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Purple Shoots

Our aim is to uncover, empower and enable hidden entrepreneurs, to change things for people who are disadvantaged by circumstances, health or disability and are left behind by the economy. Through ethical lending and self-reliant groups, we encourage independence and self-reliance. We believe everyone has potential and should have an opportunity to fulfil it.


Registered charity no. 1155385

Member since November 2019

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Ken Gerard's Story

Ken Gerard's Story

Ken was a successful self-employed plumber, tiler and kitchen fitter for a number of years, and then worked more or less all the time for one large company. A series of life events, including the breakdown of a relationship and then a serious illness of his mother caused him to plummet into a very serious depression, which led eventually to him being homeless for 7 months. It was after a second suicide attempt that he was diagnosed with PTSD caused by events in his childhood, and began to address the issues. In all this time, he was unable to work and as a result, his financial circumstances spiralled down too, which contributed to his stress and depression. He has gradually recovered and, ready to start again in business, he sought funding for a van – but everywhere he tried looked at his credit score and said “no”. Purple Shoots, however, looked at his potential, his determination and his skills and supported him with a small loan. Ken is now back in business and building up his customer base again – he is based in Merthyr Tydfil and if you need a good plumber, you can contact him on