Dream company is going for growth

Ben Barraclough (left) and Pete Roberts, founders of Barnsley branding and HTML5 website design specialist Barob
Ben Barraclough (left) and Pete Roberts, founders of Barnsley branding and HTML5 website design specialist Barob
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Two friends, who met when trying to get jobs with the same company, have overcome a series of obstacles to make their dreams come true.

When 26 year old Pete Roberts and 21 year old Ben Barraclough met, Pete was fighting back from redundancy, having studied for a degree in art and design after losing his management post with a telecoms company.

Ben, meanwhile, was seeking a job after struggling to achieve good grades at school and college, despite being considered intelligent, and then learning he was dyslexic.

As they waited to be interviewed, the duo discovered that they shared a passion for design and decided to set up a business together, specialising in branding and HTML5 websites, which are fully compatible with iPhones and iPads.

Their dreams suffered a new setback when Pete’s computer and other business equipment was stolen, but they pressed ahead with plans to launch their business – Barob – despite that.

Recently, they got the boost they needed in the shape of £2,400 worth of funding from Enterprising Barnsley through Barnsley Business Mine, the organisation that helps students and recent graduates from the University of Huddersfield’s Barnsley Campus to explore their ideas and start trading.

With new contracts coming in, the partners have relocated to Barnsley’s Digital Media Centre, taken on 19 year old designer Tom Mitchell and are now planning to recruit a web coder.

Ben Barraclough said: “I’ve discovered I love learning but formal education didn’t work for me because I think in a different way.

“I’ve turned things around by learning under my own power and Pete and I complement each other in our approach to what we’re doing now.

“There are a number of famous entrepreneurs who have had problems with dyslexia, like Sir Richard Branson, Jamie Oliver and Theo Paphitis, and their stories have really inspired me.

“I don’t feel like there are now any barriers to achieving great success with our company.”

Pete Roberts added: “We’ve got more and more clients coming on board and feedback has been fantastic, with new business being generated via word-of-mouth.

“Clients appreciate that we genuinely care and we’re very adaptable and cost-effective. We’re definitely not a ‘nine-to-five’ business.

“Start-up support from Enterprising Barnsley has made all the difference in getting our plans off the ground, especially since the burglary was just a couple of weeks into the venture.

“Everything is going well now and we’re very excited about the future.”