Tag: Business Growth

BRADFORD BASED POWER SHEDS WINS PRESTIGIOUS LLOYDS BANK NATIONAL BUSINESS AWARD

Bradford Based Power Sheds was announced winner of the ‘Best New Business’ at the prestigious 2020 Lloyds Bank National Business Awards, which took place during a glittering online ceremony on 10 November.  Power Sheds were amongst a number of companies honoured at the event including a Formula One team and a TV baker.

The is the latest national award Power Sheds have won in 2020 following the eBay award for innovation and a Great British Entrepreneur award. Power Sheds, based on the Euroway Trading Estate, launched in 2019 manufacturing garden sheds.

Jack Sutcliffe, CEO of Power Sheds, said “We are enormously proud to have won a Lloyds Bank National Business Awards – this award represents the culmination of our hard work and dedication over the last 12 months.”

The Lloyds Bank Award Judges added “This is an exceptional growth story. Power Sheds has a good, innovative product and is tapping into a lucrative market. It was a clear winner.”

“2020 has been a challenging but inspiring year; a year where we’ve witnessed just how innovative and adaptive the UK business community can be, whether that means helping employees adjust to new ways of working or shifting production towards masks, ventilators and handwash. This year’s winners are testament to the creativity, agility and resilience that sets British business apart,” said Sarah Austin, Awards Director.

“When it comes to business recognition, the Lloyds Bank National Business Awards really are the ones to win, allowing successful individuals and organisations to tell their story, from large private and public companies, to thriving entrepreneurial businesses, promising start-ups and established SMEs, and what fantastic stories they are.”

Visit www.nationalbusinessawards.co.uk for more information.

Leeds digital agency doubles office space to keep up with demand

A Leeds digital marketing agency has doubled its office space and taken on more staff to keep up with demand during lockdown.

Wildfire Marketing, which was launched by Billy Foulkes and Neal Foster in 2018, has moved into new premises at Thorpe Park Business Park. The agency, which specialises in Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), has seen its turnover increase by 50 per cent since March.

The company, which has been given support by AD:VENTURE, a  programme for new businesses in North and West Yorkshire, funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), now employs seven full-time, with several regular freelancers, and has plans to take on more staff.

But Billy admitted the start of lockdown had been hard as clients looked to tighten their belts and cut back their marketing spend.

“It was tough, but by July we were back up and running again and the last few weeks in particular have been crazy on the sales front,” said Billy.

“I think at least part of that is because we offer a monthly rolling contract, rather than tying clients into a long-term retainer. It means clients know we will give them continual good service rather than sit back and just take their money.  A lot of people have been stung in the past by SEO companies, but we’re straightforward Yorkshire chaps and don’t work like that.”

As well as the office in Leeds, Wildfire Marketing has a base in London, with some clients down south, but most in Yorkshire. The agency, which also provides website development and social media management services, was shortlisted in the Start-up of the Year category in the Leeds Digital Festival Awards 2020.

Wildfire Marketing was given a £4,000 grant from AD:VENTURE to pay for equipment including a 60-inch TV screen to display work to clients, a sign, sofa and chairs in company colours, and new PCs and monitors for the growing team. They have also received mentoring support from an AD:VENTURE business coach.

Billy said: “The mentoring and guidance we have received through the AD:VENTURE programme has been invaluable to us as a young start-up business.

“Without the funding from AD:VENTURE the business wouldn’t be what it is today. Having a modern headquarters to show off to clients will help us establish ourselves as one of the top SEO agencies.”

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

Eve Roodhouse, Chief Officer Economic Development at Leeds City Council said: “It is impressive to see companies not just surviving, but also thriving during this difficult time, and I would like to congratulate Billy and Neal for all their hard work and initiative.

“It also shows that giving support to local businesses is vital, especially in in the current climate, and can help create much-needed jobs. Support programmes like AD:VENTURE are so important for the local economy.”

To find out more about AD:VENTURE go to https://ad-venture.org.uk/

For more information about Wildfire Marketing go to https://www.wild-fire.co.uk/seo-leeds/

Bradford based Power Sheds founders named Disruptors of the Year

Power Sheds Award Win

The founders of Power Sheds, Jack Sutcliffe and Simon Hobson, have been named Disruptors of the Year for the north west at the Great British Entrepreneur Awards.

Power Sheds, based on the Euroway Trading Estate in Bradford, manufactures garden sheds, potting sheds and bike sheds.

