Startup Direct is a delivery partner of the Governments Start Up Loans Scheme that provides up to £25K in start up funding for entrepreneurs wanting to start a business.

In addition to the funding, we provide 12 months free mentoring and extensive support through regular workshops and events as well as numerous initiatives and discounts through our corporate partners.

We are a not-for-profit organisation with offices in London, Birmingham and Liverpool. We are passionate about supporting our businesses to help you through your startup journey.

We are developing an exciting range of startup initiatives designed to help and support you as you grow your business. More information on these can be found under our Support section.

Mission Statement

To inspire, empower and support entrepreneurs starting and growing their business

Vision Statement

Our vision is that everyone who has the ambition and drive to start and grow a successful business has the support available to do just that

Our Team


James Pattison


Background: During his 10 years working in Investment banking and asset management, James quit 3 different jobs to start 3 of his own startup businesses. Spending 12 months advising startups on raising funding, and perfecting their Exec summary & business plans, James now heads up Startup Direct.

Favourite Food: Thai

Startup idea: Startup Direct of course!

Business Support

Laura Campbell

Business Support

Background: With experience working analytically as a scientist in a Biomedical Laboratory, mentoring vulnerable young adults for the Challenge Organisation, organising and recruiting for events and writing articles and blogs, Laura brings her varied skills, energy and creative flair to the team working with applicants both pre and post loan.

Favourite Food(s): A perfect day would definitely be Muesli for breakfast, Hosin Duck wraps for lunch, Parma violets or cherries for a snack and crab for supper. Yummy….

Startup idea: This is currently evolving as part of entrepreneurial natural selection.

Businesses Advisor

Shuet Han Tsui

Business Advisor

Background: After 20 years in engineering manufacturing companies, Shuet decided to do something different and work with a greater variety of businesses in the start-up scene. Shuet can speak Mandarin and Cantonese, and understands Hakka after a few G&Ts. When she isn’t working, she volunteers as Lead Cook for The Food Chain.

Favourite Food: Steamed Prawn Dumplings.

Startup idea: Something to do with making, eating or sharing food.

Business Support

Silvia Gaplovska

Business Support

Background: With couple of years of experience from legal and business environment Silvia has developed her client relationship and management skills. Now she provides team of business advisers with support on loan affordability and processing and customer service.

Favourite Food: Any kind of rice and noodles with variety preferably hot sauces and vegetable.

Startup idea: Creating blog/webpage focused on music and latest business deals in music and entertainment industry.

Buisness Support

Krutika Parsons

Business Support

Background: With a few years of experience in communications, media relations, business analysis and operations, within the education, tele-communications and event planning sectors, Kru brings a diverse and adaptable skill set to a customer facing role at Start Up Direct. She will be involved with providing support to applicants and business advisors throughout the loan process.

Favourite Food: Philly Cheese Steak from Gino’s (a local hangout in Philadelphia)

Start Up Idea: Creating a Shoe Line

Client Support and Digital Marketing

Jasmine Agyeman-duah

Client Support and Digital Marketing

Background: With a background in customer services, social media, and content creation, Jasmine brings an array of skills to the Startup Direct team. She will be providing support and assistant to applicant’s pre application stage. Jasmine is also handling our Social Media platforms working closely with our Digital Marketing co-ordinator.

Favourite Food: Thai - Old Street Market is currently top of the list

Start Up Idea: A few. Expanding current blog into online magazine, Creating a T-shirt line, establishing a Social Media agency for women

North West Regional Manager

Nick Bell

North West Regional Manager

Background: A serial small business founder with experience in tech, domestic property development, management consulting, hospitality and washing cars! After completing his MBA in 2013 Nick discovered his real passion - the social enterprise sector – and has not looked back.

Favourite food: Hotdogs and quality G&Ts. Startup idea: Bring the successful Australian crowd-sourced model of food rescue to Europe. Or a carbon-offset badge scheme to salve the conscience of luxury car owners.

Business Advisor

Gillian Mclaren

Business Advisor

Background: Gillian joins the team from Toronto, Canada where she has spent the last 5+ years assisting young entrepreneurs launch and grow new business startups across the country. With a background in Fine Art and Graphic Design, Gillian has used her creativity and small business experience to assist in the mentorship and support of hundreds of entrepreneurs throughout Canada. Gillian has relocated to the UK to explore a new market, expand on her knowledge of business development as well as for the opportunity to do more travel.

Favourite Food: Seafood! Oysters, mussels, sushi, all of it.

Startup Idea: Something which fuels my passion for all things design as well as travel and healthy living.

Our values

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