Seed Funding Helps Launch New ‘Geek’ Retail Sites | Offers Wales

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Kayleigh Miller and Morgan Stewart-Norris


Funding from the British Business Bank’s Seed Loan Program is helping to launch two new sites for retail brand Geek Retreat.

Geek Retreat is a “geek culture” retailer, gaming cafe and event hub.

Following the opening of the first store in Glasgow in 2013, the Geek Retreat brand embarked on a nationwide franchise-based expansion program and recently added two new Welsh stores to its portfolio.

Geek Retreat Cardiff, recently opened at Morgan Arcade, is owned by Kayleigh Miller and her partner Morgan Stewart-Norris. Meanwhile, Geek Retreat Newport, run by Liam Powell and business partner Craig Harrhy, is set to open in March.

Both raised capital to launch their Geek Retreat sites through the British Business Bank’s seed loan scheme. The British Business Bank startup loan was accessed through a referral to Transmit Startups by Geek Retreat Franchising.

“The loan was vital for us,” Kayleigh Miller said. “Starting a business is scary and not knowing where to start can be very difficult, but being able to access funding to help with the initial set-up makes the process much less daunting.”

Liam Powell added: “I’m 29, so even if I had saved some money, I didn’t have anywhere near the amount of capital required to make a Geek Retreat franchisee a reality. If not was not for the British Business Bank start-up loan, I would still be working my regular job to pay the bills.”

Beth Bannister, Senior Director for Wales at the British Business Bank, said: “The opening of these new Welsh Geek Retreat sites, led by four young, driven entrepreneurs, is exactly why our Start-Up Loan scheme exist.

“It is essential for our economy that the likes of Liam, Craig, Kayleigh and Morgan have the best chance of success in their business ventures. Despite the difficulties of the past two years, Wales remains a fertile place for small businesses to establish and In fact, since the start of the pandemic, we have seen a record number of new businesses being created, and we want to give them every opportunity to grow and prosper.

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