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Innovative online money tool for children attracts equity investment

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A new online platform to help children learn about money management is being backed with a £350,000 investment from Finance Yorkshire.

“Qwiddle” enables youngsters to learn with their parents about budgeting, saving and spending money in a digital age.

It also allows parents to give pocket money electronically.

The innovative online money management tool is the brainchild of Harrogate-based Vanessa Cameron – a mother of three boys who has 20 years’ experience in banking and finance.

The Equity Linked Investment from Finance Yorkshire will be used to develop the Qwiddle brand and proposition and support a national marketing strategy designed to promote Qwiddle to the UK market.

Qwiddle and its functionality have been trialled in Yorkshire secondary schools.

The website is being developed further ahead of a relaunch in September which will prove timely.

The start of the new school term sees money management education being introduced to the citizenship element of the national curriculum.

Vanessa, who has worked for Barclays Bank and latterly as a change management consultant, said:

“Qwiddle is a money management account through which children can learn with their parents about saving up, budgeting, buying the things they really want and learning about the value of money.

“Children can learn in safety, ask questions through the site and get great discounts with retailers that I’ve partnered with to bring Qwiddle to children and parents who now operate within a digital world.”

Vanessa’s youngest son provided the catalyst for the creation of Qwiddle when he was queuing in a high street bank with his mother and said ‘there’s got to be a better way’.

Vanessa added:

“The idea was born there and then and it’s been my dream to bring it to fruition.

“Now I have the opportunity thanks to Finance Yorkshire’s investment to have a serious position in the marketplace.”

Qwiddle partners include PayPal, Ebay, Amazon and other major online retailers.

Vanessa is joined in the business by finance director Steve Gledhill and chief technical officer Colin Wooldridge.

Finance Yorkshire investment manager Darren Morris said:

“This is a great opportunity to support a Yorkshire business that is passionate about helping children learn about the value of money in a digital world.

“While the business has its heart in Yorkshire, it is scalable worldwide and therefore has huge potential to provide online services to a global audience.”

To date, Finance Yorkshire has made 615 investments totalling over £76 million.

Asad Ali, Corporate Partner at Blacks Solicitors, advised Qwiddle on the deal.

Finance Yorkshire provides seedcorn, loan and equity linked investments, ranging from £15,000 to £2m to help a range of small and medium sized businesses to meet their funding requirements for growth and development.

The project is supported financially by the European Union.

It has attracted £30million investment from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) as part of Europe’s support for the region’s economic development through the Yorkshire and Humber ERDF Programme, £15million from UK Government and £45million match funding from the European Investment Bank.

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Finance Yorkshire investment manager Darren Morris and Qwiddle founder and director Vanessa Cameron

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