UWE alumnus grows successful healthcare company

Issue date: 05 August 2015

A healthcare firm set up by a former University of the West of England student is set to see the company's turnover increase 16-fold this year - after getting outside help to manage cash-flow.

Thirty-five-year-old Trevor Mapondera, who did a nursing degree and MBA in Global Operations at UWE, set up Nurseline Healthcare Limited in 2011.

Trevor says, “There are things you can only learn from the classroom, contrary to popular belief, l am going to say that my classroom experience was the most valuable part of my time at UWE.

“An example is that, data is changing the way that businesses operate, and most of the high growth businesses that I see achieving success are highly reliant on customer analytics. Since customers are the centre of any business, the ability to use data to interpret business needs has changed the way I think and approach finding solutions for our NHS and Commercial health sector clients.”

The firm recorded a profit in its first year but its income masked serious cash-flow issues - as wages were paid ahead of receiving payment from clients. The firm, which offers cost-effective nurse recruitment to healthcare providers, sometimes had to turn away contracts despite having a team to carry out the work.

The company then called in finance specialist Hayley Chiba, of Better Numbers, and within six months she has helped the company to increase its growth by 40 per cent

Trevor, who started work as a mental health nurse with the NHS over 10 years ago, said, “We felt frustrated because we couldn't grow as quickly as we wanted to and it was simply the cash cycle that was holding us back.

“We had a weekly payroll for our staff, but usually had to wait a couple of months to get paid by clients. This added to our costs as the interest on borrowing was over ten per cent.

“It had a knock-on-effect on other areas of business, such as not being able to take on more staff to meet the growing demand. It was an area we needed to change - and quickly.”

Trevor said, “Hayley managed the whole cash-flow issue and dealt with the banks, so we could focus on running our business. It was like a weight was lifted off our shoulders.

“We wouldn't be where we are today if it weren't for Hayley. Instead, we would be plodding along and unable to grow because of lack of capital.”

The business, which has its headquarters in Bradley Pavilions, is now set to take on another 300 nurses within a year – bringing its team of available staff to 500. It is also set to open another branch in Gloucester this summer.

Hayley, who has worked as a finance manager for the multi-billion pound pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca and lives with her son and partner in Westbury Park, said, “I often work with high growth companies, which have a turnover in the millions, yet cash-flow is still an issue.

“Cash-flow problems can affect a company's ability to make money. Strong cash flow allows a company more flexibility with its business decisions and potential investments.”

Back to top