Coronavirus - Global entrepreneur offers free help and mentoring to Banburyshire businesses during Covid-19 shutdown

David Murray-Hundley - aka The Grumpy Entrepreneur - who is offering help to struggling Banburyshire businessesDavid Murray-Hundley - aka The Grumpy Entrepreneur - who is offering help to struggling Banburyshire businesses
David Murray-Hundley - aka The Grumpy Entrepreneur - who is offering help to struggling Banburyshire businesses | other
Deddington-based business expert David Murray-Hundley - otherwise known as The Grumpy Enterpreneur - is committing 80 per cent of his working time to help companies manage the damaging effects of coronavirus.

Banbury-born Mr Murray-Hundley is making no charge for his services. He simply wants to help companies that are struggling to survive and want to see a future ahead.

"On March 17 I went in to Banbury to get my hair cut at my friend James’ new hair salon," he said.

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"I went to a small, independent coffee shop on the High Street and the owner said thank you three times to me for supporting his business. It was abundantly clear he was worried about the future of what is possibly his lifeline. It occurred to me that, other than buy coffee, there are perhaps other ways I can support these businesses."

The offer applies to business founders, CEOs and companies in general and mentoring would be by email, phone and video link.

"Once we can all be in the same place again socially, I will be happy to visit companies in the area," said Mr Murray Hundley. "I have been looking for other experienced people who want to help as well. I have already pulled in people from Europe and the US.

"If I stop one business from disappearing, that's one less owner stressed, one less family in turmoil. It's staff keeping their jobs and their families not struggling to make ends meet. The effect for good is strong and obvious," he said.

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“I have been that person who has lost everything. To be fair mostly my fault but I have been that person who has stuck their head in the ground. I have been that person who was embarrassed, ashamed and beaten myself up when I didn't have to. I have also been that person on the other end of the scale and I know how lucky I am. And now I am left with a wealth of experience that can be used to others' benefit.”

Aged 18, David Murray-Hundley was forced to sleep in a bus shelter in order to get to his warehouse job miles away from what had been his home. By 21, he was living in New York, working for a US bank, building first-of-type web technology.

Three years on, he went west to California’s Silicon Valley, the global centre for technology and innovation. There he joined the founding team building a groundbreaking business to business e-commerce company, Commerce One, Inc.

At 25 he had set up a second home in Monaco but still kept a modest house on the Hardwick Estate in Banbury. Commerce One, Inc. IPOed (initial public offering) on NASDAQ in 1999 and at the peak of dot-com bubble hit a $22bn market capitalisation.

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"But what goes up, must come down. The bubble burst. By the time I was 30-years-old I was personally bankrupt and in autumn 2004, Commerce One, Inc also filed for bankruptcy," he said.

Mr Murray-Hundley started again. Living in and around Banbury over the past 16 years, he has built a number of businesses, one in the downturn of 2008 which he later sold. Today he invests in companies but, more importantly, he helps many companies at various stages. He is chairman of two companies in the UK and advisory to several others.

He aims to use the next 60 days - and maybe longer - dedicating himself to helping companies in Banburyshire during the unprecedented situation of the coronavirus emergency

In addition to remote one to one meetings, Mr Murray-Hundley will be sharing content on social media covering specific subject areas and has plans to set up bespoke group webinars.

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He said: "People need to understand that the next two years will be testing times for us all and will need to be ridden out. But, with all this, comes opportunity and for the most part there is a way through it.”

Mr Murray-Hundley will be online at 6pm today (Monday) at https://youtu.be/YZFcVVZLLd8

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