Category: News

BEF helps award-winning Agency for Good to grow

The Bradford-based marketing company is set to increase its impact thanks to a £3k Start Up loan from BEF.

Rich Sutcliffe is the founder of Agency for Good, an award-winning social purpose consultancy, web and creative marketing agency based in Bradford, West Yorkshire.

Agency for Good provide consultancy, web and creative services to start-ups and social purpose organisations, ethically and for less.

Good by name and by purpose, they provide six hours of free marketing consultancy to social purpose organisations to help them create more impact. They can then provide lower cost services including web design, graphic design and other marketing and digital services. They also provide these services to start-ups at better rates than the norm.

Since their launch in January 2019, Agency for Good have helped over 70 social purpose organisations and have 30 paying clients including North Invest, DigiBete and Bradford Hospitals Charity. Agency for Good have saved their clients thousands in fees meaning they can use their funds better and on the front line.

Rich said: “I love helping those who need the most help. The fact I can use my experience and skills to help others is amazing. I can shape something that has my values to create a greater impact in society.”

Keen to capitalise on their short-term success and the good press they were receiving, Agency for Good approached BEF for a Start Up loan in June 2019.

“We needed to redevelop our own site which had not been changed since day one due to time constraints.” Rich said, “We also needed additional funds for our own marketing and events to ensure sustainability over the long term.”

Thanks to a £3,000 Start Up loan delivered by BEF in July 2019, the redesign of the Agency for Good website is nearing completion. They have purchased long-term marketing materials for use at events and workshops, established an events marketing plan and set aside funds to help with any short term cashflow problems that may arise.

Since receiving the Start Up loan, Agency for Good won the New Business of the Year for Bradford Award at the Bradford Means Business Awards. They were also runner up for New Business of the Year at the Keighley and Airedale Awards.

“The Start Up loan allows us to keep creating social impact but ensure profitability.” Rich said, “Working with Josh was great, and he was enthusiastic about our business model, in all honesty the process was that quick and simple that it consisted of a few emails and a short meeting.”

Rich’s advice for other companies who face similar challenges is: “Don’t panic, think it through and assess as many options as possible. There is always someone out there that can help. Build a good network of trusted people around you.”

Josh Kelly, Start Up Loans Manager at BEF, said: “It was a pleasure to support Rich whose knowledge, experience and focus on social impact makes a real and meaningful difference to the customers he serves. Our support will enable Agency for Good to grow sustainably and impact more social purpose organisations and the communities they serve.”

For more information on Agency for Good visit https://agencyforgood.co.uk.


Looking for finance to start your own business in the creative sector? Our Start Up loans team is here to help.

REGION’S BUSINESS GROWTH TO ACCELERATE THANKS TO UNIVERSITY PROGRAMME

Leeds Beckett University has announced the launch of a new accelerator to support the growth of businesses based across the Leeds City Region.

Accelerate is a new six-month business growth programme for the region’s businesses and will launch in September 2019. Delivered as part of the successful ERDF funded programme, AD:VENTURE, Accelerate is specifically designed to help ambitious early stage businesses unlock their full growth potential.

Businesses accessing the support through Accelerate will benefit from a key account manager to provide guidance and support; a diagnostic to help identify strengths and weaknesses and professionally delivered masterclasses covering key topics such as planning for growth and strategic sales and marketing.

The programme also offers individuals up to 12 hours of one to one assistance from Leeds Beckett University and industry experts, as well as opportunities to discuss additional support such as funding and grants.

Leeds Beckett University Business Engagement Manager, Deborah Hetherington, comments: “In order for the Leeds City Region to continue to prosper as a result of such a diverse range of start-up businesses and entrepreneurs, we must nurture and guide them through the unpredictable and often difficult early stages.

“Accelerate will not only create structured support services to help businesses grow, create new jobs and attract a wide range of talent to the region, it will also assist in establishing new specialisms and sectors.

“With so many new and exciting organisations coming through, it reinforces our region as one of the best places in the country to do business.”

The Accelerate programme is available to organisations that are aiming to grow and create jobs in the Leeds City Region; deliver products or services to other businesses rather than direct to the consumer; and any organisations looking for a structured programme, with flexible one to one support.

