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A business guide for Young Farmers
from NFYFC and Savills


Case Study

Start your business with crowd funding

Start your business with crowd funding

Jack Stilwell

Not many businesses would think of crowd funding as a way to set up their business and certainly not for a farming business. The majority of businesses look at more conventional routes of bank loans and family support. But not Jack Stilwell. Not only did Jack fund his farming start-up through a crowd funding campaign but he also did it whilst finishing his dissertation at Harper Adams University!

“My approach to breaking into agriculture has been a mixture of the old and the new," explained Jack. "For the past few years, I have been working on local farms and doing harvest jobs, saving and buying cattle where I could, as well as paying my way through university. This was gradually working, but it wasn't growing quick enough, so I attempted a relatively new concept to the wider business world, let alone to agriculture, I started a crowd funding campaign.”

Jack needed about £4,000 of funding to cover buying livestock, paying rent on land and buying feed. He had realised through university that he wanted to farm in his own right, full time. Without a family farm to return to he sought out a different approach.

Following the success of the crowd funding campaign, Jack now has a large farming enterprise across Hampshire and West Sussex rearing cattle for the beef industry. He has also set up his own social media and PR company called Rural Media Solutions.

It's important to note that Jack has also used support and networking to help grow his business. By working for local farmers he built up contacts who have then supported his business growth through lending machinery and equipment and recommending him for land opportunities.

Jack can also be found on Twitter @getjackfarming