Tag: Resilience

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/

Self storage company beats lockdown thanks to tech

A family-run self-storage company that opened in York just nine months ago has kept ahead of the competition, thanks to investing in online resources. 

Go Store self storage was set up by Rory Windham, his uncle Norman Galbraith and his cousin Jamie Galbraith, and offers storage space for people and businesses at its premises at Monk’s Cross Drive in York.  

The 900 storage units range from the size of a car boot to a squash court, and everything in between. In total the facility offers rentable spaces in 35 different sizes. 

Before and during the lockdown, thanks to grants of just over £11,000 from business support programme AD:VENTURE, the company had invested in IT improvements, such as VoIP telephones; website development, including dynamic pricing and booking; with plans for an online facility to sign contracts digitally, thus removing the need to meet face to face. 

The technology means Rory and the team can manage the facility remotely, allowing monitored access for customers and enabling the site to operate safely under Covid19 restrictions 

“It was a bit of a stroke of luck that we had all this in place for lockdown. It means the business was immediately more resilient and able to offer something many larger and more established storage sites couldn’t do,” said Rory. 

“We are competing against the big boys with deep pockets and the grants meant we can actually compete on that level. The new technology has helped us remain ahead of the market, and business is continuing to grow as we ease out of lockdown and the restrictions. 

The funding from AD:VENTURE, a  programme for new businesses in North and West Yorkshire funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF)has also paid for high-quality furniture for the reception area to give customers a better experience.  

Go Store has created three jobs so far. But Rory says it has also helped create and support about ten other jobs indirectly, as local people use the site as a storage base for their e-commerce businesses.  

Rory and Norman had operated a similar business in the North East, before selling that to a national operator. 

They wanted to move to York as they saw a gap in the market for self-storage and took several years to acquire a suitable location; on a busy road by a retail park and popular drive-thru restaurants.  

“We wanted a visible site as we knew from previous experience that works so much better than being tucked away round the back of an industrial park,” said Rory. 

Councillor Andrew Waller, portfolio holder for Economy and Strategic Planning at York City Council, said “Go Store Self Service Ltd are an excellent example of how start-ups are contributing to the city’s economic growth and these will be vital to our recovery. It’s an incredibly challenging time for all businesses, so to see a young company continuing to grow and create and support jobs despite the impact of Covid-19 is a much needed boost for everyone.  

Supporting our new and growing firms is an essential part of our wider growth strategy, and we are proud to partner with AD:VENTURE to offer this much needed support to help our young firms to thrive. 

Support available to businesses from AD:VENTURE also includes professional workshops, incubator office space, director networks and specialist sector advice. To qualify for AD:VENTURE support businesses must be less than three-years-old or pre-start.  

AD:VENTURE’s  funding and delivery partners are from across the Leeds City Region and include Make it York and West and North Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce 

To find out more about Go Store Self Storage go to https://www.gostore.co.uk/ and for AD:VENTURE please visit www.ad-venture.org.uk