Month: March 2020

Business Enterprise Fund commits funding for struggling UK businesses

SME Loans

The not -for-profit social enterprise has committed funding to support businesses during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

Business Enterprise Fund (BEF), the not-for-profit social enterprise is an approved delivery partner of the British Business Bank and will provide their funding to support SMEs where needed.

The Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) is the new guarantee scheme that facilitates lending to smaller businesses across the UK who are experiencing lost or deferred revenues.

In addition to CBILS, BEF can deliver short-term working capital loans of up to £250,000 to safeguard businesses and staff, as well as start-up loans, with £12m of additional funding secured from Impact investors. CBILS also covers the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund (NPIF) which is £10m of further British Business Bank funding for businesses in the Yorkshire & Humber Region.

Stephen Waud, CEO of BEF, comments: “As a responsible finance provider our mission is to support and help communities and SMEs are critical to those communities, especially now as jobs and livelihoods are at risk.”

“We have been getting inundated with business owners looking for support and so I’m pleased to assure them that we will be supporting you as best we can as a non-bank can in these hard times”.

BEF provides funding, support and advice for growing businesses across all sectors. Its aim is to deliver flexible finance to businesses in geographical areas that need it most, by providing unsecured business loans when other lenders cannot fully assist. It is a subsidiary of the West and North Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce who are committed to supporting business in those regions.

With a track record of supporting early stage and start-up businesses, BEF has supported a diverse range of businesses and social enterprises from sustainable clothing, to seaweed farms, to fintech start-ups. Last year alone, the company funded 175 brand new businesses.

Find out more about the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) support available from BEF.

Leeds manufacturer to supply emergency Excel hospital

A Leeds healthcare manufacturer is supplying equipment to the new emergency hospital being created in London.

Staff at Herida Healthcare are working around the clock to make thousands of specialist mattresses, with the initial delivery to the hospital at the Excel today (Friday 27th).

The air-pump mattresses are designed to reduce the chance of patients developing bed sores and are usually sold to NHS trusts and long-term care homes across the UK and abroad.

Company founder Neil Smith said everyone at the company wanted to help the NHS as much as they could.

“While we all really appreciate the work the NHS does at its centre, the response to Covid-19 needs a chain of suppliers who provide critical links. This includes delivery drivers taking it there, packers, mattress welders, cutters, administrative staff working from home and all others in between.

“Our staff are working so hard and we are all a bit exhausted as we have turned this round in 72 hours, but morale is very high as they are so proud to take part.”

The new hospital at the Excel conference centre in London’s Docklands will initially have 500 beds, rising to 4,000 to cope with the expected increase in Covid-19 patients. Military personnel have been involved in setting up the new facility, which will be called the Nightingale Hospital.

Staff at Herida Healthcare are working shifts over 24 hours to fulfil the initial order, with more orders coming in. All staff are wearing PPE and carrying out social distancing.

The company was only set up in 2016 but has grown rapidly with help from organisations such as Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (LEP) and Leeds City Council, and AD:VENTURE, which provides support for new businesses in North and West Yorkshire funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).

It has 42 staff and expanded into a new 30,000 sq ft factory in Morley only a few months ago.

Leader of Leeds City Council Cllr Judith Blake said: “This is great news for Herida Healthcare and I am really proud to see a local up-and-coming company doing its bit to help the national effort.

“UK manufacturing will be a crucial part of tackling this crisis and it shows how the whole country is pulling together to help each other in a time of need.”

Roger Marsh OBE, Deputy Lieutenant and chair of Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (LEP) and NP11, said: “The swift response by Herida Healthcare to this national call for such an urgent national need is real testament to the region’s manufacturing capability. They are just one of many local businesses who are fundamentally changing their operations to assist at this difficult time, and we must all thank all of those smart people who are driving forward solutions for the national effort.”

