Dunelm Partners is an investment club that aims to provide early stage investment in businesses set up by young entrepreneurs aged between 20 and 35.

Our investments are made by means of cash and our expertise.  In terms of cash investment we are very flexible. While we would be prepared to invest up to £400,000 in any one business, overall we are looking to average £200,000 per investment.

Who we are

Dunelm Partners currently comprises six members with significant commercial and investment experience who have either retired or are near retirement following careers  in law, private equity, accounting and industry.

Principal contacts:

James Johnson
Former partner of Clifford Chance LLP who specialised in banking and now sits on the boards of DRTY Drinks and Hortons Estate Agency, two of Dunelm’s investee companies.

Buchan Scott
Former COO of Duke Street, a private equity firm – who has significant experience of early stage investments and is currently on the board of Incus Performance, one of Dunelm’s investee companies.

Other members:

Paul Cragg
Former Partner of PwC and a director of Fussy, another Dunelm investee company.

Ashley Heppenstall
Former CEO of Lundin Petroleum AB, an independent oil and gas company.

Tim Jones
Former CEO of Coller Capital. 

Paul de Rome
Advisory Partner of Bridgepoint Credit and former partner of EQT Partners AB.

How we operate

We look to invest both our own cash and our expertise as we believe that is the best way we can help young entrepreneurs to grow their businesses successfully. In terms of the investment of our expertise we would look to have one of us be a director/mentor of each business in which we invest.

We have a flexible non bureaucratic approach to investment approval and transacting and are able to move very quickly if necessary. Once the investment is made the main contact for the relevant entrepreneur(s) will be their director/mentor although that is obviously the route to the expertise and contacts of all of us.

We are quite prepared to invest alongside others so long as one of us is a director/mentor of the relevant business.

In respect of any investment we make we always want to make sure that the relevant entrepreneur(s) feel that the relevant business remains theirs and so we like to see them maintaining a controlling stake in the business.

Our investment criteria

Our investment criteria are fairly straightforward:

  • the entrepreneur(s) behind the relevant business must be aged 20-35 and own a controlling stake in the business and we must like and trust them 
  • the business must not give us any moral concerns 
  • the business must be predominantly UK based 
  • the business must show the capacity for realistic profitable growth and the potential for us to exit the investment at some point in the future 

In addition we have taken a view that we won’t invest in biotech businesses (we don’t know enough to add any real value) and are unlikely to invest in any business which is a pure app play (but very happy to invest in a business of which an app is part).

Although not a requirement at our end it is obviously more beneficial for us if our investment would qualify for SEIS and/or EIS relief under the relevant UK Government schemes.

How to apply

If you would like to be considered for an investment, please complete this application form