Are you a confident and enthusiastic networker ? Do you have better than average engagement skills and a genuine interest in the local business community ?
Yes? Then we’d like to hear from you!
We are recruiting a Business Adviser to join our team, to work across the Wakefield district, with a blended approach of working from home and our offices.
To be successful you will need experience of providing on a one to one basis, a mix of information and expertise that include, but not limited to, advice on business planning, access to finance and strategic growth plans whilst understanding the barriers faced by young high growth businesses.
Contract type: Fixed term appointment until end June 2023
Salary: £32,000 – £35,000 – 35hrs/week
AD:VENTURE is a £22.4 million programme, part funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), which will support new and young businesses across the Leeds City Region, helping them to achieve their growth potential. The programme offers a range of support including; grants, one to one advice and workshops, along with specialist support from our partners.
Local Growth Deal funded:
AD:VENTURE has received £1,000,000 funding from West Yorkshire Combined Authority and Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (LEP) through the Leeds City Region Growth Deal – a £1 billion package of Government investment to accelerate growth and create jobs across Leeds City Region.
The adviser team is central to the delivery of support and guidance to pre-start and start-up businesses up to 36 months old, with growth potential and opportunities to create jobs.
Apply Now – complete the forms below and email them to email@example.com
A husband and wife team who run a craft gin company in Wakefield are forging ahead after being given a growth grant.
Gary and Victoria Ford, who run Forged in Wakefield, have been given the £25,000 grant to help them move in to bigger premises to keep up with demand.
The pair have plans to relocate to Tileyard North, the new creative business centre being built at the former Rutland Mills next to the Hepworth. The move means they can fit in a new 300-litre still, offer distillery tours, run a gin school and a bar.
The company has been given the £25,000 growth grant by AD:VENTURE, which helps ambitious new businesses trading for less than three years in North and West Yorkshire.
Gary said: “Vicky and I had no idea what was involved in running a small business when we started. We have learnt along the way and made a lot of mistakes in the process. At the moment we distil the gin, act as the salesforce, maintain the website, develop new flavours and a million other things. Moving into the premises will mean we can employ staff and take the business to the next phase of its development.”
The company, which has also been given business advice by AD:VENTURE, which is part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), was launched in January 2019 by the pair who loved brewing beer and wine, and wanted to move into distilling spirits. But that meant a lot of red tape.
“It took in the region of six months to gain all the licences required to become a distillery. It was a massive learning curve and we nearly gave up at one point,” said Gary.
“But now we are forging ahead it is worth it. It’s our passion and dream and we always find a way to make it work. We are planning to take on at least five staff before the end of 2021 to help cope with demand and to work in the bar.”
The small batch gin, which is produced in eight flavours, including The Original, Yorkshire Strength, Passionfruit and Lemon Sherbet, is certified organic and vegan.
The current still can produce around 90 bottles of gin in eight hours, but the new premises will mean they can invest in a new still which can produce three times as much, and can make other products, such as vodka and rum. Victoria and Gary are also moving bottle production from France to Yorkshire to reduce their carbon footprint, and are having a custom-designed bottle developed.
The gin is sold to the public via the Forged in Wakefield website and to about 50 farm shops, bars, restaurants and clubs, and the couple are currently negotiating to export to Norway.
Gary said: “It is difficult to appreciate just what is involved in running a small business unless you have walked that path. Small business owners, including ourselves, often work 80 to 90 hour weeks; so our time is spread very thinly.
“Having the help and support from the team at AD:VENTURE really makes a difference. The investment has been fantastic as it helps us to increase our capacity and produce our custom bottle, but the team at AD:VENTURE went above and beyond this, spending lots of time coaching us and offering business support and guidance.
“Their advisers are happy to help in any way they can and are great at putting you in touch with people. They open doorways and open your eyes to other ways of doing things. There’s so much help available that our biggest regret is that there is only the two of us and we don’t have the time to take all the help that is out there,” said Gary.
AD:VENTURE has funding and delivery partners across the Leeds City Region, including Wakefield Council and the region’s other eight local authorities; the Business Enterprise Fund; the Prince’s Trust; Leeds Beckett University; West and North Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce, and the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership.
Cllr Darren Byford, cabinet member for economic growth, regeneration and property at Wakefield Council, said: “Forged in Wakefield is exactly what it says, a great company and product forged in our district which is full of amazing creative people doing amazing things.
“Giving support to early stage businesses through the AD:VENTURE programme really pays off in the long run as it helps these businesses to thrive and create jobs and greater economic prosperity for us all.”
