CH&Co boss Robyn Jones tells of her successBy David Millward
August 02, 2012
A leading catering company boss has told how she grew her business from a spare bedroom to a multi-million pound operation.
Robyn Jones, of CH&Co, was a guest speaker at a forum for entrepreneurs and small businesses.
An expert from Henley Business School also told delegates about ways of securing finances other than through the banks.
Thames Valley Chamber of Commerce hosted the finance breakfast forum with the theme of Entrepreneurship and Growth, with the Institute of Chartered Accountants.
Mrs Jones, who founded CH&Co with husband Tim in 1991, was the first to speak at the event at Arlington Business Park, in Theale.
The company, based in Dunsden, now has a multi-million pound turnover, holds 140 contracts and employs almost 2,000 people.
She told the audience: “The cornerstone of business is great client relationships and the entrepreneurial spirit to recognise opportunities and go after them.”
CH&Co is now divided into contract catering and specialist fine dining for events. Clients include Buckingham Palace for garden parties, the Tower of London and London Zoo.
Professor Brian Scott-Quinn, chairman of the ICMA centre for financial markets at Henley Business School, told delegates banks are now an expensive way to debt finance. He said: “The Breedon Report earlier this year urged businesses to explore peer to peer lending, eg online marketplace Funding Circle, which is ready to bypass the banks and capitalise on the Government’s budget plans to lend £100m through non-bank channels – www.fundingcircle.com.
“Or there are sites such as www.peoplefund.it. Originally a way for charities to raise funds, crowd funding is increasingly used by entrepreneurs to raise essential financial backing for new projects.”
The event was part of Business Advice Week, staged by the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales.