Tag: Funding for SMEs

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.

Leeds Based North Brewing Co Raises the Bar with Business Grant Funding Success

Grant Funding

Often referred to as “the first craft beer bar in Britain”, Leeds North Bar is credited with influencing a new wave of craft beer bars and breweries around the country, with many citing North Bar as one of the original driving forces behind the craft beer revolution in the UK.

North Bar in Leeds quickly became renowned for its alternative approach, quirky style and excellent, friendly service – winning the prestigious ‘Best place to drink in Britain’ in the Observer Food Monthly Awards.

Over 20 years, owners John Gyngell & Christian Townsley have increased the North Bar group to a total of 7 venues and in 2015 they turned their 10-year dream of making their own beer into a reality by opening a 15bbl brewery in Leeds, North Brewing Co.

The opportunity for growth was there, with demand outstripping supply for their products. Christian says “Many say this is a great problem to have, but for us, delivering stock on time is crucial – We work hard to maintain our standards of service, and no one wants to let their customers down”

Business Grant funding

John Gyngell (L) and Christian Townsley (R)

Christian and John looked into what support was available to increase their investment potential, and found out about the AD:VENTURE programme, a European Regional Development Funded programme covering the Leeds City Region.

Christian says “I was delighted to announce we had been successful in our application for the grant of £21k. The application process was hard work but regular meetings with my advisor were invaluable and my experience of writing a thorough business plan as a part of the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses programme equipped me for what was described to me by the Senior Economic Development Officer as ‘the best he’d seen in a long time’!

I’m sure there are similar programmes for growth business grants around the country. In addition to that, we’ve also been successful in our application for a grant of around £1200 towards acquiring ‘SALSA’, a food safety accreditation which will open up further opportunities to us whilst implementing further controls to ensure our QC

I couldn’t have done it without the support of my team, in particular my business partner, our FD and our Head Brewer. For anyone looking to grow their business and generate jobs it’s well worth investing time to research what funding is available”

Brewing capacity is now doubling in October 2017, adding several brewing vessels and enabling the brewery to meet current demand, with their beers are now widely available throughout the UK as well as being exported to eight European countries.

Driven by passion for great beer, this Leeds Brewery comes with an unparalleled wealth of experience, knowledge and existing industry relationships, both in the UK and abroad and their capacity for growth is as great as the worlds love for exceptional craft beer!