WE ARE HIRING – The AD:VENTURE programme is looking for enthusiastic and knowledgeable Business Advisors to join our team!
A BIT OF BACKGROUND:
AD:VENTURE is a £22.4 million programme, part funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) The programme is delivered and supported by a wide partnership of organisations, including, local authorities, chambers of commerce, universities, and social enterprises.
SO WHAT DO WE DO?
We support new and young business across the Leeds city region achieve their growth potential. It’s great!
The programme offers a range of support including, grants, one to one advice and workshops, along with specialist support from our partners. We are recruiting Business Advisers to join our team, to work across the Leeds City Region Area, working out of both our offices and those of our partners.
IS IT THE RIGHT JOB FOR YOU?
We are looking for people who have a background in business, or have experience in delivering business advice and support.
The advisor team is central to the delivery of the AD:VENTURE programme, the main point of contact for new and growing businesses, and as an advisor you would need to have a passion for supporting people and business and seeing them grow.
Delivering support and guidance to pre-start and start-up businesses up to 36 months old, who will have strong growth potential with opportunities for job creation, advisors will be allocated a specific geographic area in order to capitalise on local expertise and knowledge, as well as building up strong local networks which are essential to supporting the business community.
Experience of working with growth start-up businesses would be an advantage along with a strong emphasis on support with business planning and financials, in addition to strategic planning. Advisers will assist the beneficiary businesses in accessing various aspects of the programme including a series of workshops.
In addition to having a sound knowledge of other business support solutions/programmes available both nationally and across the Leeds City Region, the ideal candidate will have strong written and oral communication skills to aid effective communication with clients and stakeholders and be expected to work to a high level to meet the programmes compliance requirements.
If the events of the past few months have taught us anything, it is that the world of business has shifted irrevocably.
Whole industries mothballed, household names brought to their knees, and entirely new business models forced on us with either days or even hours notice.
Whether we wanted to or not, we have all become practitioners in managing change, and it is some small comfort that we are very much all in this together.
However, some businesses will ride out the storm better than others and, more often than not, it will be because they have a more resilient business model. Granted, some of them will just be lucky, but there’s nothing wrong with making your own luck, so here’s our 5 top tips for creating a more resilient business.
No. 1 – Have a plan
It sounds obvious, but if you’re going to navigate your way through the numerous challenges we’re all facing right now, you need a plan. Not a 50 page essay that sits in a folder and never sees the light of day, but some clear direction of travel, a few top level metrics of how you can measure your progress, and some financial guidelines that let you know you’re doing the best job you can.
The best plans are re-visited regularly, updated and tweaked, but nevertheless they act as a sanity check on why you’re in business in the first place, and what you want out of it. Don’t be afraid to get a one-page version printed out and display it visibly in the workplace, because the best plans are the ones that the whole business signs up to, and where everyone knows what their role is.
No. 2 – It’s all about the money
Don’t let anyone kid you that money isn’t important because the tougher times get, the more important it becomes. Lenders love giving money to successful businesses, which is usually when you don’t need it, but you just try securing some funding when your numbers aren’t where they should be, as thousands of SMEs have found to their cost over the past few weeks.
From pre-arranged overdrafts to asset-based loans, there are several ways to inject cash into the business. By far the best approach though, is to be self-funding. This means being careful with any spare cash, making sure you build up a decent buffer to protect you from unforeseen circumstances, and if you own the business – don’t be too greedy.
No. 3 – Let your fingers do the walking
Those of a certain age will remember this slogan from a Yellow Pages ad (an old style, paper version of Google my Business!), but today it serves as a reminder to harness technology to save you any unnecessary legwork.
From cloud-based project management and accounting platforms, to automated inventory updates and e-commerce transactions, technology allows us to focus our efforts where they are most needed, and not on day to day admin. Plus, a leaner business is a more resilient one, thanks to lower overheads and a more agile business model.
No. 4 – Fail fast and succeed early
One of the key tenets of running an innovative, and therefore more resilient, business is to be open to trying new things, but also ring fencing those experiments so that they don’t bring the company down with them.
Don’t be scared to ask the market what it wants, and then trial your answer to see if you can make it work. Revise and re-iterate your products as you go, but above all else bear in mind that good enough is fine when you’re developing new products or services. And when the going gets tough remember – James Dyson built over 5000 prototypes before his first vacuum cleaner was a hit!
No. 5 – There’s no I in Team
It’s one of the oldest adages around when it comes to building a successful business – surround yourself with people who are better than you. In these times of constant change and flux, you need to know that your team is on it, so recruit carefully and work hard to make them happy.
