Stockport-based digital media agency successfully secures financial boost from NPIF
9Ways Digital Media, headquartered in Stockport, is a digital media solutions company that recently secured a £55,000 loan from NPIF Microfinance. This loan, managed by GC Business Finance in collaboration with River Capital, is part of the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund (NPIF).
Established in 2019 as a collaborative effort between Stephen McGee, Rosemary Plum, and Joseph Siekierkowski, 9Ways Digital Media was founded with a specific focus on providing audio-visual media services tailored to the healthcare industry. The company has successfully cultivated a robust clientele, boasting nearly 400 customers, and currently partners with prominent private and independent businesses within the broader NHS network.
In close collaboration with NHS services, 9Ways caters its content to address crucial areas of public concern. Their offerings encompass digital screens and a diverse array of content for essential service providers, including pharmacies, GP surgeries, primary healthcare operators, and dental surgeries.
When the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted normal operations in healthcare settings, 9Ways adapted by expanding its service portfolio to include external digital solutions and social media support. This strategic pivot allowed the company to maintain customer engagement while opening new revenue streams.
A notable achievement for 9Ways Digital Media is winning a contract for a pioneering NHS pilot initiative, conducted in partnership with Newcastle University. This pilot project, rolled out in 20 pharmacies across Durham and Sunderland, assesses the impact of digital media solutions on local communities within healthcare settings. If proven successful, the pilot has the potential for nationwide implementation, ensuring widespread access to vital public health information.
In preparation for further growth and to better serve its expanding customer base, 9Ways collaborated closely with Andy Nichols, a senior loan manager at GC Business Finance, to secure the necessary funding. Currently employing a team of seven individuals, the company plans to hire an additional two professionals to drive sales and media activities across its service offerings. Additionally, the loan will support the business's working capital needs.
Looking ahead, 9Ways Digital Media is in the process of developing its own media scheduling platform, aiming to provide a more integrated service encompassing its digital media offerings. While healthcare has been their primary focus, the company is also exploring opportunities to expand its services into various other sectors.
Stephen McGee, managing director of 9Ways Digital Marketing, said: “Free and easy access to public health information is incredibly important to the general public, with the pandemic putting this into sharp focus over the past few years. 9Ways was created to fulfil this purpose, creating an engaging format for accessing information in key healthcare settings.
“We’ve already been able to build the business to become a market leader, with this new loan signifying a bold next step. By working with Andy, we were able to create a funding package that aligns with our various strategic growth plans, ensuring funding is entirely bespoke and targeted. As we look to expand our service offering into new markets, the next few years promise to be just as exciting for us.”
Andy Nichols, senior loan manager at GC Business Finance, said: “The work that Stephen and the team have done over the past four years is nothing short of remarkable, now boasting clients across key areas of the NHS on a national scale. It’s been a pleasure to work closely with the team to build this funding package, ensuring this innovative business continues to expand and grow. I look forward to seeing what’s next for the team over the next few years.”
Keira Shepperson at the British Business Bank, said: “9Ways is a great example of an innovative Northern business that has managed to both provide an essential service to the general public, while also experiencing exceptional growth as a business. Given the historic disparity in investment in the North, this latest funding from NPIF will help to create new jobs in the regional economy and drive further growth for the business. It is by providing this essential funding that the wider business ecosystem across the North can continue to thrive.”