Category: News

Northern Max 3 cohorts prepare for the big pitch!

The Northern Max 3 programme has just finished its final workshop! 10 weeks have flown by and through hard work and dedication, so much has been achieved by all involved.

Workshop 10 had a different feel to the other sessions as it was based around pitching your business.  Russell Copley took the cohort through a whistle-stop tour of all things pitching and investment, and then we spent the rest of the session coaching the businesses helping them craft their approach, all with the valuable support of Penny Coulthard from North Invest.  The accelerator programme, and in particular, this final workshop has been building the businesses up in preparation for the live pitching event on the 2nd July.

The final event will see the cohort present their businesses to a panel of 4 judges, in front of a large (zoom) live audience all in the hope they will be crowned ‘winner’; although each business is very deserving of that title regardless of the outcome.

The last session was topped off with the final masterclass with Ellen Chapman, MD of TrickleNet.  TrickleNet were the very worthy winners of last year’s 10by10 accelerator programme in Lincoln.  Ellen was full of praise for the programme and helped allay any fears/nerves/wobbles the current cohort may have before the face the panel next week.  ‘It is terrifying but you just have to think what have I got to lose’ – wise words from Ellen, who hasn’t looked back since she won with her business going from strength to strength.

The Northern Max 3 programme has taken the 15 businesses through 10 workshops, 3 speed-dating sessions, and a total of 5 masterclasses (and 1 pitching final on its way), and it has been a fantastic journey.  There will be many case studies to follow as a result of everyone’s hard work, so watch this space!

Northern Max 3, is a specialist business support programme for digital and technology firms in the Leeds/Bradford area.  This fully funded business support programme, running across a period of ten weeks, started on 23 April.  Northern Max 3 is being delivered virtually 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). It forms part of AD:VENTURE’s pledge to continue to support businesses using online tools despite the pandemic.

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

Northern Max 3 Hits the halfway point on virtual delivery and top marks on results!

The Northern Max 3 programme is now over half-way, having just delivered its 6th workshop, 3rd masterclass and 2nd ‘speed dating’ meeting.  The programme is taking the 15-strong cohort through a very intensive workshop schedule where there has been a lot of self-assessment and analysis resulting in some startling revelations about themselves!

The cohort have been working collectively throughout the programme and have already developed relationships that will continue post the 10-week programme.

Week 3 delivered by Sara Scott focused on route to markets and the core elements that make up, influence and affect a business’ brand.

Alison Bull, Founder of Tandem Agency delivered week 4’s workshop and built on the foundations of Sara’s session looking at profiling the customer.

Lisa Grogan, co-CEO of Overlap Associates addressed the cohort from Canada about user-centred design to develop strategies, plans and a way of solving problems and the principles of how she started and grew her business as well as juggling a family life.

Week 5 featured Paula Finch talking about people and resources, where she led the group through a shared understanding of the principles of neuro-linguistic programming (NLP) and how this is critical to building work teams.

Week 6 started with Sankar Sivarajah, Head of School of Management at Bradford University talking all things circular economy, partnerships and the importance of inclusive strategies.  Annabelle Beckwith followed the masterclass with her session on Partnerships and Collaborations and the importance of finding the right business partner – along with the horror stories!

Initial feedback from participants has all been positive, some highlights below:

“It helped me to think about what my audiences are looking for and how to speak to them in a way that will make them take action”

“the presentation skills really made me think about my own development and how I can look to improve how I interact with people”

Northern Max 3, is a specialist business support programme for digital and technology firms in the Leeds/Bradford area.  This fully funded business support programme, running across a period of ten weeks, started on 23 April.  Northern Max 3 is being delivered virtually 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). It forms part of AD:VENTURE’s pledge to continue to support businesses using online tools despite the pandemic.

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

COVID-19 Business Support

UPDATED 9.6.2020

We are regularly updating this page to keep you updated on the latest guidance and support relating to Covid-19.

There is a lot of information and support available, and if you need guidance on any aspect, please do not hesitate to get in touch.

