Funding High Growth Business: Meet the Panel

At the Festival of Business, LDC’s Jonathan Caswell will join the founders and leaders of a selection of successful, high-growth companies to talk about funding growth ambitions.

The panel will discuss the challenges they faced when funding their early expansion, the decisions they made when choosing the right partner and where they’re heading on their journey.

If you are not able to join us on the day, we will be sharing the stories of how this group got ‘investment ready’ to help unlock the potential of their businesses.


Andy Phouli, co-founder, Rush 

Andy Phouli began his hair dressing career from the age of 16.  After working in salons across the South East, he launched his own venture with business partner Stelios Andrew in Wimbledon in 1994.

Now, over 20 years on, Rush has more than 90 salons across the UK, employs more than 1,000 people and services more than 14,000 clients on a weekly basis. Rush has recently launched a new training Academy in Covent Garden training hairdressers from all over the world.

For the second time Andy was awarded business director of the year 2015 at the British Hair Dressing Business Awards. 


Joanna Jensen, founder & CEO, Childs Farm 

In 2010 Joanna developed a range of fun, natural toiletries products for her two young daughters. She began selling online to individual customers and small retailers. Her relentless energy, passion and drive has seen Childs Farm grow exponentially since then.

Childs Farm is now stocked in over 4,500 stores in the UK by major retailers including Boots, Tesco, Asda, Morrisons, Superdrug, Waitrose, Ocado, Amazon and Coop.

Childs Farm is the second largest baby & child toiletries brand in the UK and has been the fastest growing brand in the category for the past three years.  


Jon Wood, commercial director, Seabrook Crisps 

Jon has more than 14 years’ experience working in the food and drink sector, having worked for industry giants such as Mars.

Since joining Seabrook Crisps in 2010, he has become an integral part of the board and was part of the team that led the management buyout of the business in 2015.

His role is to deliver the firm’s five-year commercial strategy across all customer channels. With responsibility for all 'front end' commercial operations, including sales, marketing, category management and customer supply chain, Jon plays a pivotal part in the growth of the business. 


Jonathan Caswell, director at LDC 

Jonathan has been supporting the growth ambitions of small and medium-sized enterprises across London and the South of England for more than 20 years.

As a director at LDC, the UK’s leading mid-market private equity firm, he has identified investments in businesses across all sectors of the economy. He specialises in supporting all aspects of business growth, from securing board-level talent and funding acquisitions, to driving operational efficiencies and exporting internationally.

He works closely with management teams and continues to support the growth of businesses such as fiduciary services provider Equiom, salon and beauty brand Rush and medical communications specialist Lucid Group.

Festival of Business