Month: February 2019

Calderdale celebrates Enterprise with a month of business boosting events!

A month-long celebration of business and enterprise in Calderdale is taking place with events throughout March. 

Organised and run by AD:VENTURE, the ERDF funded start-up programme, and with input from professional business and education support service providers including Leeds Beckett University, Halifax Business Improvement District, Mid Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce, Federation of Small Businesses, Calderdale Council and Calderdale College, Calderdale Enterprise Month will take place from 1 to 31 March.

The four-week schedule of free events, workshops and networking sessions, aims to bring people and businesses together from across the region to share their thoughts, experiences, innovations and ideas.

The focus throughout the month will be on exploring and celebrating the themes that have been shared from Calderdales #Vision2024 initiative, including distinctiveness; kindness and resilience; and enterprising and talented.

Calderdale Council’s Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Economic Strategy, Cllr Barry Collins, said: 

“We’re delighted to support Calderdale Enterprise Month, which will bring together professionals offering a range of help and advice to those that are thinking about launching a company or have plans for future growth.

“The project will complement the Council’s Enterprise social media takeover week, which will run from 4-10 March, highlighting the enterprising nature of Calderdale residents and businesses and building awareness of our joint Vision2024 for Calderdale.”

Sarah Carling, programme manager for AD:VENTURE commented:

“We know that there’s a diverse, energetic and innovative business community in Calderdale and we want to nurture and encourage greater engagements between organisations that are starting-up and scaling-up.

“With a full schedule of free workshops and networking sessions, there has never been a better time for businesses to make the most of the support that is on offer to them.”

Connecting and boosting the business community, free events will focus on apprenticeships, start-ups, scale-ups, marketing, sales, tax, finance, leadership, networking and planning.

With a culture of collaboration, there is likely to be a session to meet with the needs of most organisations; for those that can’t find what they are looking for, there will be sign-posting available to the relevant services.

For further details and with a packed calendar of events to choose from, individuals are encouraged to register their interest to avoid disappointment. Please see calendar below:

EVENTS WC Mon 4th March
Fri 1 March Ad:Venture Marketing for Growth BOOK
4th-9th March Calderdale Apprenticeship week (Calderdale College) 4th-9th March BOOK
Weds 6 March Calderdale Apprenticeship Event BOOK
Weds 6 March FSB Making Tax Digital BOOK
EVENTS WC Mon 11th March
Tues 12 March Ad:Venture – Start Your Own Business Drop in Session BOOK
Tues 12 March Ad:Venture – Building an Effective Sales Function BOOK
Weds 13 March Halifax BID training evening – Understanding Your Business Finance BOOK
Weds 13 March We Are Calderdale BOOK
Weds 13 March HOT Networking BOOK
Weds 13 March New or Nervous to HOT Networking Workshop BOOK
Thurs 14 March Ad:Venture – Fundamentals of Finance – Halifax Central Library BOOK
EVENTS WC Mon 18th March
Tues 19th March Ad:Venture – Day 1 Leadership Qualities of Successful Business Owners BOOK
Thurs 21 March March Ad:Venture Digital Shift Day BOOK
EVENTS WC Mon 25th March
Tues 26 March Ad:Venture – Day 2 Leadership Qualities of Successful Business Owners BOOK
Weds 27 March Innovation Network – From Start-Up to Scale up– How to grow fast and avoid the pitfalls BOOK
Weds 27 March Halifax BID training evening – Planning for Business Success BOOK
Fri 29 March Digital Calderdale Breakfast TBC
Fri 29 March Jelly Co Working BOOK

  

         

Pitch with Confidence, a story of Human Spirit

When people discuss business support programmes the hot topic is usually grant funding and finance. Well, we have some news for you. The experience of start-ups who have accessed business support products show we shouldn’t underestimate the value and positive impact that the practical services delivered by professionals can have at those crucial stages in the growth journey.