One-To One support

For current clients, please get in touch if you are need advice or support. If you are not sure who your advisor is, you can email support@ad-venture.org.uk 

New clients, register at www.ad-venture.org.uk/register 

Workshops and Events

AD:VENTURE events scheduled for the foreseeable future will be delivered in a virtual way to enable us to continue delivering this valuable workshop content to you.

We are still keeping numbers limited and ensuring you have the opportunity to interact, so please check and book your places so you do not miss out.

The first webinars are now LIVE and can be booked via the events page

***NEW UPDATES***

Government launches NHS Test and Trace Service

Details of the Test and Trace service can be viewed HERE.

NHS Test and Trace – workplace guidance

Details of the Test and Trace work place guidance can be viewed HERE.

Working safely during COVID-19

The Government has produced ‘COVID-19 secure’ guidance to help ensure workplaces are as safe as possible. The new guidance covers eight workplace settings which are allowed to be open, from outdoor environments and construction sites to factories and takeaways.

WIDER NATIONAL AND REGIONAL SUPPORT AVAILABLE:

Regional Support:

For information and support, businesses in Leeds City Region concerned or affected by the impact of Coronavirus (COVID-19) can contact the LEP Business Support Service by:

Completing our online enquiry form

Calling the LEP business support helpline on 0113 348 1818

Emailing BusinessSupport@the-lep.com

Due to a high volume of emails and phone calls, you may some experience delays getting through, but please be assured that they will respond to all enquires as soon as possible.

Regional support for businesses

LEP Business Support Service

Businesses can benefit from investment to purchase equipment, plant and machinery, digital equipment, develop new products and process, and save money on their energy bills through more efficient use of energy, water and waste. For more information, please contact the LEP Business Support Service or visit the-lep.com/support to learn about the support available.

Peer-to-peer support programme

In partnership with Biskit, the LEP is delivering a series of free weekly peer-to-peer online sessions, providing businesses across the City Region an opportunity to share ideas, raise issues, gain new insights and collaborate. Find out more and sign up.

COVID-19 Business Grant Programme

The LEP may be able to support your business if you are making capital investments to manufacture or supply products to the NHS and wider health supply chain. For more information, please contact the LEP Business Support Service.

Free one-to-one business coaching sessions

The LEP is working with business professionals to co-ordinate free coaching sessions to help SMEs formulate and implement contingency plans for this period and beyond. Coaches will work with companies to diagnose issues affecting them at the moment including people, suppliers and customers, finance and premises. Email us to access this support.

Supply chain support 

The University of Huddersfield has a team of supply chain experts who can help businesses to get more out of their supplier arrangements and enhance their positions within existing supply chains. This can include a deep dive analysis of current supply chains and supplier capacity, the introduction of new supply chain models to reduce risk and enhance quality, and the sourcing of more local suppliers. Email businesssupport@the-LEP.com for more information.

Business resilience programme

In partnership with Winning Pitch, we have launched the business resilience programme to support businesses owners through free one-to-one coaching and consultancy support and a series of webinars and leadership groups. Take our resilience test to help us to understand how we can best support you and your business. For more information about this programme, email businessresilience@winning-pitch.co.uk.

Digital Knowledge Exchange (DKE)

DKE has launched a new webinar series for businesses. The series is designed to support businesses striving to become best placed when the nation returns to business as usual. The webinars provide expert insights on the use of digital solutions to increase productivity and competitiveness during the lockdown. Topics cover customer engagement, business resilience, content marketing and digital marketing strategy. Find out more and sign up.

AD:VENTURE

Start-ups and young businesses in their first three years of trading can access online support. AD: VENTURE is delivering free webinars on marketing, sales, working remotely, social media and more, to help business owners to utilise their time at home to grow their business. View all webinars.

PAPI – Product and Process Innovation

PAPI helps small businesses in York, North Yorkshire, East Riding and Leeds City Region develop innovative new products by providing grants for equipment.