For more information on AD:VENTURE go to https://ad-venture.org.uk/

The Effect of COVID-19 on Commercial Contracts

We have seen in recent days that the outbreak of the novel coronavirus, Covid-19, is bringing uncertainty to many businesses. The unprecedented restrictions in travel across the world and the cancellation of many public events is impacting upon many supply chains. In turn, we have seen large numbers of businesses begin to operate flexibly by developing alternative means of work, and a smaller percentage suspending operations altogether.

At this time, many businesses are rightly considering the contractual and legal issues arising from this extraordinary situation.

Understanding your contractual position

Generally, the parties are required to perform their obligations set out in a contract in full by any deadline specified.  This applies to performance of all contractual obligations, including payments due. However, there are two common exceptions to this rule:

  • Force Majeure – A number of written contracts will include a force majeure clause. A force majeure clause will usually suspend or end performance obligations where a party is prevented from performing its contractual obligations due to events outside of its control. However, even when they exist within a contract, the wording and protective scope of force majeure clauses can differ. As a result, it is necessary to consider the wording of the specific clause to determine (i) whether Covid-19 amounts to a force majeure event under a particular contract; (ii) the impact of the clause; and (iii) whether any other conditions need to be satisfied, such as notice requirements.
  • Frustration – Even where no force majeure clause exists, the legal doctrine of frustration may be available in situations where a change in circumstances makes it physically or commercially impossible to perform the contract, or would render performance radically different. The bar for relying upon frustration is high, and, similar to relying on a force majeure clause, a party seeking to rely on such may be open to legal challenge by a counterparty to a contract.

Although most businesses who are currently concerned about their contracts will want to consider the above two points, it is advisable that businesses seeking to rely on such obtain legal advice before purporting to rely on either the contractual relief of a force majeure clause or the legal doctrine of frustration.

Varying existing agreements to improve probability of performance, maintain relationships and bring certainty

At this time, we are seeing an increase in companies approach us with concerns over their ability to discharge their duties under their contracts, as well as being concerned about the ability of others to perform theirs. Even where strict legal rights exist, it is not always commercially astute to enforce them and there are situations where it is prudent to seek to relax performance requirements, in order to maintain relationships, aid cash flow and prevent the need for crippling legal action.

In relation to this, we are advising businesses to:

  • Understand your strict legal position, to determine whether you are negotiating from a position of strength or weakness.
  • Not verbally or informally change terms in your contracts (particularly in relation to material or major contracts). Rather, we recommend that you formally record any variations that you may agree in writing (it may even be a requirement in your contracts that such variations are in writing as agreed between the parties).
  • Carefully consider the practical impacts that any variations will have. The choices you make as a business will reflect the commercial constraints which are unique to you, such as the importance to you of cash flow, your ability to make internal decisions and reputation management. These elements differ from business to business and there is not a one size fits all approach that should be taken.

The options available to you very much depend on what the terms of your contracts state, and it is important that any variations that you make are made only when you fully understand the impact of such on your contracts as a whole.

Most businesses will want to consider what their obligations are and whether they can still practically achieve them. Customers experiencing cash flow issues themselves will probably want to look at alternative payment options. When dealing with customer concerns, businesses may be able to agree to split payment into a number of instalments over a set period of time to ease cash flow for the customer, but to ensure payment in full is received in time by the recipient business.

Such steps can assist from a reputation point of view in these hard times. For businesses that are able to weather the storm that Covid-19 now presents, they want to ensure that they come out with a loyal customer and supplier base to continue trade in the future.

Continued use of standard contractual documents

Covid-19 has caught society and many businesses by surprise. Business continuity is now being tested across many sectors in the UK, and in turn businesses will shortly discover the robustness of their legal documentation.

Many businesses in the UK trade on standard terms of business – in most cases, it is prudent to do so. In the current climate it is advisable to consider whether any amendments should be made to your standard contractual documentation to provide protection to your business in the coming weeks, months and beyond in relation to Covid-19 and any similar pandemics that may arise in the future. For example, many force majeure clauses reference unforeseeable events. It could be argued that, for contracts entered into six months ago, Covid-19 may satisfy this definition, but it is unlikely to do so in relation to contracts being entered into in the coming weeks.