Candle Digital, is just one example of an organisation that has benefited from access to the AD:VENTURE programme. Set up by former colleagues Andy Jack and Mark Langdale, the company helps training providers transform their materials and expertise into digital products.

After starting the businesses Andy and Mark accessed AD:VENTURE Masterclasses and one to one support with Leeds Beckett academic Mark Copsey.

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

“We have a stronger understanding of who we are, why we’re doing this and who we should target. Rather than holding us back, the systems and processes that we now have in place have been a real catalyst for growth.”

For further details about the Accelerate programme or to register your interest, please visit https://ad-venture.org.uk/unisupport/accelerate/

TECH START-UP SET TO BE GLOBAL GRAND SLAM

A Leeds-based digital community and performance app for amateur tennis players is preparing for launch thanks to the guidance and support the founders received from AD:VENTURE, the ERDF funded programme supporting start-ups and scale ups throughout the Leeds City Region.

Founded by Cameron Almas and Jake Fox, WeTennis provides the sporting community with a platform that connects players together and allows them to track and display their performance stats against other enthusiasts.

Recognising that tennis players were being underserved by digital propositions, the founders developed a platform that uses match data to deliver advanced analytics and smart matchmaking allowing players to have a unique digital experience, accompanying their passion for the sport.

Understanding the importance of being surrounded by people with valuable experience and expertise, Cameron and Jake approached AD:VENTURE and were connected with professional Business Engagement Manager, Deborah Hetherington.

Jake comments: “I’m from a commercial background and Cameron’s past experience includes tennis retail, but as first-time founders of a business we needed to be connected with the right people to help validate the demand for WeTennis and also access support that could help us to make it happen.

“Deborah was an incredible help. Not only was she very informative and easily accessible, she also had access to a very diverse network of professionals. She connected us with Leeds Beckett University lecturer, Paul Rhodes, who acted as a mentor in the early days of WeTennis and helped us shape the value proposition and route-to-market strategy.”

Jake and Cameron also attended a one-day event in Halifax facilitated by AD:VENTURE, which was a “knowledge sprint” workshop offering a detailed insight into different areas of business, from product development, marketing and securing funds to name a few.

Along with the mentoring support, WeTennis also benefited from the work carried out by a team of students from Leeds Beckett University. The student team worked with WeTennis over a three-month period, conducting consumer market research in order to validate the demand for the product.

Jake comments: “The event in Halifax, which I saw as a ‘knowledge sprint’, showed us how to secure funding, market our product and the process of product development. Following this, the next step was to test and develop the WeTennis prototype.

“Once again, through Paul, a team of students from Leeds Beckett University collaborated with us for a three-month period, adding invaluable insight in how to tweak and change the app in preparation for its launch.”

Cllr Judith Blake, Leader of Leeds City Council, comments: “As well as accelerating the growth of established businesses across the Leeds City Region, the AD:VENTURE programme also helps empower budding entrepreneurs that are taking their first steps into launching brand new ventures.

“The Leeds City Region is becoming one of the UK’s leading hotspots for innovative, tech start-ups and WeTennis is no exception. Both Jake and Cameron are bringing to market an extremely exciting and unique offering, which is why the support, advice and guidance from AD:VENTURE has been so crucial.

“With such a diverse economy, it is great to know there is a programme in place that can offer expert support to start-ups and scale ups that helps them to grow and flourish.”

Following the early support received from AD:VENTURE, WeTennis built a well-rounded business plan which then helped secure £40,000 funding from the Business Enterprise Fund. This funding has been used to build the first version of the WeTennis app and the company has now established partnerships with clubs and universities in the UK and USA.

With the ability to record games, track and display performance analytics and interact with other players, WeTennis is aiming to become sports newest global digital community.

Find out more information about the WeTennis app here: https://wetennis.app/. To find out about the practical and funding support that can be accessed through AD:VENTURE please visit: www.ad-venture.org.uk.

Access Hospitality on shaking up the hospitality service sector with AD:VENTURE.

