A young entrepreneur with a burning desire to banish harmful fuels has secured funding from Finance Yorkshire to develop a range of cleaner, safer candles and firelighters.
Lewis Bowen founded Air Global, after graduating from Sheffield Hallam University five years ago, in response to the millions of deaths that occur annually from indoor air pollution caused by fuels such as paraffin, wood and kerosene.
The company’s best known product is LightMe, a bio-oil candle that is refined from a sustainable source of palm kernel oil.
It burns more cleanly than traditional candles and extinguishes itself when knocked over.
LightMe is proving popular in emerging nations, where there is a need for alternative energy sources that are affordable and sustainable.
Finance Yorkshire has supported Air Global’s growth plans with a £300,000 investment from its Seedcorn Fund. The money will enable it to invest in stock and boost marketing while researching and developing new products.
Lewis said: “Our aim as a business is to take consumer products and make them better for the environment. Our first goal has been to stop deaths occurring as a result of indoor air pollution.
“LightMe has been our most successful product to date and we are now looking to develop variations such as scented candles.
“The investment from Finance Yorkshire means that we can meet the needs of current and future customers, develop new ideas and create change for good across the world.”
Air Global recorded a turnover of £150,000 last year. The business also supplies camping equipment manufacturer Vango with fuel for its portable stoves and is looking to develop similar partnerships.
The firm received a boost this year when experienced businessman and investor Chris Welsh joined the board as chairman.
Alex McWhirter, chief executive at Finance Yorkshire, said: “This investment comes at a vital time for the business, enabling it to scale up.”