Tag: Selby

SELBY START UP SMILES AND MILES CELEBRATES SUCCESS

Smiles and Miles, the tutoring membership community launched by single mother of two and teacher of 23 years, Sarah Oliver, is celebrating after reaching its target to provide more than 100 students with access to the educational support they need, delivering no fewer than 80 sessions per week.

In addition, the start up business has also registered 10 tutors across a range of subject specialisms to manage the demand for its services, while also securing a tender with a third sector funder to provide education services to disadvantaged communities.

None of this would have been possible however without the support that Sarah has received from Selby District Council and ERDF funded programme, AD:VENTURE.

Sarah comments: “I would not be where I am today without the help I’ve received from AD:VENTURE and Selby District Council. Not only was I able to access loads of courses on a range of subjects, I also had 1:1 mentoring which was invaluable. Having a business is certainly a rollercoaster but with this support it becomes more manageable. It’s been an amazing journey.”

Realising that she wanted a better work and life balance, Sarah gave up her career of more than two decades as a primary school teacher to become an independent tutor.

Believing that youngsters need more than systems to pass exams, Sarah’s approach was to give children the chance to become life-long learners by helping them to become confident, happy and resilient. In turn, she believes this has a knock-on effect and allows young people to make greater academic progress.

Despite her best efforts, she couldn’t earn enough to live, yet it was obvious that there was increasing demand for her services and the approach that she takes.

Sarah turned to Selby District Council Senior Business Advisor, Heidi Green who put her in touch with AD:VENTURE Business Growth Advisor, Lisa Whalley. With a start-up that had potential to scale up, Sarah was able to access courses and a range of workshops while also attending networking cafes to meet with others in a similar situation.

Recognising the potential in the business, Sarah changed the model and created a business to business membership community, extending the number of students and tutors that Smiles and Miles was able to work with. This approach proved successful and has established the organisation within the sector.

Sarah continues: “I never thought my business would become so successful so quickly and thanks to the support I’ve had I have learnt so much about how to think like an entrepreneur. It’s not just about being the best at what you do, in my case it was also taking responsibility for organising the tutors, becoming a parent liaison, dealing with invoicing and then marketing. It’s a completely different set of skills.

“The access to professional advice has been incredible and with so much business support out there, I can’t believe every start up isn’t tapping into what’s available!”

Selby District Council Executive Member with responsibility for economic development, Cllr David Buckle, added: “This is a great example of how we’ve been able to work with others to offer practical help to support small business growth. We’ve got a great entrepreneurial spirit here in the Selby district, with lots of room to grow too. That’s one of the reasons Selby District Council works in partnership with business in this way.”

Future plans for Smiles and Miles are to franchise the business and to extend its reach beyond Yorkshire. Longer-term it is intended that the company will become a nationwide offering, showcasing what you can achieve when you access the advice and guidance that is offered from professional business services throughout the region.

For further details about the AD:VENTURE programme, please visit www.ad-venture.org.uk and for details about Selby District Council and its business services please access, https://www.selby.gov.uk/

Ad:Venture new Business Grant supports bridal boutique to bring couture design to Yorkshire

Stephanie Moran, local bridal designer announces the opening of her first showroom after securing an investment boost in the form of a new business grant, taking her from back bedroom to boutique business. The grand opening of the ‘by appointment only venue’ will see Stephanie’s first foray into the bridal world.

Thanks to the AD:VENTURE start-up and growth grants, which provide businesses with the opportunity to reach their potential within the first three years of trading, Stephanie secured £3,800 to help towards creating a welcoming and individual environment and experience for the modern bride and bridal party.

During a meeting with a business growth advisor from Selby Council and the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership, Stephanie realised that to expand her company and push forward with her plans she would benefit from additional support and guidance.

Referred to a dedicated advisor from AD:VENTURE, Stephanie worked through the programme to identify her goals and put together a more formal business plan, whilst also receiving further details about the AD:VENTURE start-up and growth grants.

Stephanie comments: “I was working as a freelance and although I was securing commissions I was finding it hard to work out how to take my business to the next stage. That’s when I was informed of AD:VENTURE and I realised that with some support I could put my plans into practice.

“I knew that my real ambition and longer-term goal was to open a couture bridal boutique with studio and showroom, thanks to the opportunity to gain funding, I was able to do this. My brides deserve the very best and with the boutique that’s exactly what I am able to give them.”

Celebrating the recent opening of Stephanie Moran Couture, the Tadcaster boutique showcases an exciting and diverse environment where brides can create their own unique bridal vision. The boutique also houses the first signature collection and offers a sketch to dress experience for brides-to-be up and down the country.

In addition to the personal bridal service that the boutique can now offer, Stephanie will also work with other outlets to offer her designs and extend her audience to include trade suppliers as well as direct customers.

The Leader of Selby District Council, Cllr Mark Crane, said, “We’ve been investing to deliver a range of business support, as part of our work to offer practical help to businesses across the Selby district who want to grow.  This is about us helping to bring investment to our town centres, to ensure they thrive into the future.  Tadcaster is definitely on the up again after the floods of a few years ago and through programmes such as AD:VENTURE we help the town to reach its potential.”

AD:VENTURE, the ERDF funded programme providing dedicated support to eligible young and new businesses who have strong growth ambitions, provides enterprises with the chance to apply for a match-funded Grant of up to £25,000.

To benefit from the programme, companies are asked to evidence through a written business plan how the contributions would be used to support the next steps in their business journey and what difference it would make to their future success.

Recognising that start-ups and smaller enterprises may not have a formal business plan in place, and that the process may be somewhat overwhelming, AD:VENTURE also provides practical support through a network of dedicated advisors.

As well as providing guidance, AD:VENTURE business advisors can also provide access to a schedule of master classes, workshops and events that focus on a range of essential areas such as marketing, branding, market research and financial forecasting that applicants may want to attend in order to strengthen their applications.

For further details please visit the Ad:Venture website, follow @Adventure_LCR or call 0845 5240210.