Start up Loans Ambassadors 2021/2022

The annual Start Up Loans Ambassadors programme, now in its sixth consecutive year, celebrates exceptional business owners who have followed the ambition of becoming their own boss after receiving support from the Government-backed Start Up Loans programme. To date the programme has delivered over 87,000 loans providing more than £779m of funding.

The 2021/2022 Ambassadors feature a social enterprise creating unique furniture from whisky barrels in Scotland, a Nottingham van-based phone repair service and a new alternative dairy company that uses camel milk! This year’s ambassadors are from a range of backgrounds and show that despite living in challenging times innovation and entrepreneurship are strong in the UK.

Meet this years ambassadors

Start Up Loans


Aoife Doherty set up her business in November 2020 after graduating from the University of Reading with a BA Hons in Graphic Design.

Read the success story about Floris
Start Up Loans

The Whisky Chairmen

Proud Inverclyde local, Rory MacDonald, received a Start Up Loan of £13,000 through British Business Bank delivery partner Transmit in August 2018. This provided the essential tooling, materials, rent and insurances for Rory to open The Whisky Chairmen.

Read the success story about The Whisky Chairmen
Start Up Loans


Jeremy May secured Start Up Loans funding through Virgin StartUp in February 2020. He had worked in the food and drink industry and came up with the idea for NICE after discovering an American brand of canned wine on Instagram and became immediately obsessed with the concept.

Read the success story about NICE
Start Up Loans

Tide Climbing Centre

Sophie had visited, built, and worked in climbing facilities and centres all over the world and distilled their favourite parts from each to create the Tide Climbing Centre.

Read the success story about Tide Climbing Centre
Start Up Loans

Tribal Milk

Rahma Ahmed Ali and Nura Nur secured a loan of £10,000 in July 2021 through delivery partner Financing Sharia Enterprise to start alternative dairy brand Tribal Milk.

Read the success story about Tribal Milk
Start Up Loans

Cod of Duty

Matthew Martin and his wife, Corina Martin, launched Cod of Duty, a mobile Fish and Chips food truck, in December 2020 using two £17,000 Start Up Loans.

Read the success story about Cod of Duty
Start Up Loans

POP Pressed

Kayleigh Cooper took out a £15,000 Start Up Loan in December 2020 to launch POP Pressed – an organic and plant-based cold-pressed juice brand.

Read the success story about POP Pressed
Start Up Loans

Valiant Lingerie

Eleanor Howie took secured finance of £6,500 through Start Up Loans delivery partner Virgin Start Ups in Spring 2020. Her business Valiant Lingerie provides empowering lingerie for women who have been impacted by breast cancer or risk-reducing mastectomies.

Read the success story about Valiant Lingerie
Start Up Loans

Ellison Gray Bridal

Caroline took out a Start Up Loan in May 2020 to realise her dream of opening a luxury bridal boutique. Ellison Gray Bridal was born after Caroline took the decision to leave her well-paid job in communications and engagement after becoming disillusioned with corporate life.

Read the success story about Ellison Gray Bridal