Start Up Loans Ambassadors 2023/24 Launch Event

Start up Loans Ambassadors logo 2023

Event Agenda

14:30WelcomeOli Barrett
14:35Opening remarksLouise McCoy, Commercial Managing Director, British Business Bank
14:45My business in brief (session 1)Ambassadors
15:00Keynote – I Am The Queen Bee, including Q&A sessionDani Wallace, Founder of The Fly Any Way Foundation and IATQB Ltd
15:25My business in brief (session 2)Ambassadors
15:45Fireside chatChair: Oli Barrett
PJ Farr – UK Connect
Vese Aghoghovbia – Philly & Friends
Chloe Bruce – Chloe Bruce Academy
16:15Closing remarksRichard Bearman, Managing Director, Small Business Lending, British Business Bank
16:20Drinks reception

Our speakers

Oli Barrett, Entrepreneur and public speaker

Oli Barrett loves connecting people and ideas. He co-founded Clean and Cool, connecting hundreds of cleantech founders with partners and clients around the world. He is a shareholder in several companies including Ethos (reinventing our relationship with energy), mental health business and Troubadour Theatres, creating new theatres and film studios. Oli co-founded the UK’s largest schools enterprise competition, Tenner, which is now run by Young Enterprise.

He also co-founded StartUp Britain with support from the British Prime Minister, and the Turn On The Subtitles (TOTS) campaign, encouraging broadcasters and tech companies to improve children’s literacy. A former Butlins Redcoat and Walt Disney World cast member, Oli is a regular event host and presenter and sits on the advisory boards of Tech London Advocates, One Million Mentors and Founders4Schools.

Louise McCoy, Commercial Managing Director, Small Business Lending, British Business Bank

Louise joined the Start Up Loans Company, now a programme under the British Business Bank, in 2016 as an Account Director before becoming its Commercial Director in 2018. Prior to that she worked in relationship management, customer service and management information roles for almost 20 years, including at Bank of Scotland and Deutsche Bank.

Dani Wallace – Founder of The Fly Any Way Foundation and IATQB Ltd

It’s time to SHOW UP, WISE UP & RISE UP with The Queen Bee.

Former serial self-saboteur, having grown up on the council estates of Preston, Dani has survived the adversity of domestic violence, homelessness and single parenthood to become a leading voice in empowerment and have quickly become one of the most exciting motivational speakers to hit the UK stage in a long time!

Drawing on over 20 years’ experience in business, from presenting & eventing to leadership & management training, Dani uses her knowledge of both traditional employment in the corporate sector and self-employment in the entertainment industry to deliver memorable, inspirational and thought-provoking talks in her own unique and distinctive style bringing truth, humour and a shit ton of practical advice.

And it is not just her own speaking that Dani specialises in. Through her world class courses, masterminds and VIP experiences Dani helps people all over the world from novices to celebrities, and enthusiastic amateurs to seven-figure earners create incredible talks that help them stand powerfully on stage, reaching more of their ideal audiences and making more money (And who doesn’t want that?!)

Fearless leader of the I Am The Queen Bee Movement and creator of the Fly Anyway Foundation, Dani helps people the world over Show Up Wise Up and Rise and is a reminder to anyone who enters her orbit that they too, regardless of their journey can #FLYANYWAY!

Vese Aghoghovbia – 2020/2021 Ambassador – Children’s books and toys.

Vese is the founder of Philly & Friends, an award-winning children’s lifestyle and educational toy brand. She is also the author of the award-winning children’s book ‘Who Do I See in the Mirror?’ As an entrepreneur, she’s been recognised among the Top 100 Entrepreneurs to Watch in the UK by Natwest & The Telegraph. In 2021, she earned the Consumer & Luxury Rising Star of the Year award from the Black British Business Awards and secured The Breakthrough Fund by The Break Social, IFundWomen & Vista ReferHer UK Grant.

With over a decade of experience in Strategy, Operations, and Customer Experience at FTSE-100 Engineering and Technology firms, she skillfully combines her strategic acumen with creativity to craft products that bring joy to children. Vese is an advocate for Entrepreneurship, Identity, Diversity in the Playroom, and Parenting, sharing her insights in notable publications like HuffPost Parent, Mother Mag, and Absolutely Mama Magazine.

Chloe Bruce – 2022/2023 Ambassador – Martial Arts academy

Chloe has amassed a huge following across socials including 490K followers on Instagram, 100K followers on YouTube and 580K followers on TikTok.

Chloe Bruce took out a loan of £12,500 to launch the Chloe Bruce Academy in 2020, a business offering virtual martial arts classes and tutorials. The academy, which offers on-demand and live classes, has taught hundreds of thousands of people, ranging from beginners to professionals, including actors learning new skills for action roles.

PJ Farr – 2019/2020 Ambassador – Communications provider

CEO & Founder PJ Farr’s experience serving in the forces abroad inspired him to create UK Connect after seeing the need for reliable connectivity in remote locations, including UK construction sights.

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 communications provider for the construction industry specialising in rapid day one connectivity, which now has an annual turnover in the millions.

Richard Bearman, Managing Director, Small Business Lending, British Business Bank

Richard Bearman has over 20 years’ experience in the banking sector and over that time has developed a real passion for working with and supporting entrepreneurs. Richard is Managing Director at the British Business Bank and is responsible for the Start Up Loans programme. Working with a range of Delivery Partners across the UK to help startup businesses access funding, Richard is proud to play a part in helping people achieve their dream of being their own boss.

Richard was previously UK Head of Small Business at HSBC, where he led and supported colleagues serving the UK SME market via face to face, telephony and digital channels. Richard set the strategic direction and led the business to evolve its channels and grow its customer base. Under Richard’s leadership, HSBC was voted Best Business Banking Provider in the Smart Money People British Bank Awards and Best Online Banking Provider in the Business Moneyfacts Awards.