Entrepreneurs’ Champion: you don’t need a degree to build a successful start-up

Matt Gubba won Entrepreneurs’ Champion of the Year at this year’s Great British Entrepreneur Awards, after being recognised for his passion to help entrepreneurs succeed.

As CEO and founder of BizBritain, a business support organisation whose specialty is working with entrepreneurs who never got a degree, Matt has helped to deliver over £6 Million in funding to upwards of 650 UK entrepreneurs.

This is also a cause much closer to Matt’s own heart. Having left school at a young age to peruse his passion for business, he began his first business in the late 1990’s when he was 15; a website that sold snowboarding equipment.

Matt said: “I was never interested in going to university or further education, which was very unusual amongst my peers – I went to an old-fashioned boy’s grammar school, where almost everyone went on to university.”

Matt says his drive to succeed in business came from watching members of his family like his dad and his uncle achieve high levels of success within their careers.

He added: “This mentality and fascination with the ability to go far in life without qualifications was what ultimately led to me founding BizBritain in early 2012. Since its inception as a website to help entrepreneurs without degrees, BizBritain has grown to be a highly recognised name in UK business support.”

This has led the company to be one of the leading delivery partners of the government’s Start-Up Loans scheme, and provide a range of support for entrepreneurs including funding, training, events and more.

So, why should we celebrate entrepreneur champions?

“People like ourselves at BizBritain are sometimes behind the scenes, pushing people forward and helping people, so it’s nice to be recognised for that and for helping people along their journeys”, says Matt.

Apart from BizBritain, Matt frequently volunteers his time to a number of activities supporting entrepreneurship in the wider community. He’s currently an enterprise advisor for Buckinghamshire Local Authority Partnership; a voluntary role in which he advises the senior leadership in schools how to develop enterprise skills in their students. He is also a mentor for EY’s My Future Now campaign, and frequently supports and judges in a number of awards and competitions for entrepreneurs.

So, what’s next for BizBritain?

Matt says: “More loans, start more businesses. We’ve helped about 700 business so far to start-up to achieve around £6.5 million, so hopefully we’ll continue upwards and onwards and help another 700 business start-up over the year.”