AD:VENTURE has added further talent to its growing Yorkshire-based team with the appointment of a new Business Engagement Manager, who will liaise with young digital companies in Calderdale to highlight the range of business support available through Leeds Beckett University.
Before securing her current position with AD:VENTURE, Deborah Hetherington worked as a Business Development Executive at Top 100 Law Firm, Ward Hadaway, in Leeds.
This strategic appointment will support a wider programme of activity with the intention of developing Calderdale’s growing digital and creative sector to create a legacy for young talent in the region.
Explaining that the job ‘literally jumped off the page’ due to her keen interest in the region’s digital landscape, Deborah will engage with digital start-ups to learn more about each business that she supports with a range of funding, events and practical assistance.
As part of her new role, Deborah will create personalised business support programmes encompassing the skills and offerings from Leeds Beckett University, to help companies to flourish and to put in place plans for future growth.
Deborah comments: “Working with Leeds Beckett University, I want to ensure that businesses working in the digital and creative sector in Calderdale and across the Leeds City Region have access to professional help and support that they need.
“We know that there has been a notable increase in the number of start-up businesses within this industry and we want to give them every opportunity to become leading experts within their field.”
Christine Robinson, Post Award Manager Enterprise Services from Leeds Beckett University, comments: “Through our partnership with AD:VENTURE, we know that we are able to bring our resources together to benefit more start-up businesses.
“We can see the potential that digital businesses in the region have and want to offer our support so that they can reach their potential more quickly. Through our activities, advice and guidance we hope to make Calderdale an area that is renowned for its digital business and talents.”
Cllr Barry Collins, Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Economic Strategy at Calderdale Council – one of the AD:VENTURE funding partner organisations – comments: “There is no doubt that the digital and creative sector in our area is thriving, and that’s why it’s so important that we put in place the support that these businesses need.
“It’s not just about creating new jobs but about using this opportunity to really put Calderdale on the map and make it known for successful digital business. This is part of the Vision 2024 for Calderdale to be a place where people want to live, work, visit and invest.”
Not afraid to push herself to her limits to feel a sense of achievement, two years ago Deborah flew out to Malawi to build a school, after raising money by completing the National Three Peak Challenge in 24 hours and cycling 184 miles of Hadrian’s Wall in just two and a half days.
With a full schedule of activity planned to support start-ups and young business, Deborah is preparing for the Calderdale Digital Summit, which she is organising for the end of September.
Deborah adds: “The summit will include talks on artificial intelligence, AR/VR, women in tech and social media. Its aim is to highlight the support that is available to digital start-up companies in Calderdale and to showcase the area as a viable option for others that are considering launching.”
To find out more about Digital Shift and the Digital Shift summit visit www.ad-venture.org.uk/digitalshift