About us

We inspire and support the most talented and ambitious entrepreneurs to exceed their own expectations.

Growth Partner was formed by Richard Harpin in 2015 to support entrepreneurs and their teams. Richard is an entrepreneur to his very core, and his vision, energy and experience runs right through Growth Partner, it’s fundamental to who we are.

We’re a growing community of successful entrepreneurs and outstanding consumer experts– working together, relentlessly, to build the biggest businesses and best brands possible that engage and excite customers in the UK and internationally.

We buy into and share our partners’ visions. We don’t pretend to know our partners’ businesses better than they do, but we do know how challenging it can be for those at the top running a fast growth business, and we are there to support. We share the highs and lows.

Our purpose and the way we work is simple. We invest our own money into fast growth consumer challenger brands, and we support them on a step-change growth journey, inspiring them to think bigger and helping them to exceed their own expectations. Supporting our partners to win in their markets is our passion. 


Growth Partner Retreat 2021

Growth Partner Retreat 2021

We invest in…

  • Founder entrepreneur led businesses generating operating profits of greater than £1 million a year
  • Passionate leadership teams – people whose vision we can share and with whom we can develop a step-change growth plan that could take profits quickly to £10 million+
  • Typically, we invest between £3 – £25 million of our own money for a significant minority shareholding
  • Our investment often involves cash out to de-risk founder entrepreneurs as well as growth capital, although every situation is different

We create an environment in which entrepreneurs and companies can thrive

We provide a long term stable ownership structure with no pressure on “exit”

You will become part of an outstanding network and community of entrepreneurs and consumer experts

And guided by the “Good to Great” philosophy and framework

We empower entrepreneurs and leadership teams to build great companies

We use our network to bring exec and non-exec expertise to the table

We help to build strong company cultures across our partner companies

With personal mentoring from Richard – who is only ever one phone call away

We provide strategic guidance and support to steer our partners through fast growth

Strategic insight from Richard – pre investment and throughout the journey

We play an active role and help to build effective and constructive boards

We are a true partner and friend to entrepreneurs – we share the good times, and face any challenges, together.

How we work

We’re growing an entrepreneur community, full of consumer experts. We have nine partners now operating across a broad mix of consumer markets and with a blend of business models, differing customer journeys and multiple sales channels – a high proportion being direct to consumer, enabling them to own the relationship with their end customers.

We want this number of partners to grow.

Richard and the Growth Partner team are experienced in helping our business partners develop and execute step-change growth strategies, online, offline and internationally.

Growth Partner Retreat 2021


Growth Partner Retreat 2021

We encourage collaboration, knowledge-sharing, and support. Becoming a member of the Growth Partner family means that you benefit from not only our experience, but also the exceptional expertise and experience of all our partners, whether this is in brand-building, retail roll-out, logistics and distribution, e-commerce and social marketing, international expansion, product sourcing, or even direct sales TV.

We share our experiences and insight in many ways – through regular strategy and planning days with Richard and the Growth Partner team, knowledge sharing workshops with the heads of business functions within our partner businesses, through executive mentoring and recruitment support and through entrepreneur retreats when we get all of our partner entrepreneurs together to focus on strategy and shared knowledge.

Our Team

Jason Mahendran

Managing Partner
Jason joined Growth Partner as CEO and Managing Partner in September 2023 and has over 15 years’ experience working with consumer and retail brands in multiple markets. He started his working life at J.P. Morgan in Mergers & Acquisitions, followed by joining the Corporate Strategy team at the Woolworths Group (Australasia’s largest retailer), prior to being appointed the General Manager for Strategy and Investments at BBRC, a multi-billion dollar family office focused on retail. Immediately prior to joining us, Jason was a Partner at Active Partners, a leading consumer-focused fund where he spent seven years, during which he led investments in brands across apparel & accessories, beauty, hospitality & leisure, and consumer technology. Jason enjoys partnering with ambitious entrepreneurs who are passionate about creating best-in-class consumer experiences, and is excited to play a role in supporting them realise their plans.

