To celebrate the success of the Start Up Loans scheme and the positive impact it has on those who wish to start their own businesses, each year we nominate six of our loan recipients to become Ambassadors for the scheme for the next 12 months.
These Ambassadors use the experience and expertise they have gained in running their own business to support and help others who are embarking on the same journey.
We announced the Ambassadors for 2017 at a launch event in London on Tuesday 19th September. The event was hosted at Launch 22, an incubator and workspace for start ups, based in Shoreditch, founded by one of this year’s Ambassadors.
The launch event began with a panel discussion chaired by SULCo’s Interim CEO Joanna Hill, who was joined by Keith Morgan, CEO of the British Business Bank; Ren Kapur, CEO of X-Forces; Kevin Bath, Founder of Jim Jams, a reduced-sugar jams and spreads brand; and Razan Al Sous, Founder of Yorkshire Dama, a halloumi cheese production company.
We were delighted to reveal that this year’s Ambassadors are:
- Razan Al Sous, Yorkshire Dama Cheese (halloumi producer), Huddersfield www.yorkshiredamacheese.co.uk
- Kevin Bath, Jim Jams (reduced-sugar chocolate spread/jams), Essex www.jimjams-spreads.co.uk
- Eddie Holmes, Launch 22 (workspace and mentoring for start-ups), Shoreditch and Liverpool www.launch22.co.uk
- Mechelle Clark, Melt Aberdeen (grilled cheese sandwich cafe), Aberdeen www.facebook.com/meltaberdeen
- Brett Creed and Perry Coppen, Crunch Poster (online job board portal), Rochester www.crunchposter.co.uk
- Christopher Evans, Waterfall Ways (adventure days organiser), Neath Port Talbot, Wales www.waterfallways.co.uk
Meet the Start Up Loans Ambassadors
Yorkshire Dama Cheese
With the support of a £2,500 Start Up Loan, Razan Al Sous decided to set up her own company making Halloumi cheese, a popular speciality that is widely regarded as having originated from the Middle East.
Shocked at the amount of unnecessary sugar found in most breakfast spreads; mother of two, Kellie Bath, knew she wanted something healthier for her young children. JimJams are extremely proud of their delicious brother and sister chocolate spreads – which are low in sugar. As well as chocolate spreads, JimJams have developed a range of reduced-sugar jams and with a high fruit content. The JimJams jam family consists of Raspberry, Orange Marmalade, Strawberry and the Great Taste 2015 one star award winning Blackcurrant.
Eddie Holmes has run his own businesses since the age of 16, and then when he turned 19 he received funding from the Prince’s Trust to start a property service business. Launchpad Labs offers cheap workspace and aims to create a community within its premises – a place where people can offer advice and guidance to each other and can collaborate on new or existing ideas.
Inspired by the London foodie scene, Mechelle’s redundancy spurred her on to launch her own business, a grilled cheese toastie cafe; Melt Aberdeen. Using quality locally sourced ingredients such as sourdough bread, local Scottish cheddars, Haggis and homemade sauces, Mechelle aimed to move the ‘toastie’ up a level from the days of Brevilles and cheap white bread.
Brett worked as a Sales Director for a recruitment company; he noticed a niche in the market and started making plans to set up his own business. He launched CrunchPoster Ltd in October 2015, which is a flat-fee recruitment company, taking the best parts of job board advertising and traditional recruitment and providing a low-cost, highly efficient recruitment solution.
Having been made redundant after working with the Prince’s Trust for many years, Chris Evans decided to go it alone, and with the help of a £18,500 loan from the Start Up Loans Company he set up Waterfall Ways, an events and catering company in South Wales. Waterfall Ways offers bespoke events and adventure days as well as providing a catering service. Chris puts on events both for corporate clients (including numerous local councils) and private interests, with his largest being a wedding that had over 200 attendees.