Visit https://www.papi.org.uk/

The Employment Hub

Whether you need to recruit quickly to keep up with the demands of COVID-19 or you have employees at risk of redundancy, the Employment Hub can help your business through free impartial support.

  • Quickly find new employees through the Employment Hub talent matching service. Tell us your recruitment needs and we will find and introduce you to candidates suitable for the role.
  • Access support for employees who are at risk of or facing redundancy. Refer staff to the Employment Hub where we can support them in finding alternative employment.

If you need help with either of these issues, please book a free introduction call with a business engagement officer who will discuss your needs and offer you a tailored package of support. Find out more and book a call today.

Skills Service

Access to online learning, and financial incentives to undertake training, via the further education (FE) colleges of the City Region and private providers. Find out more.

Investment Readiness: webinar programme

The LEP is delivering a series of six free webinars to help businesses to understand government support schemes and the range of investment options available to help with the impact of COVID-19.

The 90-minute webinars are practical and led by experts from Garbutt + Elliott and Grant Thornton. All sessions are live and include an opportunity for Q&A.

Webinars are delivered by Winning Pitch on behalf of the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership, Investment Readiness programme. Find out more and sign up.

Manufacturing Recovery Plan

Developed by the University of Huddersfield in collaboration with the LEP and key strategic partners, the scheme supports manufacturing SMEs across Leeds City Region to recover and build long-term resilience with a three-stage approach; stabilise, recover, growth. Find out more.

Department for International Trade Webinars

The Department for International Trade are running a series of webinars to help businesses through coronavirus.

Business can register via great.gov.uk where all recorded webinars are hosted. DIT is also working with partners to take the usual schedule of events online.

There is also a significant programme of webinars from other government departments, including HM Revenue and Customs and the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. The webinars are listed in additional government resources to support your business during coronavirus disruptions.

https://www.digitalenterprise.co.uk/digital-knowledge/events/For wider DIT Support https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/department-for-international-trade/about-our-services

NATIONAL SUPPORT:

For all the latest up to date government guidance on Coronavirus support for businesses, please visit the hub on GOV.UK.

Not sure which financial support schemes you may be eligible for? Use the business support finder to find out.

*NEW* Coronavirus Bounce Back Loan Scheme – Applications are now being taken

The Bounce Back Loan scheme will help small and medium-sized businesses to borrow between £2,000 and £50,000.

The government will guarantee 100% of the loan and there won’t be any fees or interest to pay for the first 12 months.

Loan terms will be up to 6 years. No repayments will be due during the first 12 months. The government will work with lenders to agree a low rate of interest for the remaining period of the loan.

The scheme will be delivered through a network of accredited lenders.

Eligibility

You can apply for a loan if your business:

  • is based in the UK
  • has been negatively affected by coronavirus

Who cannot apply

The following businesses are not eligible to apply:

  • banks, insurers and reinsurers (but not insurance brokers)
  • public-sector bodies
  • state-funded primary and secondary schools

If you’re already claiming funding

You cannot apply if you’re already claiming under the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS).

If you’ve already received a loan of up to £50,000 under CBILS and would like to transfer it into the Bounce Back Loan scheme, you can arrange this with your lender until 4 November 2020.

How to apply

The full rules of the scheme and guidance on how to apply is available on the British Business Bank website.

NATIONAL FUNDING AND SUPPORT

Coronavirus (COVID-19) support is available to businesses

  • Loans, tax relief and cash grants are available
  • Employers can apply for staff to get up to 80% pay if they can’t work
  • Self-employed people can receive up to £2,500 per month in grants for at least 3 months

Funding and support

Self-employed people and sole traders

Your responsibilities as an employer

How to run your business safely

What businesses should be closed.

All coronavirus business support information on GOV.UK

Yorkshire fashion designer says ‘slow’ may become the fashion

A top fashion designer who came back to her Yorkshire roots to launch a high-end brand says the current lockdown may change the way people shop.

