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Starting and growing a business is never easy.  As well as a business model that works, it requires hard work, great determination and an ability to bounce back when things go wrong.

Many of the entrepreneurs that run the growing companies that we help have those qualities in abundance.  One of them, Dan Cluderay of Approved Food, has been chosen to talk about these issues to help launch the 2016 Virgin Media Voom competition, after making it to the final last year.

Approved Food is the online retailer of clearance food and drink, selling discounted products, many of which are close to or beyond best before dates but still #PerfectlyGood to eat or drink.

In this video with Richard Branson, Dan talks about how he started the business after being made redundant and his motivation for doing so, as well as highlighting the benefits of the competition for his business.

Approved Food is now a multi-million pound turnover company employing over 50 people.  It wasn’t easy getting there but it just shows what can be achieved with determination and self-belief.  Along the way, we were able to provide growth finance in 2012 and again in 2014, the latter to help with a move into larger premises.  However, as the video demonstrates better than any words we can write, Dan and his colleagues are the ones making it happen.

More details of the Virgin Media business competition, which is aimed at both rapid growth businesses and start-ups, can be found here:

If you want to save up to 70% on your weekly shop, try the Approved Food website:



Keith Willams
Author: Keith Willams
A chartered accountant, Keith joined UK Steel Enterprise in 1990 following periods in the profession and industry, becoming investment manager in 1993. In 2000 he took over as regional manager responsible for the company's operations in Yorkshire, Humberside and the Midlands. He is also a director of UKSE Fund Managers Ltd.