a business which recently received a £50,000 investment on hit TV show Dragon’s Den.
Kate and Matt Ball, the founders of Mini First Aid, were offered the investment during the June 24 episode from entrepreneur Sara Davies – founder of Crafter’s Companion – after bringing four of their six children along to demonstrate first aid techniques.
After starting the business from her kitchen table in 2014, Mrs Ball and her husband agreed to sell the business to Andy Davidson, of Occold, who has since franchised the business blueprint and launched it in Norfolk.
The Ball family, who live in west Yorkshire, retain national rights to the business, which offers first aid training sessions to carers, schools and other organisations, and so they decided to put together the Dragon’s Den pitch.
Father-of-five Mr Davidson, 50, chose to buy the business in March of last year after his son was injured at a party.
He said: “After jelly and ice cream at a party, Adam decided to go on the bouncy castle. Unfortunately, an adult also decided to go on at the same time and pushed the castle floor up at the same time as Adam was coming down.
“Adam landed arm first and shattered the bones in his elbow. I received a call from a hysterical party host who did not have a clue what to do.
“Adam was operated on immediately and underwent major complications under anaesthetic. He has still, to this day, not regained full movement of his arm.
“Learning first aid is a ‘must have’ essential life skill. People need to be able to do something positive and practical to increase the chances of recovery or, ultimately, to save a life.”
Having travelled around the world for 24 years as part of the Royal Military Police, Mr Davidson is no stranger to first aid situations and medical emergencies.
He was awarded the Queen’s Commendation for Valuable Service (QCVS) following a difficult tour of Afghanistan in 2009.
His first months as owner of the business were far from easy, either.
“I only managed to deliver two classes in 2020 before I took the decision to cease all face-to-face training in the interest of safety.
“Throughout the next 12 months or so, despite diversifying and taking some training online, I feared that I had lost much of the capital invested into the business.
“Moving through 2021, things are now starting to improve as restrictions are relaxed, and many people try to return to some semblance of normality.”
As the den’s youngest ever dragon, Sara Davies MBE (pictured) is a British businesswoman, entrepreneur and television personality.
Speaking after agreeing to invest the five-figure sum, she said: “Kate and her family gave us a hugely impactful pitch in the den and I was instantly impressed by her and Mini First Aid.
“I am thrilled that Kate accepted my offer and am looking forward to working with her and making our plans come to life.”