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Andy Clark 

Gripeeze extends its reach to the Czech market

A manufacturer of a glove that can help sports enthusiasts and people with hand complaints to grip equipment more easily wanted to grow the business through sales in eastern Europe. EEN helped the company find a commercial partner in the Czech Republic.

Gripeeze gloves on rowing machine

A Liverpool-based company has broken into the Czech market with special gloves that make it easier to grip objects for sport, DIY jobs and everyday tasks, thanks to a patented strap.

EEN in the North West of England first helped entrepreneur Stuart Walshe to come up with a business development and marketing strategy as he prepared to expand his Gripeeze business through overseas sales.

The gloves are aimed mainly at people affected by arthritis, stroke, sports injuries and other complaints such as repetitive strain injury and carpal tunnel syndrome. Thanks to their novel strapping, Gripeeze gloves can also help to prevent such problems.

Market research

Stuart was looking to grow the business through commercial partners around the world.

He said. “There are so many things we could do to sell overseas. However, with only one and a half people working in the company, I need to be realistic. I don’t have millions to spend in marketing.”

Rodolphe Soulard, a senior EEN business adviser, followed up by carrying out market research and liaising with his overseas contacts within EEN to identify promising markets. One was the Czech Republic.

EEN soon identified and vetted likely distributors in the country and arranged meetings for Stuart.

Golf and hospitality industries

“This all happened very quickly and the process was seamless,” said Stuart. “I went to Prague, met prospective distributors, and a few weeks later received my first orders.”

One of the companies selling the Gripeeze gloves is DMA Praha, which offers orthopaedic and rehabilitation equipment for the older and disabled people through an online catalogue.

Stuart added: “Our business is also doing very well in the UK and abroad with the golf and hospitality industries. We have recently secured deals with large golf tournaments , banks and other sponsors and even a retail outlet within a Premier League football club.

“Thanks to Rodolphe’s advice, our exports are growing steadily too. We are now working together on another project to develop the business even further.”


[Technology Strategy Board]