Successful serial entrepreneur, investor, and ex-Apprentice contestant, Raj Dhonota has unveiled a £1million Startup Fund to kick-start new businesses in 2014.

Raj’s new initiative will establish two startup businesses each week by providing a helping hand in the form of finance, resources, expertise, contacts, and a fixed growth plan. Businesses will be assigned accomplished mentors to help them towards success and support them for five years.

It is Raj’s own experience which has inspired him to create the Startup Fund. His first business in 2001 made unrecoverable losses and he entered into personal bankruptcy. Fortunately, Raj’s positivity and determination saw him bounce back from this low, and he has since led a number of successful business ventures. However, he believes that his financial decline could have been avoided if he’d had guidance from an experienced mentor.

Raj commented: “I’ve always wanted to do something significant to help startups because of my own background and experiences. I know too well how hard it is to establish a viable and profitable business without finance, support and experience, and I want to help entrepreneurs avoid similar setbacks that I encountered. I am passionate about startups and find it incredibly satisfying and exciting to help people achieve their dreams.”

Those eligible for the fund include entrepreneurs with great ideas which need shaping and launching, or businesses that have already launched and need funds or assistance to grow. It is open to startups in all sectors, and people of all ages.

Raj continues: “Whilst there are a lot of startup schemes out there already, many of them neglect the mature entrepreneurs which are a highly viable market. I believe in equality and that the opportunities available to young entrepreneurs should be available to the older generation.”

The Startup Fund is funded personally by Raj, through a combination of his business ventures. For further information about the fund, or to apply, please visit www.rajdhonota.com