From instilling the right culture and values, to developing a world beating staff retention programme, it is your team who will help you pull through when it all goes wrong – your job is to help them to help you!
If you’d like a raft of free support in building a more resilient business to cope with our ever changing world, AD:VENTURE’s Survive & Thrive programme is now available to businesses in the Wakefield District.
If you’re an SME based within the Wakefield District area, predominantly working in the B2B arena or looking to grow that market and have been established less than 3 years, then we’d love to help you.
Find out more here, or watch our explainer video below!
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.
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.
Bang for your buck: Here are the best locations to run your business in the UK
New rankings reveal the best locations to run your business according to average rent prices, size of the talent pool, access to government funding and broadband speed
Leeds leads the way as one of the best places to set up a business
Four Leeds City Region locations appear in the top ten in the UK
From monthly bills to access to the best talent, a new ranking reveals the best places in the UK to run a business – and Leeds City Region is leading the way.
Having developed the ranking system based on evidence from a variety of metrics linked to setting up and running a business, Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (LEP) aims to highlight some of the best locations around the country for business leaders to set up shop.
The ten metrics used to create the ranking system were:
Price per square foot for commercial rent properties1
Parking availability and price (£)2
Number of finance and support schemes available from Government3a & 3b
Broadband speed (average download speeds Mbit/s)4
4G coverage (%)4
Unemployment rates (%)5
Quality of life score6
Young population (ages 18-34) (potential employees for businesses)7
Number of arts, entertainment and recreation services/professional, scientific and technical businesses per 1000 18/34-year-olds8
Annual media gross pay (2019)9
The LEP also reviewed population statistics10 in the top ten metropolitan districts, as well as the capital, and ranked each according to the ten metrics
The three best areas for business leaders to pay attention to were revealed as Leeds, Kirklees and London, with Leeds leading the way as the number one location for businesses across all metrics.
The top ten places to run a business from in the UK according to these measures are:
With the average rent per square foot coming in at £301, Leeds is not the lowest cost destination to host a business. Kirklees* takes that coveted spot with the average rent per square foot in the area costing only £13.501.
However, Leeds ranks best in terms of low unemployment rates (4%)5, a high quality of life score (7.76)6, a large percentage of young population in the city (222,673)7 and a high annual pay (£33,245)9, helping the city achieve the overall top spot.
Looking outside of Leeds City Centre, other areas within Leeds City Region also ranked highly for low rent prices alongside Kirklees* (£13.50)1, including Bradford (£15)1, Wakefield (£16)1 and Sheffield (£25)1. The findings indicate the Leeds City Region should be a real consideration for any business leaders looking for a new location.
Bradford also ranked highly for the average cost of parking, which on a weekday is only £3.342 compared to rocketing prices in places such as London (£44)2.
For businesses still looking to establish their headquarters in London, leaders should be prepared to pay 344% more per square foot compared to Kirklees, with the average rent in the capital coming in at a hefty £60+ per square foot.
Unsurprisingly, businesses based in the capital have access to a higher volume of government funding schemes (44)3 compared to other cities, however everywhere within the Leeds City Region (including Leeds, Bradford, Wakefield and Kirklees) has access to an impressive 12 schemes3b. Manchester (10)3, Coventry (4)3, Birmingham (3) and the other listed cities also have access to a range of funding opportunities, should businesses qualify.
Other costs to be considered include energy bills, however this is determined by the size of the business rather than location. Large businesses can expect to foot a bill of around £3,139 each year for energy compared to £706 for small businesses11.
In addition to these metrics, Leeds has a large volume of higher education student enrolments, with over 63,00012 currently in the city, meaning businesses have access to a high volume of graduates who are keen to begin their professional careers. The education ecosystem in Leeds City Region also boasts nine universities and 14 higher education colleges contributing to a fast-growing talent pipeline.
Roger Marsh OBE DL, Chair of the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (LEP) and NP11 commented “We’re thrilled to take the top spot when it comes to entrepreneurs looking for a place to set up their business. We truly believe that the Leeds City Region has so much to offer, from top of the range office space and a thriving business scene, to an impressive talent pool, it’s a fantastic place for any business to start, or continue their journey.
“We’ve so far helped 11,000 businesses to grow through £43 million funding, and have also launched the £2.5 million Digital Investment Fund which includes the #Grow and #Welcome programmes to help tech businesses thrive in our region.”
“With tech giants such as Channel 4 and Sky making the leap to the Leeds City Region, we look forward to welcoming more businesses to our community.”