Now in its eighth year, the Great British Entrepreneur Awards in partnership with Starling Bank celebrate the hard work and inspiring stories of entrepreneurs in the UK, rather than the business’ balance sheet.

The category looked for purpose-driven pioneers of change who spot the gaps and problem areas in markets to bring solutions that make our lives better – someone who brings unique, alternative products and practices that improve their sector and disrupt the status quo.

With Covid-19 restrictions preventing the regional finals taking place at a live event, Jack and Simon won the award during a virtual award ceremony joined by finalists across every region.

In a video message to finalists, Chancellor Rishi Sunak said: “Entrepreneurs have shown they stay strong, even during a global pandemic. Coronavirus hasn’t stifled enterprise.

“Entrepreneurs are creating new businesses and adapting to the crisis, as seen in this year’s entries. And that’s what we need to happen if we want our economy to bounce back. We need all of you to keep inventing, keep taking risks, keep creating new businesses.

“It’s my job as Chancellor to celebrate, champion and support you.

“Congratulations to all the winners. Thank you to all of you for everything you’ve done.”

Francesca James, founder of the Great British Entrepreneur Awards, said: “Jack and Simon have a wonderful entrepreneurial story and I’m delighted for them to win this award. I’ll be keeping a very close eye on what they do in the years to come and look forward to welcoming them to the community.”

Anne Boden, founder and CEO of Starling Bank, said: “We’re entrepreneurs and we have spirit. We fight back and we’re very good at dealing with adversity. And Jack and Simon are an example to us all, of entrepreneurs that are creative, innovative, and changing the world.

“I’m so excited that Starling, a business I founded in 2014 and now the Best British Bank, is sponsoring such an important Awards. And as one entrepreneur to another, congratulations to getting where you are this evening and best of luck for the future.”

The winners of each category will now go to the National Final of the Great British Entrepreneur Awards, with a date to be announced due to restrictions on large events.

Wakefield businesses given support to survive and thrive

Entrepreneurs  in Wakefield are being encouraged to join a programme of business support to help them survive and thrive in a post-Covid world.

The series of online events and one-to-one mentoring is open to all Wakefield business under three-years-old and is being run by Wakefield Metropolitan District Council and AD:VENTURE, a support programme for businesses in North and West Yorkshire.

Cllr Darren Byford, Wakefield Council’s cabinet member for Economic Growth and Regeneration said: “Now more than ever, businesses need support. The pandemic presents the whole business community with huge challenges and creating more resilient new businesses is at the top of the list of what we need to do now.

“The programme and course content will help businesses reset for the current climate and give them the skills, insight and confidence to ensure they are fit for an ever-changing future, whatever the challenge.”

Businesses that sign up for the Survive and Thrive programme will benefit from a one-to-one diagnostic session to assess their needs, before being assigned an adviser from AD:VENTURE. They will be invited to attend eight interactive webinars that will cover topics from planning and finance to developing new products and services, and marketing.

AD:VENTURE, which is funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), supports pre-start and new businesses which have been trading for up to three years and have ambitions for growth, with a mix of offerings, including mentoring, events, access to finance and grant funding.

Since AD:VENTURE started at the end of 2016 it has helped more than 3,000 businesses and individuals in the Leeds City Region, and approved more than 160 grants.

Among those who have received help from AD:VENTURE is bolt, which specialises in growth marketing, website design, customer relationship management (CRM) and branding for high-performing professional service organisations, including financial services, tech, engineering and commercial real estate.

The company, which turned over £680,000 in its first year, has its headquarters at the Junction workspace in Horbury, Wakefield, and has grown its team from two to 16 since setting up in summer 2019.

James Coughlan, head of operations at bolt, said: ““AD:VENTURE has opened doors for us by introducing us to local networks and contacts which have been invaluable in growing our operation in Wakefield and attracting talent in the region.

“Everyone at AD:VENTURE have been genuinely invested in our growth strategy which has really helped us develop as a business.”

AD:VENTURE’s partners include the region’s nine local authorities, including Wakefield Metropolitan District Council; the Business Enterprise Fund; the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership, and higher education partners, including Leeds Beckett University and Leeds Trinity University.

