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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.”

Having helped out companies in similar positions to his, Danny reveals that it was satisfying to be able to assist – an aspect that particularly resonates with The Sir Thomas White Loan Charity.

“I almost feel like I’m giving them that helping hand to get their business out there,” Danny said. “I find that quite rewarding to know that I can help other start-ups when they may not have been able to go elsewhere at that time.

“Having been in a start-up position, I have that passion for helping other start-ups and watching them grow as well.

“The number of start-ups is growing on a regular basis,” Danny added. “It’s what fuels our economy at the moment. They are almost the life force of the economy, especially of local communities.”

Despite his idea, it dawned on Danny that he was simply not able to do the job with the equipment that he currently owned and that is where one of the charity’s interest-free business loans came in.

Danny said: “I think it got to the point in the business where I needed to upgrade the equipment to be able to do a better job, but I also needed to market the business so people knew what we did.

“I got the funding from the charity and used that for marketing purposes and to upgrade my equipment. Fortunately, all of my computers stopped working just as that funding came through so it came in at just the right time. If I didn’t get that, I wouldn’t be able to do what I do because I’d have no equipment.”

Having met Chair of Trustees David Howard at a networking event, Danny went on to complete the application process with ease; something that he felt to be an excellent feature of the charity.

He said: “They’re (the charity and trustees) quite friendly and welcoming. It doesn’t feel like you’re under pressure to perform. You can be relaxed and just talk it out.

“At the end of the day, all they want to do is ask the right questions to make sure that whatever business you’re doing is going to make money and they’re confident in you. If you tick those boxes then they’re happy to help you out and give you that helping hand to get your business up and running.”

To find out more about Pencil and Coffee, please visit

Meanwhile, for more information on STWLC’s business loans, please click here