Who needs to hear an inspirational story of a crowdfunding dream come true?

Last year, brother and sister restraunteur team Emeka and Ifeyinwa Frederick took a break from crowdfunding to be part of the alumni showcase at our GBEA Hall of Fame night.

Their Nigerian street food pop-up had been a raging success, so they were raising money to fund a restaurant space of their own. But with only a few hours left, they still had a long way to go.

When the evening’s host Wynne Evans jumped into the crowd and held out a microphone, they mentioned their fundraising mission. They were still £1,500 short of their £30,000 target and were running out of time. Wynne joked that we couldn’t let them leave without the rest of their investment, they laughed. And then a hand went up at the back of the room. “I’ll invest.”

At first, they thought this surprise investor was pulling their leg. But he soon introduced himself as Poundland founder Steven Smith. “I wouldn’t have got anywhere without receiving a loan from my dad to fund my business,” he told them.

Emeka and Ifeyinwa ended up exceeding their £30,000 target. Now (although their actual restaurant is closed due to current restrictions) Chuku’s is serving up delicious Nigerian tapas in north London.