Tag: Business Development


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:


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 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



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


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.


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.



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:



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


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



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


  • 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


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 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

Bradford Company Celebrates Shed Load Of Orders

Bradford Company Celebrates Shed Load Of Orders

Tuesday 19th November 2019

A manufacturer in Bradford is producing shed loads of orders thanks to new state-of-the-art machinery.

Power Sheds, based on Euroway Trading Estate, was set up in April by entrepreneurs Jack Sutcliffe and Simon Hodson. In the first month they manufactured 15 sheds but are now producing up to 400 per month and still growing. The pair are aiming to triple the size of the company within the next year, including recruiting more staff.

Power Sheds has already started to develop partnerships with garden centres who are now selling their sheds around the UK.

The company has developed a pallet which forms the base of every shed it produces. The panels are flat-packed and delivered for customers to assemble themselves, meaning the time taken to manufacture each shed is significantly reduced.

Jack said: “I know from experience working in the industry that the average time from ordering a shed to delivery is four to five weeks, but we guarantee the customer will receive our sheds within three working days.”

The company has been able to speed up manufacturing thanks to a new automated saw, which cuts the timber to the correct length. The purchase of the saw has been supported by a £6000 grant from AD:VENTURE, a business support program for new businesses in North and West Yorkshire funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). The new equipment means that Power Sheds are now looking to expand into Europe.

“Having the new saw has streamlined the cutting process which has freed up people to do other things,” Jack added. “It’s made a massive difference to the way we operate because we are no longer restricted by our capacity.

“From a sales perspective we don’t expect it to be difficult to reach our target of tripling in size. It’s just being able to meet the demand which we have struggled with, so the new equipment is helping us in that respect.”

Steve Hartley, Strategic Director for Bradford Council, said: “It’s fantastic to see a local company identifying a gap in the market and enjoying huge growth as a result of that. “Bradford Council is delighted to be a partner in the AD:VENTURE programme. We understand the importance of supporting the growth of start-ups and Power Sheds is a great example of how valuable that support can be for our local businesses.”

Story taken from: https://www.businessupnorth.co.uk/

Business Woman Swaps Smart Suits For Smartphone

After a successful career as a Sales Director, travelling the world and enjoying a healthy package, a desire to try new things and push her personal boundaries led Michelle Cowan to review her priorities.

Putting her passport to one side, Michelle took the opportunity to spend time with friends, family and associates before deciding what to do next.

It was during these conversations she recognised that there were three simple things stopping smaller organisations and start-ups from using social media for business; time, the cost of hiring an agency and creativity.

Eighteen months later, with a business partner and thanks to lots of hard work, Michelle launched My SMART App, a downloadable app that based on a user’s preferences can create, schedule and post content to Twitter and Facebook business pages.

Available from Google and Apple App Stores, the product uses content that is based on days of the week, awareness days, weeks, months and key UK events making it ideal for businesses that target a consumer facing audience.

Furthermore, the device allows the user to customise the pre-prepared posts, to add personality and use the correct tone of voice for the business, while also accepting unique content too, supporting smaller organisations as they build their brand and presence online.

Michelle comments: “If someone had told me two years ago that I would be running my own organisation and that it would solve a problem and meet with the challenges that are faced by other small businesses I would have thought they were crackers!

“As it stands, that’s exactly what has happened. I’ve had a lot of help along the way, not least from business support services such as AD:VENTURE, and can see that taking the time to attend workshops, sessions and networking has all been worth it. Knowing that we have a product that is available for download is really exciting!”

The My SMART App is available for download with a 60-day free trial and then a monthly cost of just £8.49. For further details please visit www.mysmartapp.co.uk