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Alex Mearns
Head of Start Up Lending

Alex oversees the whole Business Support Partner function, ensuring consistency and attentiveness remain at the core of everything we do. He has now established himself as an experienced manager with a proven track record of leading high-performing teams in the business support & business finance arena.

Alex also sits on the Senior Management Team at GC Business Finance, directly contributing to the direction and performance of the wider GCBF business unit. He is also passionate about ensuring the scheme is accessible to those who have traditionally been ill-supported with accessing finance, such as start-ups who are Female-led, over-50’s and the BAME community, which greatly aligns with both the ethos of the Start Up Loans scheme and GCBF.

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Ashley Alletson
Business Support Manager

Ashley leads the Start Up Loans Pre-Application Support function at GC Business Start Ups. This involves leading a team of business advisors and pipeline managers, ensuring all Start Up Loan applicants receive the support and guidance that best suits the needs of them and their business.

After graduating University with a BA Hons in Business Management, Ashley joined GC Business Finance, predominantly working on the Start Up Loans product for nearly a decade. Now an integral part of the National Business Support Partner contract, he continues to pass on his wealth of experience to Start Up Loan applicants. Heading up the support function, Ashley continues to make a real difference to fledgling businesses across the UK.

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Alex Heylings
Business Advisor

Alex has worked in Business Banking and Finance for nearly 15 years, predominately working with Start Ups. Alongside setting up his own commercial finance brokerage, Alex also has experience as a Business Coach, constructing strategic business plans for SME’s across the UK.

Alex was brought into GC Business Finance to aid Start Up Loan Applicants who need help writing their business plan, with particular attention to the financial forecasting that many people find challenging.

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Georgia Royle
Senior Underwriter

Georgia has a firm grasp of how to approach each loan differently and is always putting people first when delivering the service. Georgia brings a wealth of positive energy and easily creates a friendly, welcoming atmosphere around the office.

Outside of work, Georgia enjoys going to the gym, socialising with friends, and spending time with her crazy cocker spaniel, Bailey!

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Jamie Ralph
Senior Underwriter

Jamie has spent his whole career working in the finance industry, starting as a personal banker in Barclays.

An integral part to the team he shares his wealth of knowledge with his colleagues, and this helps the team to support as many entrepreneurs as possible in realising their dreams and starting their own business. Jamie is passionate about helping others and wants to aid in the start-up of new business’ to not only help them but help our wider economy too.

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Daniel Hughes

Daniel has worked as an underwriter for GC Business Finance since August 2022. In this time, he has dealt with a wide variety of businesses and has developed a strong understanding of what goes into building a successful start-up.

Daniel has a strong eye for detail and takes an analytical approach to underwriting. He is passionate about the ethics and purpose of the Start-Up Loan scheme and ensures the GCBF values are always upheld.

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John Pierce

John has worked for GC Business finance for over 9 years and is an integral member of the GC Business finance family. His previous role was a Senior Early Arrears Manager, a team he helped set up from 4 members in 2014 to a team of 15 today. 

John also leads out a charity fundraising team arranging all events for staff to help raise money for our chosen charities, to date he helped raise £11,500.00 

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Nathan Jones

Nathan is well established within The Growth Company having spent a number of years within employment, helping people back in to the work place and giving advice and guidance to those with self employment ventures. Nathan has come from a strong background of business development in the telecoms and insurance industries and always has the customer at the heart of what he does.

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Melanie Tsang

A fellow entrepreneur herself, Mel had her own jewellery business for two years while working her full-time job and was able to develop it into well-known brand within the industry. She enjoys helping start up businesses to grow as she experienced the challenges herself before. Her entrepreneurial endeavours provided her with valuable insights into the challenges faced by small businesses.

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Julia Ejgierd

Julia started her career at Blue Peter in 2016 as a Correspondence Assistant reviewing applications and having the joy of rewarding the applicant a Blue Peter Badge or having to decline and give the little one’s feedback on what to do best next time.

Julia started her career at The Growth Company in March 2020 in the Education & Skills Sector, then entering a new role a Hub Guide for The Work & Health Programme and now an Underwriter for The Start Up Loans scheme. Outside of work Julia is passionate about helping others, animals, the planet, and all things nature.

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Peter McGinn

Peter has been working for the Growth Company since 2021 and as an Underwriter on the SUL Team, Peter enjoys the collaborative process with applicants from all backgrounds, some who have never set up their business before, and always strives to achieve the Growth Companies core values; Make a positive difference, Stronger together, Empower people, Do the right thing and Build on success.

Outside of work, Peter loves to travel, cook, listen to music/attend gigs and is an active member of LGBTQ+ community, along with our GC LGBTQ+ staff network.

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Nathan Connell – Howard
Start Up Loans Pipeline Manager

Nathan works on the pre-application support team, ensuring we receive all the relevant documents from applicants before handing them over to an underwriter.

He has an array of skills, having worked in office environments for over ten years. Nathan previously worked on the Early Arrears Management team within the group. Outside of work, Nathan enjoys running and climbing and lives with his two pet fish, Vic and Bob.

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James Davey

James is an established Underwriter with a wealth of experience in various sectors of finance including adverse credit secured finance, 1st & 2nd charge mortgages, and now Start Up Loans. He approaches all applicants with an open mind, and always loves getting to know them & their businesses, building a rapport with each applicant so they go away knowing that they always have an extra fan of their business.

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