Trader who launched finance firm from scratch supports start-ups…

START IT UP Craig Strong of Cornerstone

EIGHTEEN years ago, Craig Strong launched a new business in Tunbridge Wells that went on to become an outstanding success. Today he is sponsoring the Start-Up category of the Times Business Awards.

Cornerstone, as it is now known, ‘didn’t have a single client’ when it launched as Capital Currencies all those years ago.

Following a career as a trader and broker, Craig Strong founded the international payments and foreign currency management business focusing on small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and had to build a customer base from zero.

“As a start-up, you have got no history. The principles are the same – of service and fairer pricing – but we didn’t have a client base,” he said.

He believes that sponsoring the Start-Up award is both a gesture to other companies following the same path and a contribution to the local area.

“We were a start-up and we started up in Tunbridge Wells, and we want to support the community,” he said.

“The reason is we’ve moved on from being a start-up, and were acquired (by Cornerstone) last year.

“But we are very much part of the local economy – we have local companies as clients, and overseas businesses.”

“It’s nice to support ‘Start-Up Business of the Year’ because we are recognising the fact that we have been there and there is light at the end of-the tunnel.

“Not all start-ups are viable and it’s not always fair, and it might not work the first time, but you learn from experience.”

Application forms for Start-Up of the Year and nine other categories are available at Entries close on February 20.

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