A Kent-based entrepreneur has found new business success after a Start Up Loan helped him turn a hobby into a full-time vocation.
Stewart Spinrad worked in the theatre industry for more than 30 years, touring Europe and the rest of the world until his career was cut short due to an injury sustained on set.
Unable to work, his hobby of clay pigeon and target shooting took centre stage. As a military history buff Stewart was naturally attracted to historic rifles, which led him to launch Oakrise Arms in the autumn of 2014.
For shooting enthusiasts who value design and skilled marksmanship, Oakrise Arms supplies original M1-MLR Garand rifles amongst many other historical guns.
To get his business off the ground, Stewart needed a cash injection and approached the Let’s Do Business Group for help and his application for a Start Up Loan of £6,500 was approved.
More than just a loan
The government-initiative helps fledgling businessmen and women to successfully launch their businesses through a low-cost loan and mentor support.
“Without the Start Up Loan scheme and the very supportive team at Let’s Do Business, who looked beyond the politics and saw Oakrise as a viable business proposition, my business would have only been an unfulfilled daydream.”
Mentoring plays a key part of the scheme, whereby applicants are matched with a volunteer business mentor who will provide them with support and guidance. All mentors are experienced business professionals and entrepreneurs themselves and can offer a wealth of knowledge and experience.
“My mentor certainly helped get my business plan together and was instrumental in the start-up phase.”
An exercise in problem solving
Stewart went above and beyond to get his business up and running, due to the nature of his business he came up against a lot of rules, regulations and laws.
However despite all the hurdles and problems he faced, he remained focused and now is building a strong reputation and customer base for authentic and top quality products across the UK.
Stewart has grand plans, with goals to triple his sales of the star attraction, M1-MLR Garand and is in talks with suppliers about developing several more historical replicas to add to his substantial product range.
If you’d like to find out more, or if you’re ready to fill out a Starting Your Enterprise form, follow the links below:
If you have a business idea that you want to pursue and need a helping hand, get in touch with the SUL team on 0844 943 2988, email firstname.lastname@example.org or complete a Starting Your Enterprise form online. Follow @ldbstartup.