Gateshead start-up loans company helps guitar maker strum up business

A guitar-maker has secured funding for his business thanks to Gateshead-based Transmit Start-Up Loans

Luke Joseph Sharples in his workshop for Joseph Lukes Guitars
Luke Joseph Sharples in his workshop for Joseph Lukes Guitars

A guitar-maker has secured funding for his business thanks to Gateshead-based Transmit Start-Up Loans.

Luke Joseph Sharples, 27, has adapted guitars since he was 14, but he decided to make his hobby a business when he left the Army in 2009.

After searching for a course in guitar-making, Sharples found a degree at London Metropolitan University in Musical Instrument Technology. His new company, Joseph Lukes Guitars was set up on the back of this in the summer.

Sharples struggled to get financial assistance for equipment and workshop space, until he made contact with Transmit Start-Ups, who have given him a loan to cover workshop rent for a year, funding for tools and to develop a website.

He said: “The funding from Transmit is a dream come true. I know there is a gap in the market for my individually-designed guitars. It is excellent that I can put all my energies into making the instruments at this stage, rather than worrying about paying the rent. Basically the business would not have got off the ground without this loan.”

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