Stuart Hill set up to Access Hospitality, to enable adults with learning disabilities to gain fulfilling, paid employment in the hospitality sector. He looked to AD:VENTURE for support and guidance to help grow his business.

Stuart explains his connection with AD:VENTURE and how the programme helped his business.

“The reason that this came about is around 4 years ago I set up a rugby team for adults with disabilities, and a couple of the lads that play on our team expressed an interest in working behind the club bar.”

“We went away and looked at what the barriers to that role were and how we could reduce or remove those to enable the job to be fulfilling and for them to be efficient in a service role, and the support that I have got from AD:Venture has been fantastic to help me with this project.”

“First of all, I am not from a business background, I’m a teacher by trade and so although I knew the user group and I knew the problem, I didn’t know how to formulize that into an effective business plan and I didn’t know enough about individual areas of specialisms or expertise to be able to move it forward.”

“AD:Venture supported me in helping me attend the Bradford Council Northern Max Accelerator programme which got lots of specialists together over a 3 month period and I came out of that having absolutely transformed the idea from ‘How do I get a couple of lads at a local sports and community club working behind the bar?’ to ‘Actually, this programme could support jobs in national hospitality chains, it could work across different sectors.’”

“There was a challenge there on my thinking towards the idea and growing the idea, but then I have worked on the building blocks to put in place to let me know how I could go about doing that.”

“One of the things that I don’t have in setting up a business is time and going to lots of networking events, to eventually get to the right people, was frustrating and having Eric as a business advisor has managed to cut through that.”

“The advice that I have had has been from either experts in their field, or people with years of experience, so it’s been hugely beneficial.”

“I have now got an office at the Leeds Beckett University Business Centre for 6 months and compared with working at home, where there are lots of distractions, having an office space a shared office space with inspiring people around me has made me much more productive.”

“In terms of the business and where it goes, it’s now very open, so we are testing lots of different sectors, we are testing lots of different markets and that’s exciting because rather than just having a one dimensional plan, we feel we have got a stronger plan, that has different income streams identified and different opportunities.”

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

 

Growth of innovative online food delivery brand

A Leeds business is targeting poor productivity and food waste by delivering delicious fresh, nutritionally balanced meals to workers across Leeds city centre. And now, it wants to take its innovative model to workplaces across the UK with a bid for £120,000 in crowdfunding.

Lean Lunch delivers chef-made dishes by bike to hundreds of time-poor workers across Leeds who are looking for a healthier, tastier alternative to uninspiring sandwich and crisps meal deals. And while it has seen phenomenal demand from individual customers, 70 per cent of its sales come from businesses, as firms like Sky, Arla and Burberry realise the benefits of focusing on their teams’ health, through healthier meeting catering or offering lunches as wellbeing perks for their teams.

Lean Lunch, which launched in 2017, is on course to organically double its turnover in 2019, and it is now looking to secure funding to grow its customer base in Yorkshire and replicate its successful model in other UK cities.

Founder Sat Mann came up with the idea for Lean Lunch after shopping for and preparing a healthy lunch to eat in the office became time consuming and uninspiring. The business, run by Sat and his wife Charlotte, is committed to a more sustainable way of eating that creates healthier people and a healthier planet and that helps businesses educate and support their teams to eat better now and in the future. Because meals are made to order, there’s no over-production, chefs use locally sourced ingredients wherever possible to reduce food miles, and because most deliveries are within a few of miles of the Lean Lunch kitchen in Kirkstall, they’re nearly all done by cargo bike. Plus, all Lean Lunch’s packaging is 100% recyclable or compostable.

Lean Lunch is the first and only online food business in the north dedicated to wellbeing and sustainability, tapping in to growing demand from consumers for better, less processed food that’s convenient but doesn’t have a negative effect on the planet. Lean Lunch meals use all natural ingredients, including only natural occurring sugars, are low in salt and contain no preservatives. The range includes vegan, gluten-free and dairy free options and takes its inspiration from cuisines from across the world.

“Eating highly processed food is harming our health and the health of the planet,” says Sat.

