Government selects Kent start up as an ambassador for UK microbusinesses

A business owner from Kent has been chosen to represent successful UK start ups by the Government-backed Start Up Loans Company (SULCo) with the return of its Ambassador Programme.

  • CrunchPoster has been handpicked to represent the Start Up Loans Company as example of standout start-up success
  • Margot James commends scheme as integral to the microbusiness economy in the UK and praises CrunchPoster
  • Government-backed scheme has delivered more than 50,000 loans bringing lending total to more than £345million since 2012

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CrunchPoster is one of six start ups that has been selected from amongst this year’s top success stories and inspiring businesses. The year-long Ambassador programme was launched at a reception in London on 19th September to honour their hard work and dedication, and celebrate the success of UK start-ups.

The reception began with a panel discussion chaired by The Start Up Loans Company’s interim CEO Joanna Hill. Joanna was joined by Keith Morgan, the CEO of the British Business Bank, of which SULCo is a subsidiary, representatives from SULCo’s Delivery Partner network and the Ambassadors.

The Start Up Loans Company forms part of The British Business Bank’s UK-wide drive to encourage entrepreneurship, increase the rate of business creation and improve the survival prospects of early-stage businesses.

CrunchPoster, an online recruitment service start-up that links companies with UK-wide job boards, was launched by friends Perry Coppen and Brett Creed in 2012. Drawing on their previous backgrounds in recruitment and business, they quickly realised that the recruitment process could be improved and simplified.

To do this, they designed an online model to ensure job adverts, postings, applications and resourcing function could be easily accessible in one place. After receiving a £25,000 loan from The Start Up Loans Company, they invested in cloud-based software to get the business online straight away and began to reach out to customers. Since then, CrunchPoster has worked with a wide range of companies including the NHS, Boots and the Land Registry to solve their recruitment needs. It now has a turnover of £400,000 and employs a team of eight.

Perry Coppen, co-founder of CrunchPoster said: “I was already running my own business when Brett and I realised there was another problem we could easily solve through setting up our own enterprise. Recruitment is a hugely competitive market, but companies are always looking for the simplest and most effective ways to source candidates. Our online model means that we can help clients to get their adverts out there, and then we do the rest, vetting candidates and providing a shortlist. It makes recruiting easier and more efficient.

“We’ve both always had entrepreneurial spirit and building our start-up has been a real adventure from the start. We’re determined to keep growing and are grateful to be chosen as a Start Up Loans Ambassador. We want to encourage more people to spot everyday problems and solve them by launching their own start-up!” 

Minister for Small Business, Margot James, said: “The Start Up Loans Company has been crucial in helping tens of thousands of aspiring business owners to get their venture off the ground, and this year’s ambassadors, such as CrunchPoster, are a great example of what promising entrepreneurs can achieve with the right support.

“This Government is committed to building an economy that works for everyone and the success of small businesses is crucial to this. That is why ensuring Britain remains the best place in the world to start, grow and scale up a business is at the heart of our Industrial Strategy.”

The launch of the Ambassador programme comes as The Start Up Loans Company announces it has provided over 50,000 loans to British start-ups, bringing the total it has lent so far to more than £345million. In the South East, where CrunchPoster is based, the scheme has provided over 4000 loans to new and early-stage businesses, totalling over £31m .

Joanna Hill, Interim CEO of The Start Up Loans Company, said: “This year’s Ambassadors showcase the vibrancy and variety of the UK start-up landscape, from cheesemakers to incubator space for start-ups, the six businesses we’ve selected really do represent everything that’s great about this country’s entrepreneurial spirit.

“CrunchPoster is a prime example of what hard work and dedication can achieve. It forms part of the wider 4000 businesses we’ve supported to date in the South East, totalling £31million of funding in the region.

“All of our Ambassadors’ stories show the drive and determination it takes to set up a successful business and we’re immensely proud of the achievements they’ve made. One of the biggest barriers to launching a business is the fear of failure, but we know that with guidance and support, other business owners can follow in the footsteps of our Ambassadors.”

The Start Up Loans Company provides loans of up to £25,000 at a fixed interest rate of 6% per annum, as well as offering 12 months of free, dedicated mentoring to each business it supports.

The Ambassadors for 2017 are:

  • Launch 22: a social enterprise which offers office co-working space, mentoring and events for fellow start-ups.
  • Jim Jams: produces a range of reduced-sugar chocolate spreads and jams with listings in all major retailers.
  • Waterfall Ways: offers bespoke outdoor activity days, team building sessions and events on the edge of the Brecon Beacons.
  • Melt Cheese: a shop serving toasties ranging from grilled cheese & haggis to mac & cheese. Mechelle started the venture after being made redundant twice.
  • Crunchposter: an online recruitment agency which shares adverts with major job boards and now works with leading UK brands including: Boots, Cash Converters and the NHS.
  • Yorkshire Dama: Halloumi cheese production company set up by a Syrian refugee. Razan’s business has gone on to win multiple food awards.
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