Hit the road, bach – Entrepreneurial telecoms specialist follows his passion by setting up an American-trailer-based food business
Howlin’ Tig’s is the weekend sideline of a food enthusiast and dedicated dad whose new
business is named after his daughter
David Davies has always had an entrepreneurial streak – pre-pandemic he was on the verge of
leaving his telecoms job of 18 years and launching an indoor paintballing centre.
Instead, the 40-year-old father of two moved to a new role within the same telecoms business while
combining his love of American chicken wings and tenders with his natural flair for customer service
and customer engagement.
David’s five-year-old daughter, Tilly Grace, is one of the biggest fans of his food and he’s dedicated the striking new trailer – which has a regular weekend pitch in Llwydcoed, Aberdare – to Tilly, who is known as ‘Tig’ to the family.
David has been able to invest in cooking equipment and his new trailer, partially funded by a £1,500
Start Up Loan from the British Business Bank through its Bridgend-based delivery partner Business in
“I am really enjoying my time on the trailer,” he says. “My weekends are busy but it’s great to be able
to bring the food I love to Aberdare. I’ve travelled a lot, including across the States, where Howlin’
Ray’s is very popular and serves similar food to mine.
“I practised making my own chicken recipe for a few years, which has done really well since opening
in February 2022.”
David has aspirations to eventually open a sports bar in Aberdare, where he would cook and serve
his favourite dishes. He says: “The mentoring and business advice I received through the Start Up
Loans programme was invaluable. The guidance from my advisors was fantastic.”
The British Business Bank’s Start Up Loans programme provides government backed loans of up to
£25,000 per individual, up to a maximum of £100,000 per business, facilitated through delivery
partners like Business in Focus. In addition to finance, successful applicants receive free mentoring,
and access to resources and advice.
Jessica Phillips Harris, Senior Manager for Wales at the British Business Bank, said: “The Start Up
Loans programme focuses on ensuring access to finance for everyone. We are very keen to continue
supporting businesses like Howlin’ Tig’s, which feed into Wales’ hugely dynamic food and drink sector.
“Howlin’ Tig’s has built up a great following and has engaged with the local community and beyond.
“Thanks to David’s expertise and passion, we are confident that the business will continue to go from
strength to strength.”
The Start Up Loans programme provides personal loans for business purposes of up to £25,000 at a 6%
fixed interest rate per annum and offers free dedicated mentoring and support to each business.
The primary aim of the Start-Up Loans programme is to ensure that viable start-ups and early-stage
businesses have access to the finance and support they need in order to thrive. A network of Business
Support Partner organisations support applicants in all regions and industries throughout the UK. The
Start-Up Loans programme is not designed to generate a commercial profit. Capital payments together with the interest are recycled to help meet borrowers increasing demands for finance.
Free guides on a range of subjects related to starting a business are available on the Start Up Loans
website: https://www.startuploans.co.uk/free-start-up-guides/. You can find recent media press releases
The funding for the Start Up Loans programme is provided by the Department for Business and Trade
(DBT). A development bank wholly government-owned by DBT, the British Business Bank plc is not
authorised or regulated by the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) or the Financial Conduct Authority
(FCA). The British Business Bank and its subsidiary entities are not banking institutions and do not operate as such.
The British Business Bank makes finance markets for smaller businesses work better, helping the sector to prosper, to grow and to build economic activity.
- Since its inception in 2012, the Start Up Loans scheme has delivered over 105,000 loans,
providing more than £1bn of funding.
- In the financial year 2022/23, the scheme provided 9,549 loans with a total value of approximately
- The economic benefits of the Start Up Loans programme are almost six (5.7) times its economic
- At Spending Review 2021, the Chancellor announced resources to provide 33,000 Start Up Loans
over next three years.
Aside from the return-on-investment numbers these statistics are gross estimates and based on Start Up
Loans CRM along with externally commissioned research undertaken by SQW Ltd, with support from BMG
Since 2012, 31% of loans went to people formerly unemployed or economically inactive. 40% of loan
recipients were women and 20% were from ethnic minority groups (not including white minorities).