Publisher Brian Smith, creator of the Popagami paper characters, could be in the running for a national business award - and £50,000 of backing.
He is shortlisted for a Lloyds Bank 2014 Enterprise Award which would see his business, run from Henfield in West Sussex, get a massive boost in the international marketplace.
In September he travels to New York to discusss expanding his Popagami books empire of folding animal characters into the States.
And his company, Pop-ettes Ltd, has already developed business with the World Wildlife Fund, ITV, Merlin Entertainment Group, DC Thomson and Titan Entertainment Group.
Brian, who is shortlisted for the London and South East region, will be up against other emerging business leaders from across the UK.
“This is a very exciting time in publishing,” says Brian, whose work as an Ardingly College science technician has given him an insight into educating youngsters.
His Pop-ette characters were developed more than five years ago and he has published several Popagami books (under his author name Philip Craik) containing printed sheets of animals and film characters with instructions for folding.
“Pop-ettes are very popular with children aged from five to 14,” says Brian. “We have developed a range of animal characters that appeal to both children and adults alike.
“As a pastime, folding these animals keeps children occupied and has an educational element.
“Winning this Lloyds enterprise award would enable me to expand and develop the business and product range.”
Brian has appeared on BBC Dragon’s Den and created lookalike characters for each of the Dragons to fold on the show.
Popettes-Ltd: For more contact Brian Smith on 07894 904775, email: firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.popagami.com
For more on the Lloyds Bank 3014 Enterprise Awards visit http://www.lloydsbankenterpriseawards.com/latest/shortlisted.html
Report and picture by Mike beardall, Oakfield Media.