Month: November 2017

PwC and Sky Betting & Gaming develop taste for Lean Lunch

Lean Lunch

An innovative healthy lunch delivery service launched earlier this year in Leeds is already showing it’s appetite for growth after successful trials with two of the city’s biggest employers.

Founded in May 2017, Lean Lunch is a health conscious start-up supplying a subsidised catering service to companies who value health and wellbeing for their staff, encouraging access to a healthy lunch. Orders are made for pre-order and free delivery for companies in Leeds. The chilled meals are then delivered by environmentally friendly cycles ready to eat in fully compostable packaging, with the objective for Lean Lunch to be a zero waste food company.

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The Kitchen!

The team worked with experienced chef Matthew Benson-Smith, who trained in Paris with a Michelin-starred chef and nutritionist Elizabeth Cooper to develop incredibly tasty yet super healthy meals using high quality fresh produce with no refined ingredients.

Founder and MD Sat Mann is passionate about the effects of nutrition on mental and physical health and wellbeing and after exiting from a successful recruitment company wanted to create a solution to the problem of city centre eating, crowded queues at peak times and that habit of grabbing anything to eat – unhealthy, unsustainable, not environmentally friendly and impacting on productivity.

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The Team

Like most businesses, this start up began trials and testing at home, but after successfully securing grant funding of £11,200 towards project costs from the European Regional Development funded AD:VENTURE programme they have recently moved into a new custom kitted kitchen in the Cardigan Workspace. The move has already resulted in 4 full time jobs, with more to come. The AD:VENTURE scheme offers mentoring and growth support, including access to finance for companies showing high growth potential in the Leeds City Region and is looking for more companies to work with who want to boost their growth.

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Sat says “It’s been an amazing experience to launch the first online healthy food delivery service in Leeds. Our ambition is to change the way people eat at work with a conviction of the positive impact this will have for both employers and employees. The early adoption of our service by PwC and SKYBET has been fantastic, it validates how forward thinking employers view the positive impact of nutrition on wellness. We are very grateful for the grant support from Adventure which has crucially supported the capital costs of launching the business”

Sat’s enthusiasm and passion was evident when two of Leeds City centre’s largest employers accepted the opportunity to trial the healthy delivery service, nutritional seminars and workshops that Lean Lunch were offering, showing their ongoing commitment to the wellbeing of their employee’s.

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Catherine Boddington, Head of Learning & Development at Sky Betting and Gaming commented “It’s really important to us to look after the wellbeing of our people at SBG. Part of this is making it easy for people to eat delicious and nutritionally balanced food whilst they are at work… That’s what Lean Lunch offer. They deliver freshly prepared, healthy meals to our office every day, making healthy and tasty food accessible”

Richard Giles, Partner and Health and Wellbeing Leader for PwC in Leeds is a big supporter.  He commented “At PwC we believe it is important to look after the health and wellbeing of our team. Making it easy for our people to be physically active, eat well and take care of their mental wellbeing is the right thing to do from a moral and business point of view – Lean Lunch fits right into that. Delicious and nutritious food delivered to the office is a great option for us to make available to our teams. We are also now looking to introduce Lean Lunch to client events too.”

 

Find out more about growth support from the AD:VENTURE programme, or find out more about Lean Lunch.

BEF & FFE Microfinance scheme reaches Powerhouse milestone

SME Loans

The Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund BEF & FFE Microfinance scheme has loaned more than £2m to small businesses across Yorkshire, the Humber and the Tees Valley.

Bradford-headquartered Business Enterprise Fund and Doncaster’s Finance For Enterprise were named fund managers in February for the Microfinance element of the NPIF and have since provided more than 50 investments to growing SMEs.

Stephen Waud, chief executive of the BEF group, said: “Investing more than £2m through NPIF – BEF & FFE Microfinance demonstrates the vibrant SME market in Yorkshire, Humber and the Tees Valley, but that’s not all because we have committed to match the investments through our own funds, so that equates to more than £4m invested in that period.

“There is no sign of slowing down, with SMEs accounting for 99.3 per cent of UK private sector businesses.

“The Autumn Budget has pledged £1.7bn into the Northern Powerhouse, combined with the government’s commitment to the British Business Bank, and we continue to be in a strong position to support entrepreneurs and businesses.”

BEF has offices in Bradford, Leeds, York, Goole and Teesside, and provides loans for businesses in industries ranging from manufacturing and service providers to food and drink and hospitality. Over the next five years, it is hoping to invest upwards of £50m in Yorkshire, the Humber and the Tees Valley.

Original story by

Matthew Ord Digital Staff Writer at Insider Media

Bradford to lead high tech health start-ups

Northern Max

A new Bradford-based enterprise support programme is set to attract and develop innovative health and social technology companies in the region thanks to funding from Bradford Council and the European Regional Development Fund.

The Northern MAX (short for Northern Market Access Accelerator) is an intensive development programme designed to unlock regional potential by providing innovative start-ups with the latest technological advice, product development and business modelling support.

The programme was launched at the Smart Cities World Congress, a world-leading innovation conference in Barcelona this week, putting Bradford firmly on the global health innovation map.

In January 2018, twenty firms will be enrolled on Northern MAX which will be run in Little Germany by Bradford University’s innovative Digital Health Enterprise Zone and Innov8tive Minds who have extensive global experience in delivering innovation and entrepreneurial support.

The intensive 12 week fast track ‘accelerator programme’ will assist companies with new business customer introductions, management mentoring and access to finance and investment.

