Month: July 2019

Sashay Dance on their global ambitions and growth since working with AD:VENTURE

Dance party specialists, Sashay Dance cover hen parties across the UK! Set up as a hobby the company has grown over the past year and looked to AD:VENTURE to help support that growth.

Sarah explains her connection with AD:VENTURE and how the programme helped her business.

“At Sashay Dance we specialise in fun hen party dance classes that cover all of the UK.

So think anything from ‘Strictly Come Dancing’ themed, we do ‘Greatest Showman’ and even ‘Charleston’ and sometimes the hens even perform the routine that they learn on their hen party at the wedding.”

“Well, I started Sashay Dance as a bit of a hobby, and it was quickly becoming apparent that it was becoming much more than a hobby. Someone recommended AD: Venture and the support they can provide, so I contacted them straight away.”

“My mentor Paul Rhodes helped me identify who my main customer was, prior to this I always thought it was the maid of honours, but it turns out it was more the business side, so like the hen agencies.”

“He helped create a strategy around approaching these hen agencies and building relationships and I also got an exciting opportunity to be filmed for ‘Don’t Tell the Bride’ teaching a hen party dance class and he provided some excellent marketing advice to maximise that opportunity.”

“My mentor, Paul Rhodes, he was like an expert in B2B, so he helped give a lot of advice to manage those relationships and following his advice actually led us to winning ‘Best National Supplier’ with one of the UK’s biggest hen and stag companies.”

“Other shortlisted candidates included Revolution Group who do all the bars, so were delighted to have won that.”

“The advice I have been given has pushed me to think a lot bigger and the last session with my mentor, he was suggesting of franchising globally, which is something that was never in my original plan, but it’s certainly looking possible now.”

“Compared to last year, the growth rate is looking at about 200%, which is very high and recently I have just had to go on a leadership course this week, with AD:Venture, to sort of lead the big team I have got now. I have got maybe 35 – 40 teachers, and before I maybe had about 20, so things have changed completely and things have grown a lot.”

“The future looks very exciting and I think the next steps we’ve got a few avenues we can go down, from expanding globally to increasing the services we offer in the UK. So I am very excited about the future for Sashay Dance.”

To find out more about how AD:VENTURE can help accelerate your business growth get in touch today.

 

£31m added to regional economy thanks to social enterprise

A Yorkshire-based social enterprise has announced it has boosted the region’s economy by £31m in the last 12 months as well increased lending to female entrepreneurs by 9%.

 

The Business Enterprise Fund (BEF), has made the announcement as part of its annual social impact report which also reveals the not-for-profit organisation has loaned a total of £7.08m in the last year, helped to create 175 new UK businesses and generated or safeguarded 820 jobs.

 

Specialising in responsible and flexible finance to businesses making an impact in their communities, 36% of BEF’s loans in the last 12 months were to female-led businesses across West and North Yorkshire and the North East.

 

Steve Waud, chief executive at BEF which is celebrating its 15th anniversary later this year, said: “At BEF we remain dedicated in our role to supporting under-represented yet tenacious SMEs across the North, who don’t necessarily have the same level of investment available to their counterparts in the South.

 

“We are proud that 36% of our loans in the year have been to female entrepreneurs which is higher than the industry average and we’re continuing to promote the support available to help tackle the evident funding gap, which has also recently been highlighted in the Alison Rose Review. The economic impact our lending continues to generate is something we are hugely proud of at BEF.”

 

BEF has made 331 client deals in the last 12 months with the highest number of loans being made to businesses in the manufacturing (25%), business services (18%) and retail (17%) sectors.

 

Shainy Moscovitch and her husband co-founded CP12 Energy, a gas and heating specialist partnering gas safe engineers with domestic and commercial jobs. A £50,000 loan from BEF contributed to creating three new jobs, marketing activity and fitting free carbon dioxide detectors across the North East region.

 

She said: “Most would think the odds are against me. I am a female entrepreneur and I am currently writing this with my one-month old baby beside me. BEF looked past all that and saw the company that I am passionately building. It is their belief in me and CP12 Energy that has given us wings to grow and expand.”

 

Steve said: “As part of our commitment to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UNSDGs), we continuously aim to empower people from all backgrounds in starting their own businesses with our tailored support and flexible finance solutions.

 

“This year 40% of our lending has been within lower-layer super output areas which is a 6% increase from last year. These individual businesses are in areas which can be excluded from mainstream funding but are often having the highest impact within their communities.”

 

BEF has hired five new employees this year in a bid to provide further support and finance to business owners across the North of England, including the North West. Further to its lending, the social enterprise has supported a range of good causes including its continued work with Bradford charity, One In A Million for which it raised more than £7k in the last year.

 

The Business Enterprise Fund has offices in Leeds, Bradford, Goole and Teesside. For more information please visit www.befund.org

Digital Enterprise 2.0 – Coming Soon!

Bigger, better and with a whole host of new features, Digital Enterprise 2.0 launches this Autumn with an enhanced programme of support for businesses keen to develop their digital capabilities.

If you are looking to invest in digital technology, improve your business connectivity/broadband speed or develop your digital knowledge and skills, then don’t miss out on the chance to take your business to the next level!

HOW COULD DIGITAL ENTERPRISE HELP YOU?

Digital Enterprise was launched in 2016 to help small and medium sized enterprises in the Leeds City Region to achieve digital transformation as they scale up and mature by providing access to funding and knowledge.

More and more businesses are embracing digital. Over the last three years…

·    Digital Enterprise has helped over 1,400 businesses to fund their digital projects or access free training to help improve their digital skills.

·    Over 850 businesses have received match funded grants worth more than £3.6 million for digital projects.

·    Each business that received a Digital Growth Voucher had created an average of 1.7 jobs since their investment.

·    Over 600 businesses have accessed knowledge, expertise and advice on deploying digital solutions and improving their digital skills via the Digital Knowledge Exchange.

·    Over 70 workshops delivered.

·    4 large Go Digital Live! conferences held.

·    514 digital audits were completed.

·    4 mentoring events held.

·    9 webinars took place.

·    28 digital champions (experts in their field) supported the programme through involvement in workshops or 1-2-1 mentoring support for businesses.

·    Over three quarters of businesses who engaged with the programme stated that the support they had received has had a transformational impact on how their business uses digital technology.

 

How to register for Digital Enterprise 2.0

Digital Enterprise 2.0, our next programme of support opens in September 2019. If you are interested in developing your digital capabilities and want to see if we can help , then register NOW so that you can receive exclusive access to our programme by clicking here.