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24 October 2019

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Start Up loans selects Guildford business founder as ambassador for UK small business

A former soldier from Guildford who created an award-winning broadband business after discovering he had stronger Wi-Fi connection while serving overseas than in the UK has been chosen to champion UK start-ups by Start Up Loans, part of the British Business Bank.

 
 
 

A former soldier from Guildford who created an award-winning broadband business after discovering he had stronger Wi-Fi connection while serving overseas than in the UK has been chosen to champion UK start-ups by Start Up Loans, part of the British Business Bank.

PJ Farr, 31, the founder of UK Connect, is one of 10 business founders to be honoured at a reception today (Tuesday, October 22), at the Houses of Parliament in London to celebrate some of the UK’s most successful small businesses.

Distinguished guests will include Lord Smith of Kelvin, Chair of the British Business Bank, Kelly Tolhurst MP, Minister for Small Business and Jonathan Reynolds MP, Shadow Economic Secretary to the Treasury.

The former infantryman from the Princess of Wales’s Royal Regiment could not understand why he got a clear signal in remote environments but struggled to get a connection back at home in Guildford.

With the help of an £18,000 loan and business advice from the mentor he received through the Start Up Loans programme, he set up UK Connect, a national broadband and communications provider for the construction industry, which now has an annual turnover of millions.

The ambassadors

The Westminster reception will kick-start a year-long programme that will see the Start Up Loans Ambassadors take part in a series of local and national activities, where they will offer advice to other aspiring business owners about becoming their own boss.

Now in its fourth year, the annual Ambassador programme celebrates exceptional business owners who have realised their ambition of becoming their own boss after receiving support from the Government-backed Start Up Loans programme.

The other Start Up Loans Ambassadors include a woman who created a brand of sportswear designed specifically for pregnant women and a football fan who was so passionate about teaching the sport to young children that he set up his own coaching business incorporating learning with football training at the age of just 21.

Through a network of Delivery Partner organisations, the Start Up Loans programme provides pre-loan support to help applicants to develop a business plan; a fixed-interest loan of up to £25,000 to start or develop their business; as well as mentoring to support new loan recipients throughout the early stages of their business journey.

The programme

Since 2012, the programme has delivered more than 67,000 loans to business owners across the UK amounting to more than £527 million – with £50.2 million going to small businesses in the South East. 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Small businesses are crucially important to our economy, helping to create jobs and generate income. These Ambassadors reflect the UK’s entrepreneurial spirit which is driving innovation and productivity up and down the country.

Kelly Tolhurst

Minister for Small Business

Member of Parliament

Of the loans issued by Start Up Loans, four in 10 (40%) went to women; more than one in five (22%) went to people from a black and minority ethnic background and over one in three (35%) went to people who were previously unemployed, reflecting the diversity of the UK start up community.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
I’m delighted to be chosen as an Ambassador for Start-Up Loans. My story shows that if you believe in your idea and have the tenacity and determination to succeed, then anything is possible. The loan and support that I received from Start Up Loans made a huge difference to my business – I really wouldn’t be here without it.
PJ Farr, UK Connect

PJ Farr

Managing Director

UK Connect

For more information, please contact:

Isobel Knight
Isobel.knight@mhpc.com
020 3128 8728

Source: https://www.startuploans.co.uk/success-stories/

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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