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RiDO helps Little Helper reap the benefit of export opportunities

little_helper_webChildren’s product designer and manufacturer Little Helper, based in Dinnington, Rotherham, has exciting expansion plans across Europe, after signing up a number of international distributors, following support from RiDO (Rotherham Investment & Development Office).


RiDO’s Business Co-ordinator Julia Millea worked with Sean Johnson, Managing Director of Little Helper, to assist with translation services for product assembly instructions into four European languages, which has meant the company has been able to secure new distributors for its products in the Czech Republic, Slovakia and potentially in Germany.


Sean Johnson, Managing Director of Little Helper, said: “This is a very exciting time for our business. We have had some great support from RiDO in developing the export side of our business and see tremendous market opportunities internationally for our products. Around nine per cent of our turnover is currently from export, but this is set to grow dramatically over the coming months.”


Little Helper is a great Rotherham success story.  The company launched back in 2006 when founders Kim and Sean Johnson came up with the concept for FunPod, which they designed based on their desire to keep their children safe in the kitchen, whilst taking part in cooking and other activities.  The award-winning FunPod is now sold through major retailers, such as Mothercare, Amazon, Boots, Kiddicate, Hamleys, Early Learning Centre and Tesco, as well as through independent retailers.


Since then, Sean and Kim have extended their product range to include other innovative children’s furniture items which the company designs in-house.    Little Helper has achieved at least 30 per cent growth every year since it was established and plans to take on at least two more staff in the next 12 months, as part of its ongoing expansion.


Little Helper will shortly be releasing 10 new products which will significantly expand its current range of children’s products.  It is also about to become the exclusive UK and Ireland distributor for ‘Oops’ products, a Swiss brand of soft and wooden toys and children’s accessories, such as bedding and rucksacks, with 80 products in its range.


Julia Millea, business development co-ordinator for RiDO, she said: “Little Helper is a fantastic success story and it has been great to be able to help them to become established in other European markets.  There are huge opportunities to sell their innovative products overseas and we look forward to watching their continued growth and success internationally.”


The Growth and Prosperity in Rotherham (Soft Landing Zone) project aims to assist Rotherham companies in accessing international markets and also helps foreign inward investors who choose to locate to RiDO’s business centres.   The project is supported financially by the European Union. It has attracted £842k investment from the European Regional Development Fund as part of Europe’s support for the region’s economic development through the Yorkshire and Humber ERDF Programme 2007-13.


For more details about Little Helper products, visit the website www.littlehelper.co.uk

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