Sonya Bachra-Byrne, who is originally from Bradford, travelled the world working at top fashion houses for 18 years, before coming back to West Yorkshire to launch AVIE with her husband Liam last year.

Based in Leeds, the company specialises in ‘slow fashion’, or clothing that is stylish and lasts, as opposed to the ‘fast fashion’ of many high street brands.

AVIE, which was named ‘Emerging Brand of 2019’ in the prestigious Drapers Independent Awards and invited to exhibit at Paris Fashion Week 2020, has been given business support by AD:VENTURE, a  programme for new businesses in North and West Yorkshire funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).

Sonya said: “In the current situation, if you look at the sales figures, consumerism seems to be changing and it is more about buying less and buying better quality that will last longer. People are slowly moving away from the fast fashion of the high street and buying investment pieces that transcend seasons.

“As a brand we also strive to work with sustainable fabrications from natural fibres where possible, created with less chemicals. So, the environment benefits too.”

AVIE manufactures ethical luxury clothing aimed at women professionals, particularly those in the creative industries, with samples made in London and manufacturing in Europe. But Sonya hopes one day to move the manufacturing nearer to home.

The original idea for the brand started when Sonya was working in New York with celebrity clients like Demi Moore, Jessica Alba and Helen Hunt. The plans slowly grew as she travelled the world, working in countries like Spain, Italy and Denmark, before finally ending up in Australia as head of global design.

“My own experience gave me the idea for the brand. At the level I was working at I needed to look the part to be taken seriously as I could be presenting to a board of directors who were all men for example. I needed to have authority and style without looking like a fashion victim.

“And then I took a little bit from each country I had worked in. For example, New York is polished with an attitude and Denmark is effortlessly edgy and minimalistic. So, when I came back to the UK, I had a clear idea of where I wanted the business to be and who I was targeting.”

But as a start-up business, AVIE needed to make the right impression to be taken seriously. This is where AD:VENTURE came to Sonya’s aid with advice and funding. The company was given a grant to pay for top-end portable photographic equipment, which meant Sonya and Liam, who is a photographer and videographer, could set up professional photoshoots in impressive locations.

The pictures from those shoots literally opened doors for the company, with the invitations to Paris Fashion Week and an invitation from an exclusive online German marketplace for sustainable fashion.

AVIE also trades online via its own website and, when they are open, through independent boutiques in Leeds and London.

Sonya said: “I can’t believe how far we have come as a business already and a lot of that is thanks to the support from AD:VENTURE. Working with them was a catalyst that propelled us forward as a business. My AD:VENTURE mentor was amazing at putting us in touch with the right people and the grant really helped us get to the next level. Without that support I think I would have struggled for the next four or five years.”

AD:VENTURE  funding and delivery partners are from across the Leeds City Region and include the regions nine local authorities.

Councillor Judith Blake, leader of Leeds City Council said: “Avie are a fantastic example of how business support programmes can give exciting local businesses the tools they need to grow, which in turn creates jobs and prosperity for the region.

“With the current challenges affecting businesses, we would urge them now more than ever to get in touch and access programmes like AD:VENTURE, and make sure they are taking advantage of support available to them to put them in the best possible position to thrive and find new ways through these unprecedented times we find ourselves in.”

To find out more about Avie, visit avie-studio.com.

Bradford Northern Max 3 Business Accelerator Programme Underway!

Northern Max 3, a specialist business support programme for digital and technology firms in the Leeds/Bradford area, is now well underway.

Launched by Cllr Alex Ross-Shaw, Bradford Council’s Portfolio Holder for Regeneration, Planning and Transport, this fully funded business support programme, running across a period of ten weeks, started on 23 April.  A virtual room full of 15 early stage digital and technology businesses learned about business model innovation, got to know each other, met with their mentors and absorbed the breadth and depth of support on offer.  As a reaction to the COVID-19 crisis the organisers of Northern Max 3, Greenborough Management (upon whose 10×10 programme Northern Max is modelled), have also offered to support a further 6 local businesses who were not quite eligible for the full programme.

