Success stories

We've already helped tens of thousands of individuals to start and grow their business. Learn how with our library of success stories.

We've already helped tens of thousands of individuals to start and grow their business. Read on for the full story on some of our most inspiring loan recipients: why they became their own boss, the challenges they faced and overcame along the way and how a Start Up Loan helped them to achieve their dreams.

 
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Start Up Loans

Krapow Thai Restaurant

Phil enjoyed a 17-year career in the British Army. He met his Thai partner Chanisara seven years ago and that sparked their dream to open a restaurant together. Chanisara started serving her cuisine with a Thai food stall in the town’s central market and discovered that demand was high for her freshly made products. The Start Up Loan of £24,000 they secured via X-Forces Enterprise (XFE) was key to making their dream a reality.

Start Up Loans

Evelyn Ecology

Evelyn Ecology Ltd., a Manchester-based ecological consultancy, has secured a total of £12,000 through the Start Up Loans programme, delivered by GC Business Finance (GCBF) on behalf of the British Business Bank.

Start Up Loans

Wuva

Altrincham-based Wuva, a pioneering platform committed to sustainable subscription services, has secured £50,000 of finance from the British Business Bank through Virgin Startup. The investment catapults Wuva into a new phase of expansion, poised to reshape the landscape of conscious consumerism.

Start Up Loans

EZ Hampers

Learn how Lisa Storey started their business EZ Hampers with help from a loan from Start Up Loans.

Start Up Loans

Layer’s Treats

Tom Newey, aged 22 helped start his business with a Start Up Loan. Established in 2020, his award-winning dessert business, Layers Treats offers handmade Belgian chocolate treats for all occasions

Start Up Loans

Hand-i-Craft

Leo Winstanley founded Hand-i-Craft, based in Formby, after losing the ability to use his dominant hand and arm in a car accident. Now, it is a successful woodworking shop, stocking handmade items, finishes and accessories that are sold online.

Start Up Loans

Robin Valley

Robin Valley, co-founded by husband and wife entrepreneurs Wanchong Chen and Liang Zhang, is a wooden jewellery brand that combines innovation, sustainability, and unique design.

Start Up Loans

Amandla Ubuntu

Having previously held a position as a C-Level Executive in an education charity, and a handful of global leadership positions at big corporates such as Amazon and Marriott, Victoria realised she needed to do something more fulfilling

Start Up Loans

This Charming Naan

Max Paley took out a loan of £15,000 in 2021 to launch This Charming Naan, a Smiths-inspired Indian Street Food business in Manchester. With 7 years’ experience in the hospitality industry, from restaurants to bars and music venues, Max had always dreamed of opening his own food business.

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.

Start Up Loans

Peregrine and Cheshire Quality

With a background in the Navy, Sam Jeffs – along with partner John-Paul “JP” Jeffs – launched two businesses in rapid succession – and both soared during lockdown, despite being very different ventures.

Start Up Loans

Vie’s Jamaican Rum Cakes

Vie’s Jamaican Rum Cakes is a recipient of the Start Up Loans programme. Founded by Elaine Remy and based in Kendal, it received a loan of £5,000 in January 2020.

Start Up Loans

Northern Cure

After meeting while working as pizza chefs together, Alex McKay and Douglas Staton wanted to channel their strong passion for food into an idea for a business. Spotting a gap in the market for locally sourced, high-welfare, traditionally cured charcuterie meats, Alex and business partner Doug launched Manchester-based Northern Cure in early 2020.

Start Up Loans

Meltdown Cheese Café

Entrepreneur, Laura Lautrete, is bringing a new culinary concept to Chester with the launch of her grilled cheese café, Meltdown, thanks to a Start Up Loan provided via Delivery Partner GC Business Finance (formerly Business Finance Solutions).

Start Up Loans

Brett’s Pets

Brett’s Pets is a family-run pet shop, based in Chorley, Lancashire. It provides customers with a range of pet foods and products along with information and husbandry advice on most animals and exotic reptiles.

Start Up Loans

Berry's Bakery

Robert D’Orville received a Start Up Loan of £25,000 in March 2015, enabling him to take ownership of Berry’s Bakery in Preston, Lancashire.

Start Up Loans

Jo Boulton Photography

Joanne Boulton worked for five years as a photographer for a training company, before deciding to go it alone and start her own photography business.

Start Up Loans

Christian Benedict

Christian McAleenan started his business, Christian Benedict, in February 2017. Currently operating from his home in Manchester, he provides a subscription service for shirts, where customers can sign up to have a fresh, high-quality shirt delivered to their home address every 30, 60 or 90 days.