Featured SME

Featured SME Hero - Sported.ae

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About the offer

Sported.ae is an online and physical retailer of leading international brands for triathlon and multi-sport athletes. The company also provide a wide range of customized clothing and branded products for clubs, teams and corporates.

 

Sported.ae is offering an introductory 10% discount on your first online purchase with the code SPORTED10.

About Sported.ae

Sported.ae was established in 2018 and is a specialized sports distribution business focusing on the growth of triathlon, running, cycling, and swimming across the UAE and the wider GCC region. 

It has a multi-channel distribution model with an online store, and a physical shop centrally located in Dubai.

Q&A with David Hunt

Co-owner – Sported.ae

Can you give us a brief intro to Sported.ae?

Sported.ae is an online and physical retailer of leading international sports brands for endurance athletes, triathletes, runners, cyclists, and swimmers. Our point of differentiation is that our experienced team of athletes provide advice and guidance to our customers, helping them to make informed choices.

 

 

How did the business begin?

Our business started with the concept of bringing a wider and better choice of sports nutrition products to the UAE. We registered with the Dubai Municipality the Secret Training range of STEATH, advanced sports nutrition products, and started selling them at local triathlon events. At the same time, we introduced Runderwear, the UK’s leading brand of socks and performance underwear. We were then approached to add a number of other brands such as running bands from Naked Sports Innovations of the US, Kitbrix bags, VJ Shoes, BV Sport and several others.

 

Our vision became to be a destination for athletes to find not only best in class products but also a source of valuable information such as a calendar of events and help with where to find a coach. Sported.ae was born. Using our network of suppliers, we offered customized kit to local teams and clubs.

 

The pandemic was a useful time for thinking and strategizing and we decided that we should open a small showroom where people could try on our products. We invested in bringing new brands to the UAE such as Blue Seventy wetsuits from the US with the novel idea to let customers try before they buy.

 

From all the challenges that a new business could encounter, what would you list as the top three? 

I would say:

– Building the team with the right people. I always follow the mantra that once you have the right people on the bus you can drive it anywhere.

– Funding. Having spent over 10 years in the region financing small businesses I know the problems SMEs face in the UAE to raise finance from financial institutions. It’s a hard and slow process. You need options!

– Maintaining your Unique Selling Points (USPs) and point of difference from the competition. Continuing to innovate. 

 

How did you find Beehive? 

Luckily, I was very familiar with the Beehive platform having successfully raised finance for other businesses where I have been a financial consultant.

 

Why did you choose Beehive for funding? 

I chose Beehive because I have successfully used the platform before and advised other businesses to use it. The speed of the process from start to finish was a key factor.

 

What problem did Beehive’s Term Finance solve or improve?  

Bank finance is very hard to obtain for small start-up businesses such as Sported.ae which have little or no tangible assets or a long track record. Beehive funding allowed us to expand our team through obtaining new visas and to invest in stocking some new and exciting brands.

 

How did you find the process?    

The process is straightforward and the team at Beehive are really helpful and pro-business!

 

What are your business plans for the next 12 months? 

Sported.ae plans to continue to bring new products and ideas to the market to meet our customer’s current and future requirements. We are continuously evaluating new brands and opportunities, both in the UAE and the wider region.

 

To anyone who is thinking about turning their passion into a business idea, what would you say?  

Go for it but make sure you have a plan. If you find a job that you really enjoy you will never do a day’s work in your life. Make sure you understand the risks and take some financial advice before you start.

 

And what advice would you give to business owners considering funding? 

Start earlier than you think. Raising finance is never a quick process so don’t leave it until the last minute. I do recommend using Beehive as it is quicker than the commercial banks. However, anticipate your requirements well in advance.

About Featured SME Promotion

Beehive is dedicated to supporting local SMEs and helping them grow. In return, our SMEs like to offer our network promotions for their products or services. Every month, we have a new featured SME promotion to showcase the business, receive bonus discounts and also learn more about them, their experience with Beehive and how they’ve coped through the pandemic.

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