A DAD has shared how he went from applying for Universal Credit to making a seven-figure salary with the help of a charity loan.
Aaron Branch, 31, said he was “embarrassed” after signing up – which motivated him to start his own digital marketing business.
Growing up in a “rough” low-income neighborhood, the Birmingham entrepreneur struggled to make ends meet.
At the age of 24, he lived in his girlfriend Holly’s family home while he scrimped and saved just to make ends meet.
But the financially strapped boy was inspired by his difficult upbringing to do better – as it “put his life and those around him in perspective”.
Aaron told that mirror: “Because of where we live, I remember having to look over my shoulder on the way to and from school.
“Me and my brother were stabbed at the age of 13, which really put my life and surroundings into perspective.
“It was challenging and unsettling to constantly have to search for security.”
His unhappiness with money then spiraled into his early 20s when Aaron saw himself signing up with Universal Credit.
The 31-year-old explained: “I was embarrassed to have to sign. It was tough, but it was a means to an end.”
But with the support of his mother — who encouraged him to “be the best I can be and make wise decisions” — he decided to start his own business.
Being estranged from his father for over 10 years also gave him the focus to provide for his own family.
Aaron added, “I knew that if I applied the persistence I’ve learned throughout my life, I could make my business a success.
“I used that drive and that determination to get me where I am today.”
In January 2016, while living in Holly’s family’s cramped living room, he launched his digital marketing company, Social Agendas.
And just three months after entering the business world, Aaron was offered a £4,000 loan from the Prince’s Trust.
I knew that if I applied the persistence I had learned throughout my life, I could make my business a success.
The money helped him land his first clients – which now enabled him to run a thriving seven-figure business with an army of 20 employees.
The determined father could now travel the world, buy his dream car and, most importantly, take care of his fiancee Holly and their one-year-old son Neo.
Aaron gushed, “It’s fulfilling to be able to provide for my family, but it’s more of an expectation than an achievement.
“Caring for the ‘home base’ is and will remain the number one priority.”
“I now have investment properties and was able to buy my dream car, a Porsche Macan GTS, last year.
“I’ve also traveled the world to places like New York and Dubai, which I never thought was possible.
“I am also very grateful to my fiancee, her family and my mother. Without her, this would never have happened.”
The successful businessman even recently struck a nationwide deal with the police force and the Interior Ministry.
Aaron explained: “It makes me think about how far I’ve come because in the neighborhood where I lived in my teenage years, the police were seen as a nuisance.
“I’ve come full circle and now I help attract and support new officers from the type of community I grew up in. It was incredibly fulfilling to be a part of.”
The humble entrepreneur now offers coaching and has written a book called The First 365 to share his inspirational story and tips.
Aaron recently appeared at Dragons Den with his business partner Zak Lloyd, 22, to introduce their new delivery app Delivrme.
Despite being rejected by the fiery Dragons, the pair bounced back and secured a whopping £650,000 in pledges in just 24 hours.
He attributes his success to being resilient, offering a “value” product to customers, learning from the big guys, and prioritizing the consumer.
https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/18406874/universal-credit-now-seven-figure-salary-charity-loan/ I was on Universal Credit and struggling to make ends meet