Week 2, which included a fascinating insight into the life and career of local entrepreneur, Jag Panesar of Xpand Marketing, built on the foundations of week 1 with a workshop focused on goal setting, vision and objectives.

Northern Max 3 is being delivered virtually 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). It forms part of AD:VENTURE’s pledge to continue to support businesses using online tools despite the pandemic.

Michelle Davis, who heads up the 10×10 team at Greenborough, said: “We are delighted with the interest in the programme.  We had nearly 30 great applicants for what was originally 12 places.  Working with our colleagues from Bradford Council we were excited to be able to increase our cohort to 15, as well as to be able to offer access to much of the support to a further 6 local businesses.

“The level of engagement from the participants has already been great, and the feedback from them about the first 2 weeks has been really positive.  We look forward to making a difference to businesses from Bradford and the wider Leeds City Region.”

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

AD:VENTURE launches webinar series

A support programme for new businesses in North and West Yorkshire is moving its events online during the coronavirus lockdown.

AD:VENTURE supports pre-start and new businesses with growth potential with a mix of offerings, including mentoring, events and access to finance.

Since the programme started at the end of 2016, AD:VENTURE, which is funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), has helped more than 3,000 businesses and individuals in the Leeds City Region, and approved over 160 grants to help start-up businesses grow.

Sarah Carling, AD:VENTURE programme manager, said: “Covid-19 and the lockdown has meant we have had to re-think a lot of how we deliver our support, but I am clear it is vital we continue to back the fantastic businesses we have here in the Leeds City Region.

“We’ve run a series of over 350 events successfully since the start of the programme. We know that participants really value both the content and the chance to engage with other businesses that these events provide.

“So rather than stop the events, we are moving our offering online with a series of webinars. But we are not just changing the delivery platform, we are also adapting what we cover to ensure they really support businesses and help address the particular challenges they are currently facing.”

The first webinar is on Tuesday April 21 and is called: “Reviewing and re-setting your marketing strategy during the COVID-19 outbreak”. Other webinars, which are free to join for eligible businesses, will cover topics including business resilience, effective negotiation, using LinkedIn and working effectively remotely. They can be booked via the AD:VENTURE website: https://ad-venture.org.uk/events/

Businesses are also still able to access one-to-one mentoring and other support from AD:VENTURE during the lockdown.

Partners of AD:VENTURE include the region’s nine local authorities, the Business Enterprise Fund and the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership, with businesses also able to access academic input through programmes delivered by higher education partners, Leeds Beckett University and Leeds Trinity University.

USEFUL DIGITAL PRODUCTS FOR BUSINESS OWNERS AND STARTUPS

UPDATED – 29.4.2020 with new events

I think it’s fair to say all of us are feeling the strain of the changes we’ve had to make recently. The personal and emotional sacrifices made to help our loved ones and NHS staff stay safe, and the phenomenal challenges this outbreak has presented to businesses.

For those just starting out in business (and I talk to a lot of you amazing, passionate and inspirational people on a daily basis), it’s harder than ever.

How do you progress in these circumstances? How can you still work on your business and do something practical.

How do you stay motivated to even do that?

One way to look at this is much like we have all been doing in our personal lives. How many people have you spoken to who’ve learned something new over the past few weeks? As a nation we’ve learned to home school the kids, learnt to bake, learnt to use virtual technology to stay in touch with our families and colleagues, learnt new ways to exercise. I’ve taught my mother to use Whatsapp on facetime to 4 people. She’s delighted!!

So, I guess my point here is that as difficult as all of this is, a challenge presents an opportunity.

In my work as AD:VENTURE marketing and communications manager, I’ve found or been sent some useful digital products for business owners and start ups over the last week or so that you can use to develop yourself and your business.

All of it is free, and it could help you to work on areas of your business or your skills that will put you in a stronger position as we enter the recovery stages.

So, in no particular order, here they are:

  • AD:VENTURE BUSINESS SUPPORT

It would be remiss of me not to mention that our support provision is still available, for anyone starting or scaling a business from 0-3 years trading.