The content of this advice article has been kindly provided to AD:VENTURE by Sarah Briscall and Joe Gosling, members of the Commercial Team at Shulmans LLP

Shulmans LLP will become Knights plc on 24 April 2020

Photo by Startup Stock Photos from Pexels

Managing the challenges of working from home!

Kate Betts runs Capital B Media, a PR and communications agency which is usually based in an office. Here she looks at the challenges of working from home.

 

A lot of us are finding ourselves suddenly flung out into this strange world of home-working. And it is a completely different world.

I have been running a business for over 15 years, but this is all new for me. It will be new for you; it is new for everyone.

It doesn’t matter where your business is on its journey; established or start up, we are all learning as we go along and helping each other along the way.

 

If you are normally in an office with others, before too long you will find yourself at home and it will be different.

In the office we have co-workers to discuss what we are watching on Netflix, now we have the cat, and possibly the partner and kids too, for company.

Where we might have had a cupboard full of stationery and a printer that worked, we now find ourselves scribbling notes on the back of a random scrap of paper.

And realising that your internet connection at home is about as fast as the proverbial yoghurt pot and piece of string is enough to test the patience of anyone.

There are upsides. You don’t have to commute (thus saving money) and you can sit there in a scruffy T-shirt and jeans. Please no pyjamas; especially in these days of video conferencing!

I work in an office now where there are five of us. But in the past I worked from home and at remote offices for years, both while working as a ‘district’ reporter for radio and newspapers, and in the early days of Capital B Media. My colleagues on the other hand are fairly new to this game and already we have had some teething problems.

So, a few pointers:

  • If possible, do a dry-run. It might be that you have been forced already to work from home, or you are planning it within the next few days. If you haven’t already embarked on the adventure, then what about a practice first?

Everyone can work from home to try it out. Then you go back to the office for a day (if you can) and collect all the little things you forgot. So far our list at Capital B Media includes: highlighter pens, paper for the printer, the office mobile, the office calculator, the spare printer, numerous documents and an ethernet cable. It is amazing what you take for granted!

  • Keep the routine as much as you can. We are trying to keep some semblance of normality by continuing to work 9 to 5 and having a catch-up online every morning to discuss what tasks we are working on.

 

  • Remember your internet at home might not be as good as that in the office. So, don’t expect to be downloading, and particularly uploading, big files at any speed. If you do need to work with large files, can you compress them? Video in particular is a bit of a nightmare.

 

If you have an IT support company talk to them about what the system’s limits are – and then factor in that there are several dozen people trying to get on to your server and several million people also working from home. So, patience is a virtue, as is an ethernet cable – at least being wired is quicker than Wi-Fi.

 

  • Think about where you are going to sit. Most of us don’t have the luxury of an office at home, so we end up perched at the kitchen table. But how is that for your back? And are you constantly interrupted by the rest of the family? Or are you stuck in a room with limited natural light? Try out different locations – and chairs.

 

  • Give yourself a break. It is easy to feel guilty about the 20-minute walk with the dog or watching the lunchtime news while eating scrambled egg. But remember you take formal, and informal, breaks in the office too. How many mornings does it actually take a good quarter of an hour for people to start work because of an office conversation about football/ the latest film/ their journey? And then part way through the morning you all get lost in a conversation about some random TV programme and then you spend ten minutes in the afternoon looking at cat videos…. It is ok to take breaks in the office and at home.

 

  • Keep in touch. It is a lonely world, especially if you don’t have anyone else in your home. (And if you do, it might be worth reminding them you are working.) Regular contact with your colleagues can keep up the team spirit. Set up a WhatsApp group, chat on Microsoft Teams, email random thoughts. We are all in this together.

 

Bradford businesses invited to join Northern Max programme

Digital and technology firms in Bradford are being urged to take advantage of the return of the Northern Max support programme.

The free business support programme, which is now in its third year, will be delivered from the City Hub, and technology-oriented companies less than three years old are invited to take part.