For more information about the Survive and Thrive programme please  go to https://ad-venture.org.uk/survive-thrive/

Wakefield agency turns over £680,000 in first year

A Wakefield marketing agency celebrated its first birthday with a turnover that has already reached £680,000.

bolt, which has its headquarters at the Junction workspace in Horbury, Wakefield, has grown its team from two to 16 since setting up in summer 2019. This has included taking on an apprentice, with plans to take on two more apprentices and other staff by the end of 2020.

The agency also has offices in London and Macedonia and a new location in Warsaw in Poland, which has begun hiring.

bolt specialises in growth marketing, website design, customer relationship management (CRM) and branding for high-performing professional service organisations, including financial services, tech, engineering and commercial real estate.

To support its expansion plans within the Leeds City Region, bolt has received mentoring through AD:VENTURE – a programme which helps pre-start and new businesses with growth potential in West and North Yorkshire including offering mentoring, events and access to finance.

bolt was set up by business partners James Coughlan and Jamie Clifton. The pair met in 2013 while working for a direct marketing agency in London.

James Coughlan, head of operations at bolt, said: “At bolt it’s our aim to become integral to a client’s business, helping them with client acquisition and growing their company profits. In our first year of trading we’ve been successful in securing contracts around the world, but it’s always been our aim to create a name for bolt closer to home.

“AD:VENTURE has opened doors for us by introducing us to local networks and contacts which have been invaluable in growing our operation in Wakefield and attracting talent in the region. Everyone at AD:VENTURE have been genuinely invested in our growth strategy which has really helped us develop as a business. We’re looking forward to working with them into the future.”

Cllr Darren Byford, Wakefield Council’s Cabinet Member for Economic Growth and Regeneration, said: “bolt is a fantastic example of the type of ambitious company that we are so proud to have here in Wakefield. They are creating jobs and boosting the local economy even in these difficult times.

“And it is important that we do our bit to support them, which is why the AD:VENTURE programme is so vital.”

Since AD:VENTURE started in early 2017, the programme, which is funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), has helped nearly 4,000 businesses and individuals in the Leeds City Region, and approved over 160 grants to help start-up businesses grow.

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.

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.

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/. 

Leeds manufacturer moves into new factory to keep up with demand

Herida

A Leeds healthcare manufacturer has moved into a new factory twice the size to keep up with demand.

Herida Healthcare has relocated to a 30,000 sq ft unit in Morley as it grows its market and products, with plans for an official opening next week (Wednesday November 20th).

The company, which only started trading in 2016, manufactures specialist mattresses for the elderly and infirm to avoid pressure sores, and entered the moving and handling sector about 12 months ago.

Its foam and air-pump mattresses, and slings are sold to community equipment stores, NHS trusts and long-term care homes through a dealer network across the UK, with about 25 per cent of products exported, mainly to Australasia.

The factory move has already led to an extra six jobs, bringing the headcount to 42, with plans to increase that number significantly with the introduction of shift working within the next two or three years.

Founder Neil Smith said: “As many businesses are pulling out of manufacturing we are moving up. We know that by being agile and quick to respond to demand we have a competitive advantage and can be profitable.”

The rapid growth of the company is also down to support from the public sector said Neil, with advice and grants from organisations such as Leeds City Region Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) and AD:VENTURE, a business support programme for new businesses in North and West Yorkshire funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).

“The grants have helped us buy equipment and become more efficient in the manufacturing process and that can be the difference between a business thriving or not surviving at all,” said Neil.

Sarah Carling, Ad:Venture programme manager, said: “Herida Healthcare is a fantastic success story that shows that the public and private sectors really can work hand in hand to bring prosperity and jobs, and boost the local economy.”

Herida Healthcare moved just five miles to the new factory at Leeds 27 Industrial Estate, partly because the company wanted to keep as many as possible of its skilled workforce.

To coincide with the move Neil has passed over the reins to a new managing director, John Bentley, who joined the company just two months ago, bringing significant experience in the wound care sector with brands such as Smith & Nephew. Neil will stay on as chairman.

In addition, David Emmerson joins Herida Healthcare as the head of operations from Johnson & Johnson. The fourth director is co-founder John Kay.

John Bentley said: “It really is an exciting time to join, as this is a company on the up and up.

“The existing team has done a great job by bringing the business from conception, a little over three and a half years ago, to that of a very profitable, large-scale, British-manufacturing outfit, serving a global customer base. And the brand new factory means our long term prospects are excellent.”

The factory official opening is at 10am on Wednesday November 20 at the factory at Leeds 27 Industrial Estate in Morley.

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/