A second cash investment from Bristol Private Equity Club (BPEC) has helped a South West entrepreneur roll out the next phase of her women’s fitness business.

Mel Bound, Founder and CEO of fast-growing brand This Mum Runs, has secured a £100,000 investment to help launch the first in a series of apps aimed at supporting and encouraging mums worldwide to be happier and healthier through regular exercise.

Since its launch in 2014 This Mum Runs has built a community of over 80,000 women. The business already offers hundreds of free runs a month in 50 locations through a team of specially trained Run Angel volunteers, has a growing programme of in real life coaching to support women who are new to running, and a stylish range of running and leisure apparel for mums and kids.

Currently operating in 12 UK cities, with teams ready to launch in Australia, New Zealand, Canada and Denmark in early 2020, Mel has global aspirations for This Mum Runs and the new app is all part of that plan.

“The latest investment from BPEC has meant we are able to launch our Run30 coaching app and put TMR programmes in the hands of Mums worldwide in a matter of months rather than years,” said Mel.

“We’re mainly targeting women who have never run before, but also those who have lost confidence since having children, mums who perhaps did a bit of exercise before children but not much since.

“The Run30 app will provide an eight-week programme suitable for all abilities, will be packed full of inspiring content as well as access to an online community of women with the same goals. We’ll even help our new members to launch their own This Mum Runs communities in their local area when they complete the programme. The eventual goal is to build a This Mum Runs community in every city in the world.”

The business first attracted investment funds from BPEC in 2018 when it received £156,000 to scale-up its community and expand the apparel range.

Mel says the almost overnight success of the venture meant that a cash injection was vital in maximising the initial flood of support.

“It all started with a desperate Facebook post. I had a nine-month-old son and a four-year-old daughter and with the pressures of work and motherhood, I’d been completely inactive exercise-wise for years. I asked if anyone wanted to meet up for a run and 75 mums turned up!” Mel commented.

“After that word-of-mouth took over and around eight weeks in, hundreds of mums were showing up. I realised there were a lot of women feeling like this and the seed of an idea took shape.

“The investment from BPEC allowed us to grow the ecommerce side of the business and we now ship to 31 countries.

“The main bulk of the investment however was spent on growing our incredible team who bring with them a wealth of experience from brands like Headspace and Nike – experience that will be vital as we continue to expand the business.”

Jerry Barnes, Bristol Private Equity Club, founding member said: “We were extremely impressed with how This Mum Runs utilised the initial investment.

“The ethos behind the community business paired with the eye-catching apparel designs and Mel’s focus and determination made it a no-brainer to invest again. Twelve members came together to provide the £100,000 and we’re looking forward to watching the business flourish in coming months.” Cook Corporate Solicitors acted for BPEC in the deal. BPEC we now has 80 successful entrepreneurs and business people from the Bristol area with capital to invest as club members. In three years the club has invested more than £6 million into 19 different businesses.

Issued on behalf of Bristol Private Equity Club by Empica