Gerard Downes

Co-Founder & Partner
Gerard is Co-Founder & Partner at Growth Partner and an experienced investor in multiple early stage and high growth companies. Gerard established AIM listed investment company Springboard plc. He became finance director and backed management teams to complete a dozen buy-ins and developed a portfolio of more than 20 early-stage investments before selling the company in 2006. He started his financial career at KPMG, then moved into stockbroking where he advised plc businesses on mergers, acquisitions, and fundraising. He went on to acquire, develop and sell a document management company before focusing his attentions on restructuring and effecting operational change within marketing and communications agencies. He has served in non-executive and consulting capacities, providing objective and independent strategic guidance to boards.

Alex Marsh

Alex spent the first 10 years of his career at PwC, training as an accountant and then joining their corporate finance team advising a broad range of businesses, entrepreneurs and management teams on 20+ transactions ranging in size from £3m to £300m and the complete journey, from taking on investment, scaling-up and right through to exit. Following this, he then spent three years working in venture capital and private equity, where he led investments into a range of technology and consumer businesses. Once he had met Richard and Gerard it was very clear to Alex how exciting the opportunity was to help them grow Growth Partner. Since joining, Alex has led Growth Partner’s origination strategy and completed four new investments: Flooring Superstore, Easy Bathroom’s, Wave Direct, and Additional Lengths, where he is working closely with the entrepreneurs and leadership teams to support them in executing their ambitious growth plans.

James Worrall

Associate Partner
James joined Growth Partner as Investment Director in August 2021. He has over 10 years’ experience working with entrepreneurs and high growth businesses, across finance, sport, M&A advisory and investment. James has a track record of leading investments in businesses across the North West following an earlier career with Ardenton Capital and Deloitte’s Corporate Finance team in Manchester. James will be working to extend Growth Partner’s reach, and to discover, invest in and partner with more exceptional entrepreneurs, enabling the Growth Partner team and Richard to further inspire and support the most ambitious UK talent.

Jade Kelsall

Investment Manager
Jade joined Growth Partner as Investment Manager in September 2023 and comes with huge enthusiasm for the consumer sector and working with entrepreneurs. Jade joins from investment and advisory firm Seneca, where she was responsible for transactions in commercial and residential real estate, day-to-day portfolio management, fundraises and overseeing large capital projects. Jade started her career at Grant Thornton LLP where she worked with a variety of fast-growing businesses and qualified as a chartered accountant. She also holds a First-Class Honours degree in Economics from the University of Liverpool. Jade is thrilled to be a part of the Growth Partner team and is excited to help create value for our existing and new Partners.

Callum Harvey

Senior Investment Associate
Callum is Senior Investment Associate at Growth Partner and previously trained at J.P. Morgan’s Corporate and Investment Bank based in Edinburgh, before moving to its Private Banking arm working with some of the world’s most successful entrepreneurs and leaders. Callum joined Growth Partner in 2019 and has a focus on new commercial sector research and insight to support both the investment origination to find exciting new partners, and strategic opportunities for Growth Partner’s existing portfolio investments, whilst supporting the investment process throughout.

Clarke Sorrell

Investment Associate
Clarke joined Growth Partner as Investment Associate in June 2023 after graduating with a First Class degree in Economics. Alongside his studies Clarke worked for a North-East corporate finance team, giving him a solid foundational knowledge of the investment process which he is quickly building upon. Importantly, he brings a passion and enthusiasm for the consumer sector, which made joining the Growth Partner team such an easy decision. Clarke is focused on thematic research in order to support the team in discovering the most exciting brands and exceptional entrepreneurs in the UK.

Phoebe Pridham

Team Personal Assistant
Phoebe joined Growth Partner in October 2023 and is Assistant to Jason, Gerard, Alex and James and also supports with Operations and Event Management. After graduating University, Phoebe spent two years in a support position at a Real Estate Investment firm before moving into a recruitment within the alternative investment sectors. Phoebe studied Food and Consumer Studies at University and is passionate about Consumer Brands – she is excited to join at such a key stage in Growth Partner’s journey.
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