“And the problem isn’t just the junk we eat, it’s the nutritious food we don’t eat. Research shows that employees with poor diets are 66 per cent more likely to see reductions in productivity than those who have a nutritious, balanced diet, and 75 per cent of adults struggle to achieve their five-a-day.

“So, we’ve created a fresh, convenient alternative to pre-packed lunches that help maintain energy levels and deliver at least three of your five a day, with restaurant quality taste and variety that you just couldn’t make at home.

“We’re committed to inspiring and empowering people living in busy city environments to make better choices for their wellbeing and the wellbeing of the planet, and to supporting people to eat more healthily and sustainably.”

Both the menus and software used to order meals have been developed in-house by the Lean Lunch team and they’ve got big ambitions for the future. Lean Lunch wants to create a model that can be easily replicated, so the Leeds model can be recreated in other locations across the UK.

“We want to refine the ordering process to make it truly personalised,” says Sat.

“Currently, you can filter by dietary requirements, but we’d like to be able to automate this so you get menu recommendations based on your personal preferences.

“We’d love to develop an app and have a fleet of electric vehicles that can deliver to industrial parks and offices outside of the city centre too.”

For more information on the crowdfunding campaign or to arrange interviews, contact Sat Mann on 0113 4032162,

07399 456020 or sat@leanlunch.co.uk. To invest, go to crowdcube.com/leanlunch   

In a year, Lean Lunch has:

  • Made more than 40,000 meals
  • Doubled production from 5,375 in Q1 of 2018 to 10,530 in Q1 of 2019
  • Increased revenue by 380 per cent from 2017 to 2019 (£7k Q1 2017, £34k Q1 2019).
  • Secured 65 per cent of orders from repeat customers
  • Generated £108K of turnover in 2018 and on course to double that in 2019
  • Created ambitious plans to increase its reach in Leeds and expand to other UK cities

How Lean Lunch works:

  • Meals are devised by a chef with the help of a nutritionist to include at least three of your five a day and balanced macros
  • You can order meals up to 10 days ahead and at least one day before
  • Choose your dietary requirements and pick how often you want meals delivered
  • Ingredients are sourced in just the right quantity from local suppliers
  • Meals are prepared fresh in exactly the right quantities and delivered via a fleet of cargo cycles within the boundaries of Leeds city centre
  • You can order single meals, cater for five to 500 people or provide subsidised meals for your team
  • Meals range in price from £4 to £7 and include hot and cold options, including breakfast
  • The Lean Lunch team will run nutrition seminars and workshops to educate and inspire businesses and their teams

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.

Innovate UK releases 2019-2020 Delivery Plan

Innovate UK has today published its Delivery Plan for 2019-2020, alongside the other Councils within UK Research and Innovation (UKRI).

The Innovate UK plan is framed by 5 strategic goals:

  • deliver measurable economic and societal impact across the UK
  • support and invest in innovative businesses and entrepreneurs with the potential and ambition to grow
  • maximise the commercial impact of world-class knowledge developed in UK industries and its research base
  • identify, support and grow transforming and emerging industries through innovation
  • build a coherent, supportive environment incentivising R&D investment and enabling people and businesses to innovate

Call to innovate

As the UK’s innovation agency, Innovate UK has succeeded in investing over £2.2 billion more than 11,000 projects over the last 12 years. These have created as much as £16 billion in gross value added to the UK economy and 70,000 jobs.

Innovate UK is supporting the government’s Industrial Strategy commitment to increase R&D spending to 2.4% of gross domestic product (GDP) through the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund in further partnerships between businesses, researchers and government.

Dr Ian Campbell, Interim Executive Chair of Innovate UK, said:

To achieve the Government’s Industrial Strategy commitment to increase R&D spending to 2.4% of GDP by 2027, our new strategy takes more of an investment-driven approach to innovation.

It focuses much more closely on creating the conditions for private investment in R&D, on creating an enabling environment by championing and assisting industry to innovate, on nurturing the sectors and technologies that will transform the UK, and on encouraging innovation in all businesses with the potential to grow and scale, right across the country.

Throughout 2019 and 2020, Innovate UK will adopt new investment-focused approaches to financially support universities, the public sector and especially businesses, which account for two-thirds of all UK research and development (R&D).

