Earlier this week the Bristol Post ran an article about how Grace Ekall started her own business whilst undergoing chemotherapy. Grace took a loan from the Community Innovation Fund (CIF), a pilot project sitting within Bristol & Bath Regional Capital.

The CIF seeks to improve the investment conditions for enterprises and individuals who wouldn’t otherwise have access to affordable business finance. It aims to overcome this in problem in two ways:

1 By lending at a low and affordable rate, tailoring the terms of each loan to each entrepreneur and specific needs from the business

2 By providing support to these entrepreneurs through the planning, development and growth of their enterprises to ensure the creation of a viable and sustainable business.

The Fund is currently still in pilot stage, with Grace as our second entrepreneur to gain funding.  She sits alongside Bristol-based community-focused publisher Arkbound, who took a CIF loan for the production and distribution of their Balloon fiesta special edition of Boundless magazine.

The Bristol Post article recounts Grace’s inspirational story:

“A Bristol breast cancer survivor who developed a family-inspired recipe for chilli sauce while undergoing chemotherapy will launch her business this weekend.   The Bristol fashion designer is launching a scotch bonnet chilli sauce business.

Grace Ekall, who was forced to take a break from her fashion brand after being diagnosed with aggressive breast cancer for the second time, developed the recipe while recovering.

A percentage of the profits from the sale of her sauces will go to helping save women with breast cancer in Nigeria and Cameroon – Grace’s native country.”

Grace is presenting her Taste of Cameroon products at BUZZ café in Gainsborough Square, Lockleaze, on Saturday, December 16.  The vegetarian and vegan sauces will be available to buy at BUZZ café on Saturday and Grace will be serving homemade lentil soup at 12.30pm.