Suffolk: Ha�gen-Dazs ice cream man Tim-Meadows-Smith named as county’s StartUP champion

THE man who brought Ha�gen-Dazs ice cream to the UK has been named as champion for StartUp Suffolk, part of the StartUp Britain enterprise camapign.

Mr Meadows-Smith, who is now working as a business consultant based in Bury St Edmunds, is a member of the advisory board for StartUp Britain which styles itself as an initiative “by entrepreneurs for entrepreneurs”.

He was instrumental in ensuring that last autumn’s StartUp Britain bus tour, which carried business advisers, mentors and funders to meet new and potential entrepreneurs in 14 towns and cities around the country, included Bury in its route.

Mr Meadows-Smith said: “The aim is to get many more people thinking about or taking another step towards starting their own business, or helping their existing business to grow by giving them access to the often free support available locally.”

He believes that too many new businesses struggle to find the advice they need to thrive, with the initial passion, core skills and cash of new new entrepreneurs needing to be backed by a team with some broader business skills and some impartial external advice.

“The symptom of these needs is often expressed as needing more cash,” he adds. “The fact is, without a good plan and a credible team providing all the necessary skills with some evidence of real demand, new businesses are difficult to fund.”

Mr Meadows-Smith is a serial entrepreneur. In the 1980s he bought Ha�gen-Dazs ice cream to the UK and much of Europe with his “ice cream for adults” campaign.

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In the 1990s he won the Food From Britain Grocery Exporter of the Year title, and in the 2000s won �6million of venture capital backing for a dot com business.

In his current role, he helps both start-up ventures and financially distressed businesses to stabilise, restructure and grow profitably. He is chairman of four businesses including his own New Media Business Group which provides business services and acts as a cooperative for individual and smaller business services suppliers to market collaboratively.

StartUp Suffolk is a not-for-profit organisation and aims to will provide the anticipated 4,000 new business start-up ventures in Suffolk during 2012 with an independent source of advice and a means of connecting with experienced volunteer entrepreneurs willing to provide help to the next generation of businesses.

“Suffolk is fortunate to have very good and active business support organisations,” said Mr Meadows-Smith. “Here in Bury, we have MENTA, who provide excellent affordable training services and networking opportunities, and the St Edmundsbury District Council, which has one of the most effective economic development teams in the country, who launched the innovative Business Festival last September.

“More widely, Suffolk has a progressive Chamber of Commerce with several effective local branches and affiliates, and an active branch of the Federation of Small Businesses.”

Experienced business people wishing to provide help to a new start business, even if it is just a few hours, are invited to register on the website .