Following the successful rollout of Innovation Loans and the Investment Accelerator, the Delivery Plan includes further work on new innovation finance options to boost the impact of government funding.

9 Delivery Plans across UKRI

Building on the Strategic Prospectus, published in May 2018, the UKRI 2019-2020 Delivery Plans detail how the Government’s target of 2.4% of GDP spend on research and innovation by 2027 will be guided by 6 themes:

  • business environment, with a focus on delivering projects with social, cultural and economic impact
  • places, supporting growth across the UK
  • ideas, developing disruptive and ground-breaking projects
  • people, investing in the skills and environment for innovation to thrive
  • infrastructure, ensuring access and investment in world-leading research
  • international, meeting global challenges and forming international partnerships

Professor Sir Mark Walport, UKRI Chief Executive, said:

The delivery plans announced today are the blueprints for UKRI’s ambition to deliver the future of research and innovation. They outline how we will address the major global and societal challenges of our time, catalyse collaboration and contribute to meeting the government’s ambitious 2.4% target.

Sir Mark will be discussing the delivery plans at a UKRI evening event at the University of Leeds today, as well as profile UKRI’s first year of operation.

Content from www.gov.uk/government/news 13.06.19

AD:VENTURE CELEBRATING 3 MORE YEARS OF INTENSIVE SUPPORT FOR REGIONS START-UPS

We are delighted to share the following news about our programme!

AD:VENTURE, our ERDF part funded programme supporting start-ups and scale-ups with practical support and match-funded grants, has been awarded an extension by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG).

Testament to the success of the programme, which has actively worked with over 1,513 businesses and 1,019 individuals, AD:VENTURE will now run to 2022, making it a six year programme with a value of £18.2m.

Engaging with 710 young people to explore enterprise or self-employment and delivering a schedule of more than 200 events, resulting in 287 additional jobs, the balance of both practical and grant assisted support delivered by professionals has provided significant benefits to business.

96 organisations have received match-funded grants since the programme launched in late 2016, with 125 approved projects representing a total combined worth of £2.3m, securing £665,849 from the AD:VENTURE programme.

Delivered by a consortium of public and private sector organisations, the programme offers tailored packages of support to start-up businesses throughout the Leeds City Region.

Access to workshops, seminars and specialist sessions is complemented by one-to-one assistance from professional Business Advisors, enabling personalised support tailored to the needs of each organisation and the challenges they are facing to growth and future success.

Chair of the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (LEP) and NP11, Roger Marsh OBE, comments: “The success of the AD:VENTURE programme really does tell its own story. The business community throughout the Leeds City Region is vibrant, diverse and growing. Having ongoing access to the support, advice and guidance from experts, as well as funding provision, can only enhance this further.

“Knowing that start-ups and young organisations are attending workshops and accessing the bespoke help that they need is reassuring. It shows that we have in place the provision we need to nurture entrepreneurship across our region and to become an example of best practice for others.”

Working with partners across Bradford, Calderdale, Craven, Harrogate, Kirklees, Leeds, Selby, Wakefield and York, the extension means the AD:VENTURE programme will continue to deliver the same model of support across each town and city.

Michael Burnham of Hydro-Flux in Batley 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.

Michael and Douglas Burnham, Hydro-Flux, Batley, Yorkshire

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 we were also able to approach the business with a different mindset”

Andy Jack and Mark Langdale, at Candle Digital, Leeds Beckett University Business Centre, Piece Mill, Halifax

Mark Langdale from Candle Digital, based in Halifax 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”

 

Helen Northard, who recently launched Human Spirit Ltd said “If 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!”

Director of Crimson Bear based in Craven, Paul Johnson, comments: “When we launched the business we always intended to grow but by accessing the AD:VENTURE programme we were able to move our plans forward and put them into practice far sooner. Thanks to the grant and the practical support we were able to benefit from, we are now on track to turnover £2m, which is excellent news.”

For further details about AD:VENTURE please visit www.ad-venture.org.uk and for regular updates follow @ADVENTURE_LCR.