If you want to talk to an advisor and get some hands on advice and support you can register at www.ad-venture.org.uk/register

Our first series of Webinars are now available to book!

AD:VENTURE Webinar Events

May 2020

6 May Reviewing and re-setting your marketing strategy and activity during the COVID-19 outbreak

7 May Business Resilience 

12 May Pitching your Business

14 May Mapping & Maximising your Customer Journey Part 1 

15 May Mapping & Maximising your Customer Journey Part 2 

19 May LinkedIn 

20 May Effective negotiation and closing

22 May Reviewing and re-setting your marketing strategy and activity during the COVID-19 outbreak

27 May Power of the telephone Part 1 

28 May Power of the telephone Part 2

Keep an eye on upcoming events HERE

  • PAPI

The workshop programme consists of 2 days delivery, they are happening on the 5th/13th May, and then conclude during the week of 18th May.

The 2 day events will still be focussed on business innovation and include the following content:

  • Leading business growth advice, support & expertise specific to you & your business, via one-to-one & small group sessions online
  • A small mastermind community of like-minded entrepreneurs & environment of mutual support
  • Focused, practical online sessions – designed for you – on topics such as:
  • Financing your business, cashflow and available support – inc. product & process innovation grants
  • Making decisions that are right for now & the future
  • When & how to pivot
  • and much more…

The programme will be facilitated by Dr Jo North, all delegates will receive tailored support and coaching from Jo throughout the process. The structure of day 2 will be a “pick and mix” approach and consist of a variety of workshops on business innovation topics

Register your interest here:
Register your interest – 5th May
Register your interest – 13th May
If you would like more information, please contact us at papi-innovation@york.ac.uk.

  • BT BUSINESS SUPPORT

BT have created a series of webinars to help small business owners and their employees on a wide range of topics including digital marketing, using collaboration tools and how to get a business online. These have been developed by BT alongside partners including Small Business Britain and Google Digital Garage.  List of webinars and registration link below

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/o/bt-skills-for-tomorrow-26823592931

  • AD:VENTURE DIGITAL LEARNING HUB

AD:VENTURE is working with Leeds Beckett University to provide free online resources to businesses during the coronavirus outbreak.

The content has been developed by academics from Leeds Beckett’s Business School and covers business planning, sales, leadership skills, marketing and pricing. Each masterclass contains a 15-minute video tutorial and provides suggested tasks to complete to put the learning into practice. To access just drop us an email and we will send you log in details

  • DIGITAL KNOWLEDGE EXCHANGE

The Digital Knowledge Exchange (DKE) has launched a new (fully-funded) webinar series for businesses in the Leeds city region. The webinars will provide expert insights on the use of digital solutions to increase productivity and competitiveness during the coronavirus (Covid-19) lockdown. The series has been designed to support businesses striving to become best placed when the nation returns to business as usual.

Phase one (April – May) will deliver webinar content based on trending topics within four main categories:

  • Customer Engagement
  • Business Resilience
  • Content Marketing
  • Digital Marketing Strategy

During each webinar, you will be able to communicate with fellow guests via a live chat feed, take away exclusive insights from our expert speakers and have any questions you may have answered.

To view the full webinar series and to book online, please visit www.digitalenterprise.co.uk/digital-knowledge/events/  or call a member of the DKE team on 0113 426 0535.

  • OPEN UNIVERSITY COURSES

Many Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are facing their toughest challenges to date due to Covid-19. Study these free business courses to help improve your skills and knowledge.

All of  courses are FREE and you can start them when you want, studying at your own pace.

Seriously, there are loads on here covering so many different topics that are business essentials, from marketing, strategy, innovation, resilience, finance.

Link HERE

  • BUSINESS AND IP CENTRE

Business & IP Centre Leeds is a one-stop source for all your business and intellectual property needs. They have some really useful events and their IP knowledge is extensive!

