A new online directory aims to boost the local economy of Thanet in Kent and beyond by making local businesses more accessible to potential clients now funding has been secured; thanks to Let’s Do Business Start Up and the Start Up Loans Scheme.
Powered by 118 and Thompson Local, Thanet Trades will be a central place for users to find local services – from bakers to builders and everything in between. The site features a unique quotation system app, the brainchild of entrepreneur Roy Atack.
Roy teamed up with software developers in America to build the app, which will enable users to simply take a picture of the job they require a quote for and upload the image. Businesses can then return competitive quotes and the app user can select the best.
After approaching Let’s Do Business Start Up in 2013, Roy’s application for a Start Up Loan of £9,500 was approved which enabled him to set about launching his business.
Determination and adaptation is key in Start Up enterprises
Roy found it difficult to secure employment after he suffered a near fatal accident four years ago in which he was seriously injured and lost his memory. After rebuilding his life, he turned to self-employment to help him get back on his feet.
“I’ve worked since I was 14 and after my accident, self-employment seemed to be the best option for me. I want to make a difference and my drive has been what’s got me to this point,” he says.
As a trained accountant Roy initially set about starting an accountancy business, developing software to assist sole traders in the construction industry.
However, due to a series of unfortunate events the business was no longer a viable option. Not one to give up, Roy was quick to adapt and changed tack. He spotted the opportunity for Thanet Trades and has worked tirelessly since to prepare for its launch.
“Everything is finally falling into place. I’ve got some great sponsors lined up as well as supporters like Kent Invicta Chamber and the FSB,” he explains, “More and more people are getting behind the idea, which is brilliant because it will mean more work for local businesses and in turn more local jobs.”
Mentoring and the Start Up Loan scheme
Not only do the fledgling entrepreneurs on the scheme gain access to new business funding via a low-cost loan, they also receive mentoring to help guide and support them.
Roy’s mentor, Christine Holmes, has been instrumental in helping him get everything in place for his new venture and continues to be a great support.
Roy says: “Christine is absolutely brilliant. She has helped me so much and has kept me moving in the right direction. I can’t thank her enough – she’s worth her weight in gold!”
The Start Up Loans scheme is a Government initiative that helps new businesses get off the ground via a low cost loan and mentoring. Let’s Do Business Start Up delivers the scheme throughout the South East of England – including Kent, Sussex, Surrey and Brighton & Hove.
Roy has big plans for his new venture and aims to cover the whole of Kent by 2015, with further ambitions to operate across the whole of the UK in the future.
With an exciting third phase of the project in the pipeline, which will equip local tradesmen with the information and tools to complete tenders for council projects, this venture looks set to grow and grow.
Are you like Roy and have the drive and determination to bring your ideas to life? Get in touch with us today and find out how we can help you!
Call 0844 943 2988, email email@example.com and follow @ldbstartup. Find out more about the scheme here.
Find out more about Thanet Trades by getting in touch with Roy on 01843 830 045 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Like them on Facebook and follow @thanettrades.
Thanet Trades officially launches on Monday 6th October.