This week is a hugely exciting one for Sir Thomas White Loan Charity borrower and lingerie designer, Posie Upshall.
Following a two-year project, Posie is set to unveil her first three collections of luxury lingerie at an event taking place at Leicester’s Brick & Beam on Friday 11 October; the culmination of two-years’ hard work.
An added factor is Posie’s approach to design; the brand aims to be as environmentally sustainable as possible, whilst the 25-year-old designer has worked to ensure that her items have a localised element to them too.
The Sir Thomas White Loan Charity is delighted to announce that a total of £128,500 has been approved in interest-free loans at the end of the charity’s third quarter of 2019.
One of the city’s oldest charities, having been established in 1542, The Sir Thomas White Loan Charity offers loans of up to £20,000, which are completely interest-free, to give start-ups or developing businesses a much-needed helping-hand.
In addition, students embarking on post-graduate study can apply for up to £10,000 on the same terms.
You often hear incredible stories about how one parallel pathway in life perfectly sets people up for a completely different one. Sir Thomas White Loan Charity business loan borrower Natasha Dulay is a perfect example.
Always creative, Natasha would often spend her spare time putting her creativity in motion. However, away from that, she dedicated her education to developing her studies in business, at one point potentially entering the field of accountancy. That wasn’t to be, as Natasha soon realised, through her passion for jewellery initially, that her desire was to create unique products and showcase them to a target market.
That developed further to crafting unique handbags and clutch bags – and Styles of Soki was born.
What Natasha didn’t realise at the time was that everything she was doing away from being creative was preparing her to turn her creativity into a career.
It is often challenging for start-up companies to make a name for themselves within their chosen industry – as Sir Thomas White Loan Charity borrower Danny Gohil, of marketing business Pencil and Coffee, discovered.
After receiving a quote for over £3,000 from another marketing agency to undertake his promotion, he soon realised that it was simply not viable for him. From there, he had the idea of creating a solution that he, and other start-ups, needed in the form of website design and maintenance at a more affordable price.
He said: “The idea behind what I wanted to do was to be tailored towards smaller businesses, start-ups and companies that don’t have a big budget for a fully-bespoke website.
“I learnt it all myself and we did it all ourselves,” he continued. “People that were working close with us saw what we did, liked what we did and asked us to do it for them. People seemed to like what we do so that’s how it all started off.”
When his previous employers hit financial difficulty, Shaun Taylor took the decision to take voluntary redundancy. That action would become the catalyst for what followed, with Shaun now the owner of his own business, idee Creative.
Based in the heart of Leicester city centre, idee is a full-service design agency that has gone from offering simple graphic design to full branding design and strategy. It’s a fantastic story, and one that The Sir Thomas White Loan Charity is proud to be a part of.
The Sir Thomas White Loan Charity is pleased to announce that a total of £93,705 has been approved in interest-free loans to young people within Leicestershire and Rutland, at the end of the charity’s first quarter of 2019.
One of the oldest charities in the county, The Sir Thomas White Loan Charity, named after the wealthy benefactor forming part of the city’s historical Clock Tower, provides people aged over 18 and under-35 with interest-free loans to help start or develop businesses within the county, or to fund postgraduate study anywhere in the world.
Following March’s meeting of the charity’s Board of Trustees, a total of six interest-free business loans, totalling £79,380, were awarded to help fund ventures including a vegan caterer, illustrator and security provider.
In the second instalment of our exclusive blogs with Sir Thomas White Loan Charity trustees, Lucy Womack provides insight into the charity’s quarterly meetings, which determine whether a borrower’s application has been successful, and the inspiration felt come the meeting’s close…
Despite it being quite common, I’m always amazed at how inspired I feel coming away from my involvement with The Sir Thomas White Loan Charity. It’s at this time that I feel so enthusiastic about working with an incredible charity that makes such a huge difference to young people in the county.
Okay, a little context needed; I understand. Last week, I spent an afternoon at one of the quarterly trustee meetings, where all 18 of us sit to discuss a host of matters involving the charity – not just our interest-free business and education loans.
Sir Thomas White Loan Charity Ambassador Lee Tomes has benefited from both forms of interest-free investment available from the charity.
Having initially engaged with the charity to take out an education loan to fund his postgraduate study in London, Lee – having returned to Leicester following his studies – set up Orange Fox Studios.
The video production agency, based in Phoenix Square in Leicester’s city centre, thrived. However, Lee wanted to be able to offer clients an enhanced service and product. As a side note, Lee also wanted to be able to focus on being able to work on projects that enabled him to utilise his creativity and skillset to the fullest. In order to deliver all of that, he required additional investment.
Sir Thomas White Loan Charity Trustee, Bill Jones, provides an insight into the initial success of a borrower of one of the charity’s interest-free business loans, following his recent visit to see how things are getting on…
One of the things that I believe is so special about The Sir Thomas White Loan Charity is that our support and interest in a borrower’s business idea doesn’t stop when they’re approved for a loan. We genuinely care about the project an applicant has set out and we want them to succeed. That’s why, on an annual basis, us trustees visit our borrowers’ businesses to see how things are progressing.
For me, it’s one of the most rewarding things to experience.
Anybody that has started their own business will understand the importance of forming a strong business plan.
It’s more than a document; it’s a guide that can help you keep on track when the unexpected happens and one that can be altered at different stages, to ensure you take the unexpected into account moving forward.
That’s why producing – or developing – a business plan is a key part of the application process for anybody wishing to take out an interest-free business loan from The Sir Thomas White Loan Charity.
With the loans we provide being so unique – we want to ensure that the investment provided is to a start-up or young business that has a clear direction, or to a prospective business owner that has done the research and planning to back up their concept. But it goes way beyond us.
A business plan enables YOU to evaluate where you are in terms of starting a business. It allows YOU to be able to see where your strengths and weaknesses are. It enables YOU to be able to set realistic goals.