Helen Nothard had come to a crossroads in her professional journey. With an 18-year career and as a Chartered Fellow in HR and having been offered a promotion that would see her travel the world, she realised that despite the benefits package, salary and status, she wanted to take the step and become her own boss and so launched Human Spirit Ltd.

Helen is an expert in her industry and had enjoyed a successful career, but actually launching a business was a daunting task and Helen hadn’t considered all of the additional processes, procedures and skills she would need to know.

Helen says: “I’d worked for someone else for 20 years and just didn’t have a clue about the things I needed to consider outside of my role. It wasn’t just about being the best at what I was offering my clients, it was about understanding how to register a company, knowing what paperwork needed filing and when!”

That was when Helen met AD:VENTURE advisor, Alan Thompson, who was able to explain about the programme and the huge range of support that it could offer to start-ups and scale-ups. 

Helen adds: “I worked with Alan to look at my business plan and he was very good at getting me to hone my message. Suddenly it made sense to focus on one thing rather than trying so hard to be all things to all people, a trap that I now realise lots of start-ups fall into.”

She had a strong network around her that could give her the expert advice she needed, and Helen also found that she could call upon her advisors to give her the additional confidence she needed when looking to pitch for larger contracts.

Helen comments: “Although I had previously dismissed tenders, Alan had real confidence in me and made me look at these opportunities slightly differently. There was a voice in my head saying ‘I can’t do this’ but we worked together to change that mindset and decided that I would look at this as a live practice and so that’s what I did.”

The outcome? Not only did Helen submit her tender but was invited to present and subsequently won the contract with a leading public sector organisation. Well done Helen!!!

She continues: “It I hadn’t had the support from AD:VENTURE I wouldn’t have had the courage to go for a tender. It’s not about my self-belief or knowing that I can deliver for my customers, it’s about taking steps that are very much outside of my comfort zone.

“Having a business can be isolating, especially when you’re used to working for big corporations, but with the support from AD:VENTURE I’ve had access to professional training sessions, advisors and a network of trusted partners, I can’t recommend the programme enough!”

So when you are launching a business, don’t dismiss the value of programmes like AD:VENTURE – Whether it’s accessing networks, pitching your product, having that honest, experienced critical friend, finding those crucial connections or understanding how to plan for growth, there is lots of help and support in addition to funding and finance.

NEW PRODUCT MAKES GLOBAL SPLASH THANKS TO £20,000 FROM AD:VENTURE

Hydro-flux, the company providing innovations to simplify swimming pool installation and maintenance, is celebrating thanks to a £20,000 match-funded grant from AD:VENTURE, the ERDF funded programme supporting start-up and young businesses from across the Leeds City Region.

Launching in October 2017, the business set out with the ambition to create products that would make the installation and maintenance of swimming pools simpler, safer and more environmentally friendly.

With the design for the FlowBright, a swimming pool lighting system that would illuminate without the need for complex installations, expensive additional equipment or electrical costs, the company recognised that it needed some assistance to take its idea to the next stage.

Turning to AD:VENTURE, the company worked alongside a dedicated Business Advisor, Paul Tansey, to put together detailed plans, forecasts and targets. Once complete, the organisation was assessed for its eligibility to access grant funding from the programme and secured just under £20,000.

Using the funds to change a large warehouse into furnished offices, the business was able to purchase furniture, computers, printers, and the tooling equipment required to manufacture the product, making it a viable innovation to take to market.

Director at Hydro-flux, Michael Burnham, comments: “Without AD:VENTURE there is no way we could have put our idea into practice. Not only did we need some guidance and governance to make sure we were following the necessary processes, but we were also finding it difficult to raise the funds, as the equipment and tooling isn’t cheap.

“Securing the grant made all of the difference and we went from kitchen table to furnished offices almost overnight. It was great. Not only was the environment different but our mindset and the way that we approached the business changed.”

