County Down entrepreneur says ‘yes!’ to business ownership

Will Smith from County Down took out two loans totaling £6,000 to launch Woodwork by Will in January 2020

Entrepreneurs often dream of opening a business for months or even years before taking the leap and starting the process.

In the life of every business owner, there comes a time when they say “yes” and make the decision to work towards becoming a successful business owner.

The timing of this crucial decision point and the journey to get there are different for everyone. It can be a time when they decide to apply for funding, create a website, or write a business plan.

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For budding entrepreneurs looking to take their first steps into the world of business ownership, regardless of size, this vital “yes” moment can be life-changing.

Here, a business owner from Northern Ireland who took out a government-backed start-up loan shares what that ‘yes’ moment was like, how it got there and what it felt like, to inspire d other people who might be considering starting a business in 2022.

Will Smith, from County Down, took out two loans totaling £6,000 to launch Woodwork by Will in January 2020, to pursue the ambition of making his bespoke designs available to buy.

The support Will received from the British Business Bank enabled the company to increase capacity and undertake larger projects earlier than planned. He used the money to invest in essential machinery, including a table saw.

Will Smith, Founder of Woodwork by Will, said, “A number of factors come into play when you decide to say ‘yes’ to starting a business. For me, the most important factor was being able to do what I love for others and creating my own work environment in the process.

“When I started my business, I felt nervous and anxious, but I was determined. I was afraid people wouldn’t like my furniture and anxious to take the financial leap, but I truly believed my business would work.

Richard Bearman, Managing Director of Start-Up Loans, added: “Offering over 90,000 loans and providing £800 million in funding is a milestone for the program and reflects the ambition and determination that small businesses of the country have shown in recent years. ”

“It’s great to hear the stories of Northern Irish business owners saying ‘Yes’ to becoming their own boss. Our Ambassadors often tell us that while starting a business can be nerve wracking , saying “Yes” and making a firm decision to go is half the battle.

“Start-up loans offer many great resources for entrepreneurs who are about to say ‘yes’ to starting a business. Our pre-loan support program and mentorship program once a loan has been granted means that all recipients are supported through one of the most exciting, yet daunting, decisions of their lives.

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