The owner of the bust Dubai gift company attempts a UK relaunch
The owner of an events and alternative gifts company in Dubai who fled the country after it failed leaving huge debts is trying to set up a new business venture in the UK, according to a report in Arabian Business.
Simon Ford, the owner of Blue Banana.com, left the UAE in June after the firm's debt had grown "exponentially", but he pledged to repay every last dirham of its debt.
He said at the time that he was not running away from the debt and blamed the lack of bankruptcy laws in the UAE for his decision to flee.
Three months later, he says he is looking to "kick start a new business venture" with "like minded entrepreneurs" in the UK, and is thought to be based near Birmingham where he earlier obtained a degree in business management.
In a message posted on business networking website LinkedIn, Ford added: "Looking to connect with like minded entrepreneurs, share knowledge, brainstorm creative ideas in business, share contacts, make referrals and support each other to kick start a new business venture or offer support to small start-ups.
"Also happy to offer free consultancy service for small businesses needing to focus and streamline their brand with their customer experience cycle."
He also posts details of his Blue Banana business, saying that he built it up into a $3m business from scratch but does not mention the subsequent failure of the business in June.
Commenting on his plans for the future he added: "Every problem or challenge brings great opportunities. Currently developing a number of business opportunities built on simple principals of open-knowledge, free access to information and business built using the power of everyone."
Ford has also launched a new blog at bizznow.com. In the first entry, he said: "As an entrepreneur who has succeeded, failed and is now on the path to success again in business, I felt that sharing my experience, thoughts and ideas would be of value to entrepreneurs with a start-up venture through to people who are looking to gain a further competitive advantage by exploring the many new opportunities that the current economic challenges have presented."
Back in June, Ford left behind many customers who had bought gifts from the company but had not received them. He also left a letter to all customers apologising for
In the letter, he said: "Tragically, the debt of the business reached a level on Thursday June 18 that personal threats were being made against me and my family, which left me no choice but to leave four years of passion behind and take my family out of the country."
Through its website, Blue Banana sold alternative gifts such as skydiving and jet fighter flights.
Arabian Business was unable to contact Simon Ford for comment. His email account in LinkedIn is only accessible for paid-up account holders.