Northern Max 3 will take place over ten weeks, starting on 23 April. It includes one-to-one mentoring alongside workshops and masterclasses led by experienced business coaches. Topics covered will include preparing a business plan, setting targets, profiling target customers and marketing. There will also be hot desking facilities available, and an opportunity to pitch for potential investment at the end of the programme.

The aim of Northern Max is to enable companies in the digital sector to grow and develop the reputation of Bradford and the Leeds City Region as a hub for the technology community.

Entheos Media Group took part in the programme in 2019 and have since been able to expand their client base. Creative director Ryan Murphy said: “The programme was enormously helpful for taking our own expertise in our given field and giving us the tools necessary for transforming our skills into a functional and growing business.

“Since our time at Northern Max, we’ve got funding, grants and have gained a bigger client base than we ever would have without it. The workshops and talks were exceptionally helpful at giving us the insight and outside-the-box thinking that allowed us to see our business in a whole new light, and allowed us reshape our business model so that we could grow exponentially.”

Northern Max 3 will be delivered by Greenborough Business Management’s 10×10 accelerator programme in partnership with Bradford Council and AD:VENTURE, a business support programme for new businesses in North and West Yorkshire funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).

Michelle Davis, part of the 10×10 team at Greenborough, said: “We are thrilled to be selected as the delivery partner for Northern Max 3. 10×10 is passionate about helping firms to grow through our bespoke business accelerator programme and wrap-around support. Our team are looking forward to delivering the programme and making a difference to businesses from Bradford and the wider Leeds City Region.”

Around 40 companies have received Northern Max support since the programme started in 2018.

Cllr Alex Ross-Shaw, Bradford Council’s Portfolio Holder for Regeneration, Planning and Transport, said: “As part of our aim to be the UK’s fastest growing economy in the next decade, we are committed to supporting our businesses with programmes like Northern Max, which will make a difference to the economic prosperity of the region.

“I am delighted to see exciting young companies and entrepreneurs being given access to business support like this. Programmes like Northern Max which are delivered by industry specialists give businesses the crucial support network they need to grow, and that ultimately benefits Bradford and the wider region.”

For more details on the Northern Max 3 programme, visit https://ad-venture.org.uk/northernmax3/.

Innovate UK launches new 3-year programme for Young Innovators

New findings from Innovate UK show that a half of young people in the UK think their age is a barrier to business success with nearly a third lacking the confidence they need to turn their idea into a reality.

The findings are released as Innovate UK, part of UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) announces a £2.2m Young Innovators Programme in partnership with The Prince’s Trust.

The national Young Innovators Awards will go to 18–30 year olds with a creative and ground-breaking business idea to support them in turning it into reality.

The programme will support up to 100 young people over 3 years with individuals benefitting from a £5,000 grant, one-on-one coaching and an allowance to cover living costs.

Ben Marson, Director of Partnerships at The Prince’s Trust, said:

At The Prince’s Trust we believe that every young person, no matter their background, should have the chance to thrive in work. We know the immense potential and entrepreneurial spirit of UK young people but not everyone has the opportunity to turn their ideas into reality.

Working with partners like Innovate UK on the Young Innovators programme allows us to encourage and enable entrepreneurship and innovation among more young people and bring diverse ideas and businesses into the economy.

The Young Innovators Awards programme was launched in 2017 and has already engaged 12,000 young people through a high-profile communications campaign, Ideas Mean Business.

The new Awards were announced by Science Minister Amanda Solloway on 8 March 2020.

Ian Campbell, Executive Chair, Innovate UK, said:

“Just having a great idea doesn’t necessarily guarantee success. We know that there are many challenges that can get in the way of new business ideas – especially when it comes to young innovators who, of all the ages groups polled, had the strongest belief they could make their innovative business into a reality.

“Our study shows there are plenty of creative people out there with potentially game-changing ideas, but to launch it in the first place is the main challenge.

“As part of UK Research and Innovation, Innovate UK along with our partners The Prince’s Trust, want to give inspiring young entrepreneurs the opportunity to take their business idea to the next level through our young innovators programme and #IdeasMeanBusiness campaign.”

