A business owner from Calderdale has been chosen to represent successful UK start-ups by the Government-backed Start Up Loans Company.
Yorkshire Dama, of Victoria Road, Sowerby Bridge, is one of six start-ups that have been selected from amongst this year’s top success stories for the Ambassador Programme.
Yorkshire Dama Cheese is a cheese production business launched in 2012 by Razan Alsous and her husband after they fled war-torn Syria.
After struggling to secure a job in pharmaceuticals in the UK, she decided to launch her own business.
Ms Alsous said: “When I arrived in the UK, I was surprised at how popular halloumi is, but by how little choice there was in supermarkets.
“I wanted to create a local Yorkshire product, using a combination of cow’s milk and exciting authentic flavours from my home country.
“Luckily, I was able to use my experience in science to help make the cheese, paired with my husband’s experience working with food retailers.”
She added: “We’re very excited to be chosen as an Ambassador for the scheme, and we want to show others that no matter what challenges you face, if you have a great business idea, give it a go.”
The launch of the Ambassador programme comes as the Start Up Loans Company, which was established in 2012, announced it has provided over 50,000 loans to British start-ups, bringing the total it has lent so far to more than £345m.
In Yorkshire, where Yorkshire Dama Cheese is based, the scheme has provided almost 4,000 loans to new and early stage businesses, totalling over £28m.
The year-long Ambassador programme was launched at a reception in London in September.