They draw on a wide range of resources and have extensive experience in dealing with business and intellectual property enquiries. They are members of the Europe-wide PATLIB network, the British Library’s Business & IP Centre network, and work closely with the West and North Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce and other partners.

  • Wednesday 6th May 5.30pm – 7pm Social Media for your business (delivered by Liz Cable) Webinar Book your free place:

    www.bipcleeds.eventbrite.co.uk

     

    After booking you will be sent a link to access the webinar

     

    free
    Monday 11th May 4pm – 5pm Finance for new business  (delivered by Gareth Allen, Red Sky Finance) Webinar Book your free place:

    www.bipcleeds.eventbrite.co.uk

     

    After booking you will be sent a link to access the webinar

     

    free
  • FREE BUSINESS COACHING SESSIONS – Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership

Thanks to a team of business professionals that have volunteered their time, we are offering SMEs FREE business coaching sessions to help with contingency planning for this period and beyond. Coaches will work with businesses to diagnose issues affecting them at the moment including people, suppliers and customers, finance and premises.

Interested? Email businesssupport@the-lep.com

  • INVESTOR READINESS FINANCE SEMINARS

The LEP’s Investment Readiness programme is working with our partners to provide additional support during Covid-19 via free of charge webinar sessions. The sessions include topics such as ‘Accessing Business Interruption Loans’ and ‘Tracking and Managing your Cash Flow’.

For more information on how to register for the webinars https://www.the-lep.com/business-support/growth-support/investment-readiness/

  • NORTHERN MAX PROGRAMME

Northern Max 3, will now be delivered online, and technology-oriented companies less than three years old are invited to take part.

The free business support programme 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 a focus on helping companies exploit opportunities when the COVID-19 restrictions are lifted, as well as an opportunity to pitch for potential investment at the end of the programme.

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

There you go!

Hopefully you will find some of this helpful. Do let me know if you have seen anything I’ve missed!

In addition to all of this, I strongly encourage you to look on LinkedIn and see what else is being shared – Lots of businesses are stepping up and offering their services for free to support each other in these difficult times.

A reminder also that there is a range of wider Government support available for businesses, self-employed individuals and charities.

The Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership are acting as a key point of contact for businesses in Leeds City Region.

You can find out latest updates and contact details if you have a question at https://www.the-lep.com/business-support/covid-19-support-for-businesses/

Feel free to contact me at daneile.moore@leeds.gov.uk or our team at AD:VENTURE on at support@ad-venture.org.uk

Stay safe, and try and stay positive,

Daneile Moore / AD:VENTURE

Leeds bicycle delivery service is on the right track

An eco-friendly delivery service in Leeds is on a roll after launching on the first day of the coronavirus lockdown.  

Dabble launched on 23 March, the same day the government announced the lockdown to combat COVID:19. The company use bicycles to provide a delivery service for a range of shops around Chapel Allerton, enabling customers to continue supporting local businesses even if they can’t physically reach their premises. The aim is to provide customers with a weekly shop from a range of local shops. 

Dabble managing director Sam Leather said: “We’ve been planning the business since last year, but we pushed the launch forward because of the current demand for home delivery. During these uncertain times, we feel we can provide a vital service to the community and support local businesses at a time when they really need it. We have a captive audience and hopefully they will continue to use our services in the future when the world eventually returns to normal.” 

Dabble was founded by Sam and Joe Clough, who were inspired by the bustling community of the High Street in Chapel Allerton.  

Shops can list their products on Dabble’s website, and the firm will organise the delivery.  Sam said“We can take away that hassle and business owners can spend more time on developing their products. It’s great that we can help companies reach customers they wouldn’t usually be able to reach.” 

Sam believes the service Dabble provide can help reduce unnecessary journeys and help people who are vulnerable or self-isolating“People in the area are looking to make a positive step. We had a customer who said he is happy to pay more for delivery as he sees the benefit to the environment as well as the convenience.” 

Sam and Joe eventually want to be able to roll the service out further. “We are hoping that we can support more shops and establish ourselves in other parts of North Leeds,” Sam added. Long-term, we hope to work with farmers to help Leeds become a more self-sufficient city.” 