Innovate UK spoke to 2,000 adults across the UK in a survey that explored the nation’s opinions and experiences with entrepreneurialism and innovation.

Other key findings include:

  • in the South West, nearly 50% would like their business/product idea to have a positive impact on healthcare
  • in Wales, 68% realise that a university degree is not essential to become a credible entrepreneur
  • in Yorkshire and the Humber, 70% think money is the main barrier to launching their own innovative business, whilst 1 in 3 think education and confidence hold them back
  • in the North East, 50% see that local innovative businesses are important to the community
  • in the North West, nearly 40% would like their business/product idea to have a positive impact on the environment

Previous recipients of the Young Innovators Awards include Adam Root, founder of Inheriting Earth, who has developed a device that helps to accelerate the adoption of a circular economy and save over 100,000 lives per year in the UK and globally by capturing plastic heading towards the ocean and jeweller Claire Skelton who uses traditional skills to produce hand-made contemporary jewellery from reclaimed metal.

Adam Root said:

“Innovate UK has been a true foundation partner for Inheriting Earth and the development of our products. Whilst the financial support of the grant was, of course, essential, we would not be where we are now without their team’s help, support and expertise.”

The funding commitment comes ahead of UKRI releasing its 5-year vision for its work across equality, diversity and inclusion.

If you are between 18 and 30 and are interested in engaging in the programme, please join us at one of our upcoming Ideas Mean Business roadshow events across the UK to get expert advice and find out what support is available to you.

To find out more go to:

Further Ideas Mean Business roadshow events will be held across all regions and parts of the UK over the next three years.

See our regional insight factsheets detailing how UK adults across the country view innovation and entrepreneurship:

  • National overview

Young Innovators 2020 National fact sheet (PDF, 173KB, 1 page)

  • North West

Young Innovators 2020 North West – Regional fact sheet (PDF, 153KB, 1 page)

  • North East

Young Innovators 2020 North East – Regional fact sheet (PDF, 153KB, 1 page)

  • Yorkshire and Humber

Young Innovators 2020 Yorkshire & Humber – Regional fact sheet (PDF, 158KB, 1 page)

  • Wales

Young Innovators 2020 Wales – Regional fact sheet (PDF, 154KB, 1 page)

  • South West

Young Innovators 2020 South West – Regional fact sheet (PDF, 160KB, 1 page)

Find out more about the young innovators we have already supported.

Young Innovator case studies (PDF, 1.74MB, 7 pages)

Image provided by Vojtech Okenka

Lloyds Bank and Bank of Scotland Social Entrepreneurs Programme

Applications are now open!

Are you committed to helping people in need or improving the environment?

This programme has helped almost 2,000 people like you to start up and scale social enterprises, charities, community projects and impact-led organisations.

This year, we’ll support a further 260 people across the UK with:

  • A learning programme
  • A grant (£1,000 – £7,000)
  • Mentoring
  • A supportive community of like-minded peers

       About the programme

  • The Lloyds Bank and Bank of Scotland Social Entrepreneurs Programme is run in partnership with the School for Social Entrepreneurs, and jointly funded by the National Lottery Community Fund.

    Which level should I apply for?

     

    Start Up

    • Your project is in the planning stages but ready to start, or less than two years old. It makes £0 – £15,000 a year.
    • You want to learn how to establish your organisation.

    Apply for Start Up

    Trade Up

    • Your project was established at least a year ago, and probably has at least one paid member of staff. It makes at least £15,000 a year.
    • You want to learn how to strengthen your organisation’s finances and impact, to build a solid foundation.

    Apply for Trade Up

    Scale Up

    • Your project was probably established two or more years ago, and probably has two or more paid members of staff. It makes at least £75,000 a year (no upper limit).
    • Your organisation already has a solid foundation. Now you want to learn how to scale it to create even more impact.

    Apply for Scale Up

    FAQs

    What’s the deadline?

    Applications are open until Thursday 30th April 2020.

    Is this really free?

