An entrepreneur from Gwynedd turned Covid-19 redundancy into a brand new photography business with support from Business Wales.

Ryan Foulkes seized the opportunity to start his own business following redundancy due to Covid-19. He worked with the Welsh Government’s Business Wales service on all aspects of being self-employed and was able to secure funding to launch Ffotograffiaeth Foulkes Photography, offering a wide range of photography services.

  • Successful start during Covid-19
  • 1 job created
  • A £5,500 start-up loan secured

Introduction to business

Based in Penygroes, Gwynedd, Ryan Foulkes started Ffotograffiaeth Foulkes Photography, specialising in sports, aero, astro and landscape photography, with plans to tap into the wedding photography market post-pandemic.

Why did you decide to set up your own business?

I started my own business after being made redundant in August. I had had enough of working for firms that treated you as a number, so I decided to take the plunge and do something I enjoy. I said to myself: if not now, I will never break the cycle.

What challenges did you face?

I faced a few challenges, including getting a start-up loan, which took a while to come to fruition. Once I secured the loan, I could buy a high-end drone and office equipment. I also received funding from Careers Wales’ ReAct programme to apply for a drone license, which I need for commercial operations. I’m in the process of doing the license.

Business Wales support

Ryan approached Business Wales for help to source finance to start his own photography business. He wanted to purchase a drone, a custom-built PC as well as other office equipment.

Business Wales’ start-up adviser Anwen Owen helped Ryan create a business plan and a viable cash flow forecast for the new venture. She provided advice on how to be self-employed and supported Ryan with his loan application, enabling him to secure a £5,500 start-up loan to start the business and create a full-time job for himself.

Outcomes

  • Successful start during Covid-19
  • 1 job created
  • A £5,500 start-up loan secured

Anwen helped tremendously. From the start to actually receiving the loan, she has been a massive help and I think I wouldn’t have gotten off the ground without her. She helped me with my business plan, cash flow forecast and then submitting the loan application. As a newbie with no previous self-employed experience, she made the transition so much easier!

Future plans and ambitions

My plans are to expand the aerial photography side of the business, eventually moving into videography work for TV companies around North Wales that require drone footage. I am also looking to enter the wedding photography world after Covid-19 dissipates. I will also be hiring myself out with the drone to personal customers that require filming of properties and events.

If you want to read more success stories of how Business Wales has helped other people like you to start or grow their businesses, visit https://businesswales.gov.wales/case-studies or follow @_businesswales / @_busnescymru on Twitter.

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