Participating companies will be able to test their new products with GPs, clinicians and commissioners from NHS and private health and care providers.

Northern MAX will help the participating entrepreneurs refine their business models in order to reduce risks and improve their chances of success.

The programme will assist managers to secure finance and contracts by training them in effective pitching techniques and introducing them to valuable investors and customers.

A recent report by the government identified Bradford and Leeds as having key strengths in med-tech innovation.

Northern MAX is part of a European Regional Development Fund AD:VENTURE Business Support Programme which is designed for businesses with high growth ideas and up to three years of trading.

Applications for Northern MAX need to be submitted by 13 Dec 2017.

Councillor Alex Ross-Shaw, Portfolio Holder for Regeneration, Planning and Transport, said: “This is an incredibly exciting programme for Bradford and our partners across the Leeds City Region.

“The district has strategic strengths in medical innovation and has a very strong track record in supporting and developing high tech companies so this programme presents some exciting opportunities for firms seeking to develop new health and social care technologies.”

Ian Sharp, Chief Executive, Officer of Digital Health Enterprise Zone Ltd, said: “I am very excited to be able to invite and support the most innovative early stage companies with the Northern MAX accelerator.

“This market access accelerator will help companies work through the highest risk stage of their development and prepare them for investment in their companies.”

Interested companies can find further information by visiting AD:VENTURE Northern Max

 

Leeds Based North Brewing Co Raises the Bar with Business Grant Funding Success

Grant Funding

Often referred to as “the first craft beer bar in Britain”, Leeds North Bar is credited with influencing a new wave of craft beer bars and breweries around the country, with many citing North Bar as one of the original driving forces behind the craft beer revolution in the UK.

North Bar in Leeds quickly became renowned for its alternative approach, quirky style and excellent, friendly service – winning the prestigious ‘Best place to drink in Britain’ in the Observer Food Monthly Awards.

Over 20 years, owners John Gyngell & Christian Townsley have increased the North Bar group to a total of 7 venues and in 2015 they turned their 10-year dream of making their own beer into a reality by opening a 15bbl brewery in Leeds, North Brewing Co.

The opportunity for growth was there, with demand outstripping supply for their products. Christian says “Many say this is a great problem to have, but for us, delivering stock on time is crucial – We work hard to maintain our standards of service, and no one wants to let their customers down”

Business Grant funding

John Gyngell (L) and Christian Townsley (R)

Christian and John looked into what support was available to increase their investment potential, and found out about the AD:VENTURE programme, a European Regional Development Funded programme covering the Leeds City Region.

Christian says “I was delighted to announce we had been successful in our application for the grant of £21k. The application process was hard work but regular meetings with my advisor were invaluable and my experience of writing a thorough business plan as a part of the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses programme equipped me for what was described to me by the Senior Economic Development Officer as ‘the best he’d seen in a long time’!

I’m sure there are similar programmes for growth business grants around the country. In addition to that, we’ve also been successful in our application for a grant of around £1200 towards acquiring ‘SALSA’, a food safety accreditation which will open up further opportunities to us whilst implementing further controls to ensure our QC

I couldn’t have done it without the support of my team, in particular my business partner, our FD and our Head Brewer. For anyone looking to grow their business and generate jobs it’s well worth investing time to research what funding is available”

Brewing capacity is now doubling in October 2017, adding several brewing vessels and enabling the brewery to meet current demand, with their beers are now widely available throughout the UK as well as being exported to eight European countries.

Driven by passion for great beer, this Leeds Brewery comes with an unparalleled wealth of experience, knowledge and existing industry relationships, both in the UK and abroad and their capacity for growth is as great as the worlds love for exceptional craft beer!

 

Wish Digital celebrate increased sales and grant success with relocation

Start-up funding

Wish Digital has celebrated an impressive 3rd year’s trading and the securing of European Union financial support with a move to the stunning new Granary studios near Wetherby, in the district of Harrogate.

Recent website launches for clients such as Arrow Self Drive, Animalcare Limited and Spear & Jackson, in addition to successful new European digital marketing contracts including CCL Label, the largest label manufacturer in the world, put the agency in a strong position for continued growth into 2018.

The £7,700 grant secured through the European Regional Development AD:VENTURE business programme will assist Wish in purchasing new equipment for its expanding team. The relocation has also paved the way for some new recruits, with 2 jobs created already and a further 3 over the next 6 months

Graham Swift, Cabinet Member for Resources, Enterprise & Economic Development for Harrogate Borough Council, an AD:VENTURE Partner commented, “Wish Digital are exactly the type of business that we want to support through this programme and are the type of business we are working to develop and attract as part of the recently adopted Harrogate District Economic Growth Strategy (2017-35) Creative & Digital being one of the Strategies key sectors. They are an ambitious, growing business creating new and high skilled jobs in the region. We were really pleased to be able to support them with the finance to build on their recent success. The new studios are a fantastic working space for their team and it’s great to see the project support this expansion for a growing business in this sector.”

“We have secured significant new business over the past six months, including clients based in Germany & Belgium,” comments Wish Digital Director Chris Kell, “the move to our new studios has been fantastic, creating a really contemporary working environment for our team, whilst the grant will help us to purchase the high end IT equipment we need to better service our clients.”

Wish Digital provide digital marketing services including website design & development, ecommerce, SEO and paid advertising services as a Google Partner.  The agency is part of the Wish Group.

www.wishdigital.co.uk