 

Michael Burnham, with Paul Tansey from Ad-Venture, at Hydro-Flux, Batley, Yorkshire

 

Roger Marsh, OBE Chair of the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (LEP), said: “I am very pleased that Kirklees-based Hydro-flux was able to turn their ideas into a reality with support from AD:VENTURE.

“It is great that innovative and ambitious businesses like Hydro-flux are able to access the finance and support they need for equipment and premises, enabling them to meet their growth ambitions.”

Attending the International Pool, Spa and Patio Expo in Las Vegas and the Piscine Global, Swimming Pool and Wellness Exhibition in France during November, the company had its first opportunity to showcase the FlowBright, which is the most environmentally friendly lights on the market, as it contributes zero carbon emissions during its operational lifetime.

Engaging with global distributors the business owners were overwhelmed with the interest in the product and in addition to two signed agreements, they have further partnership opportunities in Dubai, British Columbia, Romania and Turkey to consider.

Director at Hydro-flux, Michael Burnham, comments: “The response to the product has been really positive. We expected interest in the innovation but certainly not to sign two distributor agreements there and then!

“This experience has given us further confidence and reassurance in the potential that our business has moving forward. There really is nothing like the FlowBright on the market and as we have taken the time and effort to patent the technology, we know we have a real niche that we now need to capitalise upon.”

Using the feedback from its FlowBright product, Hydro-flux is now working on other innovations that will allow it to capitalise upon the technology that it has patented and meet with the challenges that it knows pool installers and maintenance staff are faced with.

For further details about Hydro-flux please visit www.hydro-flux.com or call 01924 472665 and for more information about AD:VENTURE and the range of sessions, workshops, support and funding that the programme offers please visit, www.ad-venture.org.uk.

£6000 of Scale-Up support from Leeds Beckett University

Workspace offer for NEW AD:VENTURE clients at Leeds Beckett University Business Centre’s

Free office facilities & a chance to win over £6,000 of business support

Leeds Beckett University is offering businesses the chance to kick start their growth plans in 2019 with a package of free support worth over £6000!

Eligible businesses will be able to register their business address and enjoy access to hot desking space at one of the University Business Centres in Leeds, Wakefield and Halifax for 6 months completely free of charge as part of the fantastic Grow Your Business offer.

All businesses will also benefit from a one to one diagnostic to help tailor a package of support through the ERDF funded Ad:Venture programme which includes expert mentoring, masterclasses and consultancy. Each business can access a minimum of 12 hours support to help fuel growth, increase turnover, create jobs or develop new products and services.

Businesses can also enter the annual Business Advantage Awards where 5 businesses can win a year’s free accountancy and legal support and 3 years free business banking (worth in excess of £6,000) Free specialist support will be offered through corporate partners – Yorkshire Bank, Lupton Fawcett, WGN, Exa Networks, The Yorkshire Post, Calderdale Council, Wakefield Council and Wakefield College. The awards deadline is the 27th February 2019.

By signing up to the AD:VENTURE programme through Leeds Beckett University business can take advantage of this incredible offer, as well as benefiting from a whole range of support across the region including access to growth grants worth £25,000, mentoring, networks and business development events.

‘’Working with Leeds Beckett University and AD:VENTURE has given us the space and time to grow faster and in a more sustainable way. It wouldn’t have been possible without the support that we have received.

We have a stronger understanding of who we are, why we’re doing this and who we should target. Moving to our new offices at the University Business Centre is a huge step forward for us and we are looking forward to what the future holds.’’ (Andy Jack, Candle Digital, An AD:Venture supported business).

The offer is open to new and growing businesses less than 3 years old and located in the Leeds City Region and is available to eligible businesses until July 2019.

For information about the offer, our Centres, eligibility and the support that is offered by AD:VENTURE please contact us:

www.leedsbeckett.ac.uk/universitybusinesscentres

e: ubc@leedsbeckett.ac.uk

t: 0333 555 8855