Katerina Pavlakis had a background in both running her own business and working in London. When she and her husband, Colin Bass, moved to rural north Wales, they were keen to start something more local to save them from a long commute.
Katerina and Colin registered with Start Up Loans Delivery Partner Robert Owen Community Finance in May 2016, and two months later secured a Start Up Loan of £9,800. They used the loan to open their own shop, Health & Food.
Just over one year on, Katerina said the business was progressing in line with their initial projections, despite facing a steep learning curve and there not being enough hours in the day! She and Colin hope to be able to grow the Health & Food enterprise in the coming months, and say that they are on course to do so. They also hope to purchase larger premises in future and to begin selling their healthy food at fairs and festivals.
As well as the loan, Colin and Katerina received help with their accounts from an assigned mentor, something they found very useful. Perhaps more significant, they say, was the support received during the application process, receiving face-to-face support from a business adviser, which they say was ‘priceless’. When they first began her application, they were uncertain as to whether this was the right path for them. They say the encouragement received during this time was invaluable and gave them the confidence to see that their business idea could become a reality.