    Yes! You can use the grant for your project’s running costs and to pay for travel and subsistence to support you in attending the learning programme.

    The learning programme and mentoring is fully funded, thanks to funding from our partners Lloyds Bank, Bank of Scotland and the National Lottery Community Fund. The School for Social Entrepreneurs is a charity.

    Who can apply?

    We can help you at all stages: whether you have just an idea, you’re already up-and-running, or you’re ready to scale. There are more detailed criteria for each programme level via the links above.

    Inclusivity is one of our core values, and everyone is welcome at SSE, including people who are long-term unemployed, ex-offenders, people with disabilities and people of all abilities. You don’t need any educational qualifications for this programme.

    The impact of this programme

    The 1,350 social entrepreneurs supported by the first five years of the programme have benefited the lives of 328,000 people – that’s more than the entire population of Coventry! They also created 4,000 jobs (full-time equivalent).

    Learn more

     

          About SSE

Image provided by Belle Co

Continued support available to help businesses lower their energy bills

Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (LEP) has secured further funding to support businesses in the region to reduce carbon emissions in a bid to tackle the climate emergency.

Working in partnership with the West Yorkshire Combined Authority, the newly launched REBiz programme succeeds the Resource Efficiency Fund and provides advice and funding to support small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to reduce their energy, carbon, water and waste consumption and ultimately save money on their energy bills.

The Combined Authority and the LEP are working with their partners to deliver a programme of activity to help create a net-zero carbon City Region by 2038 with significant progress by 2030.

To support clean growth, through the LEP Growth Service, SMEs can access free efficiency audits, advice and up to 40 per cent funding towards capital investment projects. They can also access support to develop a circular economy business model, helping keep materials in use for as long as possible to get the maximum value from them and reduce waste.

 

Roger Marsh OBE DL, Chair of LEP and NP11 said: 

“I am delighted that through the Growth Service, we are continuing to prioritise clean growth support for businesses and helping them to become more resource-efficient.

“Our REBiz programme is a brilliant opportunity for businesses to benefit from expert advice and funding to reduce their impact on the environment.

“I’d encourage all businesses to get in touch and apply for a free resource efficiency audit and find out how they can save money on their energy bills.”

Through the Resource Efficiency Fund, the LEP supported over 700 SMEs, provided over 370 free resource efficiency audits and funded 160 projects to save businesses £663,000, 7.7million kWh of energy, and 2,422 tCO2 every year.

Halifax-based business, Azo reduced their gas bills by a third and halved their energy costs with support from Resource Efficiency Fund.

 

Julian Plant, Managing Director at Azo Ltd said:

“Getting in touch with the LEP and Resource Efficiency Fund is an easy way to save a lot of money very quickly. We’re a company that has been here for 25 years and we want to be here for another 25 years, so this is safeguarding our future.”

REBiz is receiving investment from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and the Leeds City Region Growth Deal – a £1 billion package of Government investment delivered by the Combined Authority to accelerate growth and create jobs across Leeds City Region.

For more information, call the LEP Growth Service on 0113 348 1818 or email businessgrowth@the-lep.com. Further information can be found at the-lep.com/resource

Photo by Polina Zimmerman

Yorkshire software developers looking to recruit after huge growth

Two former Huddersfield University students who set up their own software development business are celebrating after seeing turnover more than treble in the last year alone.

Torchbearer, set up by Peter Waugh and Jon Langley, has had to move twice since it was set up in 2016 to keep up with demand, and is now looking to take on more staff.

The business was set up after the pair received funding from Huddersfield University’s Enterprise Placement Scheme and specialises in mobile app design, website development and game development, working with a range of clients in Yorkshire and beyond.

Torchbearer was initially based at 3M Buckley Innovation Centre but wanted to move to a larger premises to meet their growth plans. The company moved to Huddersfield Media Centre after receiving grant funding from AD:VENTURE, a business support programme for new businesses in North and West Yorkshire funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and delivered in partnership with local authorities including Kirklees Council.

