Andy Scott made millions, then lost almost everything. Unable to get a loan he took work as a bouncer, before finding riches again saving others from going bust.
The businessman's first success came while he was still in his teens, using £5,000 inheritance to buy a run-down terraced house.
After doing it up, he used the cash he made to buy another property, then another, then another – making his first million by his mid-20s and eventually developing more than 500 properties.
“Back then, I was in my 20s and the banks were literally throwing money at me and as I’d never seen an economic downturn, I didn’t realise what could go wrong,” Andy said.
“Then the financial crash happened and I got wiped out. I just about avoided going bankrupt but everything was repossessed."
And it was more than just the business that disappeared. “I lost it all – my home, all the companies I owned, and six million quid,” he said.
His mental health suffered too.
"I was really low and depression set in," Andy said. "I literally had to start again from nothing.”
Unable to get a loan and needing money Andy started working as a bouncer by night and a builder by day.
His hard work began to pay dividends, as he made his way back into the world of property development while opening nightclubs in a former church and cinema.
But his experiences in his 20s taught him a lot about seeing the value in something that was run down and finding a way to make it a success again by showing it some love and attention.
With some money behind him again, and a lot of experience, he started looking out for businesses that could be saved.
Founding a new firm to save businesses from the scrapheap – REL Capital- Andy started looking for firms he could help.
Having been through his own collapse, saving jobs and investing longer-term are top priorities for Andy and his team, with most of the companies he helps only making money again after two or three years of attention.
But it's working – with REL Capital set to turn over £50million in 2020 and now employing 650 people.
He has now rescued companies from a range of sectors – including transport, recruitment, real estate, construction, hospitality and leisure – safeguarding more than 1,000 jobs.
He's rescued four different transport companies in the past 12 months alone, and that's before we talk about the recruitment businesses – including WestOne which finds temporary and permanent chefs to London’s top restaurants and Agentis which finds staff for the building industry.
Because if there's one thing he's learnt along the way, it's that there are second chances out there if you keep faith and keep working for them.
“Businesses don’t fail, people do,” said Andy said.
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