Principal Lauren Couch leads BOOST&Co’s Bristol office, which provides growth capital to fast-growing and high-tech SMEs across the south-west of England.
What do you do at BOOST&Co?
I’m a principal and I lead our Bristol office, increasing awareness of BOOST&Co by speaking to as many professionals as possible within the south-west business community. We’re here to help companies that need growth funding to enable them to achieve their ambitions, and we offer alternative options to traditional funding by private equity and banks. We’ve helped a lot of technology-based companies, but all sectors are welcome, as long as your business is ambitious and you want to use your funding for growth.
How did you end up at BOOST&Co?
After taking a law degree, I joined RBS. I worked there for 17 years – in Bristol, Reading and London, with companies ranging from smaller SMEs to large corporates – before moving to the Business Growth Fund in an origination role. After I had my child, I came back re-energised, wanting to put everything I’ve learned into setting up an office in the south-west and running it myself.
What appealed to you about the company?
The best thing about BOOST&Co is that everything is bespoke: if we like a business, we find a solution for it. We can be flexible and fleet of foot; we can do things that other companies can’t do, and we can do them quickly. There’s a funding gap for businesses in the south-west that BOOST&Co can fill but other lenders can’t.
Which item can you not work without?
Probably just a pen and paper; I like to write down the important things that people say so I can refer back to them. I’m cursed when it comes to IT. I would shred my phone if I could.
How do you spend your leisure time?
I love going out for dinner, but exercise is my big thing; I go to the gym pretty much every day. That’s so I can eat and drink as much as possible – it’s all interlinked.
Which football team do you support?
Swindon Town. We’re in League Two and we’re a typical mid-table team; we’re never fighting for promotion or battling relegation. We keep it nice and boring. You don’t go to Swindon for the glory.
What’s on your bucket list?
I want to do the Inca Trail, but our holidays have changed now we have a one-year-old! I love travelling; Japan is my favourite country to visit, and I love Madeira, too. Next up are Cyprus, Zante and Vienna. And I’d like to go to Glastonbury for the first time.
Given £100m to spend or invest, what’s the first thing you would do?
I’d give my mum, my dad and my sister a big proportion of it, and then I’d take all my family and friends on holiday, somewhere with a lot of sun and drink – somewhere flashy where we could all have a laugh.