Recent investor Paramjit Uppal, Founder, AND Digital added “We decided to open an office, or as we call it, a club, in the heart of Halifax as we saw a fantastic opportunity to help organisations in West Yorkshire accelerate the development of its digital capabilities. West Yorkshire is a vibrant, welcoming region with a real appetite for growth and innovation – we’ve been delighted by the warm and enthusiastic welcome we’ve had and the support we have received from the LEP.”
Wakefield Launches New Stimulating Strategic Marketing Series
Wakefield Council have been working closely with new businesses across the city and have heard the crucial calling for a comprehensive guide to Strategic Marketing in 2019 and beyond, and so here it is!
Market Me takes you right back to basics where you can either start from a blank slate, or build upon an early developed plan. Wherever your start-up business is in it’s marketing evolution, this 5 day series will educate, challenge and inspire your next steps in marketing your business and identify essential gaps that could expand your business to new levels of success.
Market Me is a strategic marketing series for new business who are serious about scaling.
Delivered by BrownDog Agency for AD:VENTURE, MarketMe will help Wakefield based start-ups and scale-ups who are trading B2B to take their products and services to market more effectively.
Combining interactive and thought-stimulating exercises with real world experience of the marketing mix, the series will take you from a start point of explaining your challenges, to matching your business to changing national and global circumstances,
carving out a point of difference for you to take to market, and equipping you with the most effective tactical skills and content with which to acquire new business.
Plant-based dessert expert, Freaks of Nature, has won the accolade of Best New Start-Up at The Grocer Gold Awards. The Judges said, “they were impressed by the innovative spirit of the brand” and “its major listings are clear testament to the product”.
With its own purpose-built facility in Yorkshire, Freaks of Nature have not only created a challenger brand in the fast-growing dairy free market, but crucially are in complete control of product development and manufacturing.
Its clear vision in the sector, allowed it to open a facility that does not bring any dairy, gluten, egg or soya, into the production area.
This prestigious award comes hot on the heels of Freaks of Nature recently winning significantly extended distribution in Morrisons, Sainsbury’s and another major retailer from July for its award-winning hot puddings and cold serve desserts.
Founder of Freaks of Nature, Peter Ahye says: “Winning The Grocer Gold Award for Best New Start-Up is an industry renowned marker that we’re doing something special. We’re so pleased to be part of the plant-based revolution which is taking place with our range of great tasting puds”.
Freaks of Nature’s current range of products include the first plant-based grocery retail Cherry Bakewell, Chocolate Fudge, Sticky Toffee and Lemon Sponge Hot Puddings; Double Choc Ganache and Choc Caramel Cheesecake; Blueberry and Strawberry plant-based Yogs.
In foodservice they offer Chocolate Fudge, Sticky Toffee Puddings and its popular Christmas pudding which launched last year. Ahye said “Chefs are telling us our great tasting products remove complexity from back of house and the fact that they are free from and vegan is a real bonus. One product for all consumers”
Freaks of Nature managed to achieve listings with all the major supermarkets and is working strategically with a number of them to deliver even more exciting products over the coming months.
To find out more about Freaks of Nature please visit https://www.freaksofnature.co.uk
The team have worked with both AD:VENTURE and the LEP to accelerate their growth plans.
This Jan saw a diverse and inspiring group of entrepreneurs attend the launch of AD:VENTURES ‘Get Me Started’ network at the Yorkshire Deli, Wakefield.
These FREE networking and support sessions will connect new and young businesses to people with the similar experiences and challenges, providing a valuable insight to help with their growth plans.
Innovative and resourceful business leaders from industries as diverse as web development, pet food & nutrition, health & well-being and snack food manufacturing attended the first event and shared a wealth knowledge in this very first session, proving that it doesn’t have to be lonely starting a business!
Daniel Downs said it was “A valuable session for sure and will grow from strength to strength” as the weeks go on, relationships build and discussions become richer.
Some of the challenges business discussed included:
The science behind pricing
The misconceptions of FREE not being valuable
Finding the right talented team to suit your business
As the Business owner how do you make efficient use of your own time
Legal and Contractual obligations
How to -Sales techniques
Does this sound like something you need to be part of? It’s not too late to benefit from this start up network & peer to peer discussion as sessions will run every third Thursday of the month. Each session will be structured depending on topics covered previously and demand from the group.
The next session will take place on Thursday 21st February, from 8:30-10am will feature Alexis Bradbury focusing on Sales – Everything from cold calling and business development to e-commerce, interactive tools, digital content development and SEO/PPC.