A couple from Liverpool have realised their dream of running their own business with backing from local funding provider MSIF.
Debra and Jeff Voller from Wavertree have launched the Beer EnGin Micro Pub in Whiston which sells a range of real ale, craft beers, gin, cider and wine.
Mr and Mrs Voller both worked for the NHS for many years but had always harboured hope of working for themselves. They are avid real ale fans and had their lightbulb moment when they were at a micro pub in Liverpool together.
MSIF provided a loan through the Start Up Loans Programme, a government-backed scheme which provides loans to new businesses and entrepreneurs.
Debra Voller said: “It’s only taken us a year from deciding that this is what we wanted to do to opening Beer EnGin. We only opened a couple of months ago but we’ve already built up a loyal customer base."
“Our daughter also works here so it’s a real family business. We’re all very knowledgeable about our stock which really helps to build a rapport with our customers. We’re a dog-friendly so we’re very popular with local dog owners who take their dogs for a walk and pop in for a drink while they’re at it."
“We strive to make sure there is always a fantastic atmosphere in here which keeps people coming back."
“Something we’re very passionate about is supporting local businesses and many of our beers and gins are sourced locally."
“MSIF were a great support to us as well as the Women’s Organisation who helped us with our business plan."
“Our ambition now is to open other micro pubs under the same brand and we’re currently looking at a location in Liverpool.”
MSIF investment manager Steve Hitchen said: “It’s always great to see people who want to be self-employed make that idea a reality."
“Without previous experience, it’s often difficult to get funding from traditional sources like banks. The Start Up Loans Programme is designed to help people who haven’t necessarily got that track record of running their own business get off the ground. We are really pleased to have been able to support Debra in her venture.”
The Start Up Loans Programme provides loans to assist with start-up costs as well as free mentoring support, and exclusive business offers from partners such as Regus, Paypal, eBay and Intuit.