With the support of Leeds Beckett University and AD:VENTURE, a business support programme for new businesses in North and West Yorkshire funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF)Sam and Joe have benefited from masterclasses in sales and marketing and met like minded entrepreneurs. 

“I studied business at university, so the free masterclasses were a brilliant refresher and it was great to be around other business people,” Sam said. 

“To anyone who is looking for business support, I’d definitely recommend AD:VENTURE. It’s an amazing support network and can open up opportunity right on your doorstep.” 

Kirstie Frenneaux, Project Manager at Leeds Beckett University, said: “It’s great to see a small business like Dabble providing a vital service to their community in these challenging times. It’s more important than ever that services like this are available and I fully expect that Dabble will continue to expand and thrive when the pandemic is over.  

This is a great example of the effect that the support we provide in partnership with AD:VENTURE can have on exciting new businesses in Leeds.” 

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

AD:VENTURE launches free online masterclasses from Leeds Beckett University

AD:VENTURE is working with Leeds Beckett University to provide free online resources to businesses during the coronavirus outbreak. 

The Digital Learning Hub is a free resource providing online masterclasses, tips and advice to young businesses who want to improve their skills and knowledge. It has been developed by Leeds Beckett University in partnership with AD:VENTUREa business support programme for new businesses in North and West Yorkshire funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). 

The content has been developed by academics from Leeds Beckett’s Business School and covers business planning, sales, leadership skills, marketing and pricing. Each masterclass contains a 15-minute video tutorial and provides suggested tasks to complete to put the learning into practice. 

The resources are aimed at businesses in the Leeds City Region from pre start-up to three years old and can be accessed on any PC or mobile device. 

Kirstie Frenneaux, Leeds Beckett University Project Manager, said: “The Digital Learning Hub was being developed before the COVID-19 outbreak, but in light of the current situation and the crippling effect it is having on our small businesses, it’s more important than ever that these resources are available.  

“The masterclasses will provide an opportunity for growing business leaders to continue learning and planning during these challenging times and ensure that they are prepared for when the region begins to recover from this pandemic.” 

The Digital Learning Hub has been developed in partnership with Candle Digital, an online learning platform provider based in Halifax. The company was successful in the procurement process and works with several clients in the US and China. In the early days of the business, Candle Digital received AD:VENTURE support to help it to grow. 

Mark Langdale, co-director at Candle Digital, said: “We can’t recommend AD:VENTURE or Leeds Beckett University enough. The support we have received is far beyond anything we could ever have expected. We would suggest to any start-up or young business that they investigate the advice, guidance and sessions that are on offer and make the most of them.” 

For more details on the Digital Learning Hubbusinesses should contact their AD:VENTURE advisor or register onto the programme at www.ad-venture.org.uk/register. 

Bradford Northern Max programme goes virtual

A business support programme for digital and technology firms in Bradford is switching to virtual delivery due to the coronavirus pandemic. 

Northern Max 3, which is in its third year, will now be delivered online, and technology-oriented companies less than three years old are invited to take part. 

The free business support programme 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 a focus on helping companies exploit opportunities when the COVID-19 restrictions are lifted, as well as 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. Forty 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.  

“Now more than ever, we need to ensure our small businesses get the support they need, so  they are prepared to drive growth as we recover from the effects of COVID-19. That’s why we are moving this fantastic support programme online to make sure that nobody misses out. 

“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, will give businesses the crucial support network they need and that will ultimately benefit Bradford and the wider region as we emerge from the current crisis.” 

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 virtually 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). It forms part of AD:VENTURE’s pledge to continue to support businesses using online tools despite the pandemic. 

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.  

“The workshops will be engaging, interactive and relevant to businesses needing to make the most of commercial opportunities as the economy recovers from the effects of COVID-19. The 10×10 team have great experience of delivering programs remotely and are looking forward to making a difference to businesses from Bradford and the wider Leeds City Region.” 

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