Michael Welch: Black Circles

Focus: Sells and fits tyres

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Michael Welch, 28
: Black Circles
: www.blackcircles.com

Former tyre fitter Michael Welch set up his second business, Black Circles, in 2001 as a tyre reseller which was 40% cheaper than Kwik Fit. A franchise model was launched last year, giving independent garages access to Black Circles’ systems and stock, and 300 franchisees are already on board. The business will turn over £10m this year, and after raising £1m in angel finance for working capital, Shell Livewire winner Welch is now looking for final round funding to push the Black Circles brand. Expansion into Europe and the US is also on the cards.

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