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Entrepreneurs often talk about having ‘skin in the game’ – meaning they have invested personally in their business – as a way of highlighting how committed they are to ensuring its success.

Josh Hough had more than that invested in CareLineLive. “As with most startups, there are inherent risks involved – and CareLineLive was not an exception,” he tells TechBlast of the cloud-based home care management software platform. 

“Early-stage financial instability has caused many sleepless nights, whether that’s investment confirmations or paying wages. 

“I take my role very seriously, as I understand it is not just my livelihood at stake. During the early stages, I even had to max out my credit cards in order to keep the company alive – as well as taking other personal finance.”

Six-year gap

The challenge facing him was made all the more daunting by a six-year gap between its first and second customers. 

“To bridge this, I secured a local grant, for which I had to provide evidence of match funding – so I took a loan of £15,000 which turned out to be one of the riskiest loans I’ve ever taken,” he continues. “The short-term financing came with an APR over 50%, and I had only 18 months to repay it. 

“However, my entrepreneurial journey with CareLineLive has been defined by taking calculated risks, and I am pleased to say that these risks have paid off.”

The company based in Slinford, West Sussex digitises workflows and enables home care agencies and their staff to be more efficient. Hough has told us previously how frustration at the lack of updates around his grandfather’s care led to the idea for the business.

CareLineLive – all-in-one home care management software

Until February 2018, CareLineLive – which featured on our sister publication BusinessCloud’s HealthTech 50 ranking last year – was in a pilot phase. It has now grown to more than 350 customers managing more than 10,000 carers in seven countries around the world. Clients include Home Care Nurses Australia, Clannad Care in Ireland and Coastal Homecare in the UK.

“Whilst I very much enjoy the learning experience of starting and running a business I can certainly say that the learning never stops. That constant change and learning certainly keeps things interesting,” Hough says.

“People are really the key to any business. I am in the business of care and we really ensure that care for our customers is always our top priority… but as well as customers, that care is embodied in our business for our employees. 

“Taking the time to care about the people in your business or who use your services is perhaps one of the most important cultural values to embed in the business.”

CareLineLive team


CareLineLive was built with a mixture of Innovate UK funding and £3m of equity capital. A further £3m investment round, led by Oakglen recently, is now supporting its continued expansion – including into Ireland and Australia.

“Over time, I have gained the ability to manage the pressures that come with being an entrepreneur,” Hough says. “I have learned that you have to believe in yourself and your business, even when others don’t. All the time spent, work I have done, and risks taken have all paid off in the end.

“It is difficult to prove yourself, earn trust, and win business, but being persistent and trusting in yourself is an imperative part of entrepreneurship.”


So what advice would he give to someone looking to set up their own startup?

“Don’t be afraid to go against the status quo,” he answers. “University ended up not being the right path for me, as I realised I was more adept at running a business than academia. 

“Also, take risks. If I hadn’t taken the risks I did, then CareLineLive wouldn’t exist today. My self-belief has been critical to my success, which is a product of everything that I have endured with my disability. 

“Starting a business can be a challenging and demanding process, but staying focused on your goals and committed to your vision will increase your chances of success.”

‘Focus on the outcome when you launch your startup’