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Connect Yorkshire member Lewis Bowen has launched a £300k crowd-funding campaign to grow his LightMe brand of candles and fragrances.

Bowen launched his business, Air Global, upon graduating from Sheffield Hallam University six years ago. His idea was a response to the millions of deaths that occur each year from indoor air pollution caused by traditional fuels.

LightMe is a bio-oil candle refined from a renewable source of palm kernel oil. The product burns more cleanly than traditional candles and extinguishes when knocked over.

Bowen plans to raise £300k on the Crowdcube platform, offering investors a share in a 20% equity stake. Upon reaching his target, he intends to invest in his sales team to build the range of stockists for LightMe.

Lewis said: “We are ambitious and we want to take the business to the next level. This is a market worth £293m in the UK and £5bn in the EU and US. LightMe is an easy to understand product that resonates with a lot of people.”

The LightMe range is targeted at the retail and catering industries. It is designed to be sold as a home accessory or table decoration.

The business is backed by a team of directors, including businessman and investor Chris Welsh, drinks industry veteran Chris Bowen, venture capital expert Emma Cross and former Compass Group UK & Ireland managing director, Ian Sarson.

Lewis continued: “We have spent a lot of time developing these products and believe we have a fantastic range that will appeal to consumers. That work is already paying off in terms of conversations with big name retailers.

“Our over-arching aim as a business is to make products that are better for the environment and shake up a traditional market. We will do this by reducing the use of fossil fuels within the home retail and food service industries.

“We will also reduce unnecessary problems caused by hot spilling wax and fuels that can cause fires.”

After 12 months of development, Air Global now requires funding to drive a new and existing range nationally and internationally.

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