After their move, Torchbearer grew so quickly that they soon realised they needed their own bespoke office. Thanks to further growth funding, they were able to adapt their new home on Old Leeds Road to suit their needs. In total, £8700 of funding has been granted to the company.

Since their latest move, Torchbearer’s growth has accelerated hugely. As well as their crop of local clients, they work for a leisure holiday firm and have recently started working with a Hong Kong bank. Director Peter Waugh said: “We were operating at around 60 per cent growth, but in the last year that has shot up to 480 per cent.”

The company is now looking to create two new jobs to add to its five-strong team. An office administrator is required to deal with day-to-day operations, and another software developer will be recruited later in the year as the company expands its current crop of clients.

Peter added: “It’s not just the grant funding we’ve taken advantage of – pretty much every resource we can access through the AD:VENTURE programme has been utilised and it’s been great all the way through. As we’ve gone along, we’ve always had a new problem to tackle, but their advisors have always been there with the right advice of how we can solve it.

“Since starting the business we’ve always believed it’s really important to listen to what other people are saying to us. We have a vision for where we want the business to go, but we don’t necessarily have a clear idea of how we can get there.”

Cllr Peter McBride, Cabinet Member for Regeneration at Kirklees Council, said: “Torchbearer are a fantastic example of how business support programmes can be instrumental in giving exciting local businesses the tools they need to grow, which in turn creates jobs and prosperity for the region. We are delighted to be a partner in the AD:VENTURE programme and are looking forward to helping many more small businesses like Torchbearer to reach their full potential.”

Huddersfield Business Growth Programme

uni-of-huddersfield

Huddersfield Business School would like to procure and contract with an organisation to specifically deliver the third component of the programme; to deliver a programme of 12-hour business support and advice to 25 growing businesses within the Kirklees Local Authority area/Leeds City Region as part of the Leeds City Region Ad: Venture programme.

The successful organisation will be responsible for developing and delivering a programme of 1-2-1 coaching/mentoring and support to eligible participants on the programme.

As a minimum requirement the programme will have to deliver 12 hours of business strategy advice to each participant on the programme (the programme runs in three-month blocks with 5-7 SMEs per cohort over 4 cohorts).

The business strategy advice should build on the content of the masterclass activity and will focus on providing business relevant information and specific recommendations to support the development and implementation of a strategic framework for their business.

This support will likely be delivered on business premises, primarily within the Kirklees Local Authority Area but may require travel within the Leeds City Region. Support will need to be flexible to meet the needs of the business and resourced within the budget and hours available.

Relevant topics may include business planning, implementation, leadership, market intelligence or managing change. As each business will have different needs, the support provided is may include one or a mix of, the examples below:

  • A review of their current business plan and financial forecasts
  • A series of one to one meetings and follow up notes that provide advice and recommendations to formulate and implement an improved business strategy and growth plan.
  • Support for the identification of further business support to assist growth ambitions.

The successful organisation will be responsible for:

  • Making initial contact with the allocated businesses within 3 working days on confirmation they are eligible and have been accepted onto the programme.
  • Arranging a first meeting to agree clear delivery plan detailing actions, timelines and roles and responsibilities
  • Delivering against this plan on time and within budget
  • Complying with, and applying where required, ERDF funding rules and requisite paperwork. This includes attendance at an introductory meeting with Huddersfield Business School project staff, using appropriate funder logos on documentation and completing and signing required ERDF forms with the business as part of the evidencing and claims process (examples include completing meeting record forms, evaluation forms and output forms with pen signatures).
  • Submitting an invoice per business at the end of the 12-hour assist detailing the work carried out with that business and costs incurred.

 

HOW TO APPLY

To submit a tender please use the links below:

University e-Tendering Portal – https://www.in-tendhost.co.uk/universityofhuddersfield/aspx/Tenders/Current

To access the full documentation, a supplier needs to register and then express an interest in the opportunity

Contracts Finder – https://www.contractsfinder.service.gov.uk/Notice/096dedf8-607f-4c02-ad44-5c308811ce11?p=1

All correspondence and tender returns should be submitted via the portal.