Chamber support helps Mini Rovers motor to success

A business that offers an entertaining driving experience to children aged four to ten at parties and events is on the verge of growth after receiving help from the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce.
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Simon Cort, who lives in Hillmorton with his wife and two sons, had spent 15 years working for Network Rail when he decided he wanted to start his own company in the midst of the global pandemic.

At the same time, he was researching ideas of building something exciting to entertain his eldest son, who was three at the time, and was looking at mini offroad vehicles and obstacle courses.

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That desktop research sparked a business idea and Mini Rovers was born.

 Simon Cort, Karen Yeomans, Hayley Lineker, John Fitzgerald Simon Cort, Karen Yeomans, Hayley Lineker, John Fitzgerald
Simon Cort, Karen Yeomans, Hayley Lineker, John Fitzgerald

Simon invested in a fleet of four Series 2 replica Land Rovers that are designed for children aged four to ten and created an offroad obstacle course that can be taken to public and private events – from weddings and parties through to shows and motoring festivals.

Despite having skills and experiences from his previous job, Simon had never run a company before so needed help with some of the business basics.

At the same time, John Fitzgerald – a business adviser at the Chamber – got in touch to say that Mini Rovers might be eligible for help and receive fully funded start-up business support.

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The Start-up Programme forms part of the Business Growth Warwickshire programme. It is delivered by Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce on behalf of Warwickshire County Council and Warwickshire’s five District and Borough Councils.

The business support Simon received was one-to-one guidance by John, including workshops on social media, marketing, finance and business planning, with the aim of supporting the company’s growth in the future. He said: “It has been great working with John from the Chamber. He actually got in touch with me to let me know I was eligible for the support, which doesn’t happen very often!

“He walked me through what was available, what workshops might help me and, because of his own expertise, he looked at the website and our social media to help make sure we have got the best possible shop window for the business. It’s been a big help.”

As a result,Mini Rovers is expanding, with plans to invest in more vehicles and take on new staff.

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Successes include taking centre stage in Covent Garden last Easter when it worked with a production company to create a Peter Rabbit experience utilising the vehicles.

Simon added: “We started out doing some smaller events and parties but we’ve really grown and taken on bigger projects. We’re very popular with weddings and big family occasions but we’ve also been to Silverstone and lots of the big motoring events.

“It means there’s a possibility of adding more vehicles to the fleet and taking on staff to cover events. It is an exciting time.”

John Fitzgerald said: “It's been great working with Simon on this project. We overviewed areas of the business including looking at the company website and social media from a customer point of view.

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“We’ve also been able to help on some of the fundamental aspects of running a business such as finance and planning. We can see the potential for growth for Mini Rovers and we’re pleased to have supported the business in its early stages.”

Warwickshire County Council’s Portfolio Holder for Economy & Place, Cllr Martin Watson, said: “I am delighted that the Start-Up Programme has proved so beneficial to Simon in growing his business. Having access to some extra expert guidance in the early stages of running a business can make all the difference and that is what the bespoke guidance of the Start-Up programme is designed to deliver.”

The Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce is delivering free-funded business support on all aspects of business. To get started, please email [email protected] or visit

This project is part-funded by the UK government through the UK Shared Prosperity Fund and Warwickshire County Council.

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