Two best friends from Hayes make it to the final of a national business competition

c12 finalists

Two best friends from Hayes that have  started their own carbon fibre coating business are close to securing a £20,000 investment after making it to the final of a national business competition.

Taye Reid and Kirk O’Rourke, both 19, launched C12 Carbon in late July the company produces custom carbon fibre products and applies coatings of genuine carbon fibre, a rare and lightweight addition, to car chassis and other plastic and fibre-glass surfaces.

After an encouraging first month of trading from working in Taye’s mother’s back garden – yielding £1,200 in turnover and with a waiting list of around 30 potential buyers– the duo decided to enter their business concept into Baldwins Accountants’ KickStart Awards, which is being held in front of 450 people on Thursday, November 16 at Edgbaston Cricket Ground in Birmingham.

The winner will be presented with a £10,000 grant along with £10,000 worth of mentoring and accountancy advice from Baldwins Accountants, and the runners-up will each be given £5,000 of mentoring and accountancy advice.

Taye, who thought up the business idea with Kirk while working at another carbon manufacturing company, said: “Carbon fibre is usually very expensive because of its unique and distinct appearance but we have found a way to provide a more competitive price compared to other businesses.

“By covering materials such as plastic, metal and fibre glass we our able to produce carbon fibre products in a cost-effective manner  whilst replicating the impressive aesthetics and performance.

“The majority of our customers so far have been car enthusiasts who want their vehicles to have that extra edge.

“We are currently using my mum’s back garden and front room as our working space, so if we were to win the Baldwins KickStart Awards, we’d be looking to invest in a professional space to work from!”

Kirk, whose background is in accountancy, is supporting Taye with both the operational side of the business, as well as hands-on assistance with jobs.

Kirk added: “We have a clear vision of where we see the business going, and in our first year of trading we are aiming to achieve more than £80,000 of revenue.

“One of our priority is to design and build a car that models our work so we can approach car dealerships to show them the quality of our work.”

David Baldwin, director at Baldwins, added:

“Taye and Kirk have shown great initiative to identify a business idea that differentiates itself in this particular sector, which will stand them in good stead when they come to present at the awards.

“We wish them all the best on the night, and look forward to helping them grow the business.”