Business mentoring team off to a flying start

A team of business specialists who offer free mentoring, guidance and support to new businesses have got off to a flying start.

The start-up team, based at Barnsley Business and Innovation Centre (BBIC), was assembled late last year to strengthen the offer to both pre start-up and early stage businesses based in Barnsley.

The team is led by BBIC Chief Executive Tim Milburn, SmartStart programme manager James Herbert, and new recruit, Kevin Steel, a dedicated business development manager.

Mr Herbert said:

“The programme is going from strength to strength and it means we’re able to provide support and advice to even more start-up businesses in the borough.

“We hold an open day every other month for people interested in setting up a business and the last open day in April attracted 30 businesses. So far, the Smartstart Programme has provided business support to over 280 Barnsley start-ups, and this number keeps growing day by day.

“The services on offer at BBIC are second to none. We provide specialist start up coaches, access to free workshops covering business skills such as sales, marketing and finance.

“The BBIC also recognise start-up businesses with real growth potential that may graduate to our GENESIS programme which provides up to 12 months intensive support including the a dedicated business coach, networking events, management accounting, technical support and office accommodation.”

Marketing specialist Kevin Steel, who used to run his own successful marketing business, has worked extensively in the private sector and as a business coach for Barnsley Development Agency, is the first port of call for existing business owners with high growth potential.

Working alongside other Enterprising Barnsley Business Development Managers’ Kevin’s job is to evaluate the nature of the business and ensure support is available. He then matches businesses with an appropriate business coach.

Tim Milburn, BBIC chief executive, said:

“The team at BBIC is very knowledgeable and has real experience of developing and growing businesses.

“We’ve got excellent facilities here at the BBIC and a dedicated reception area. We’ve built upon the fact that we’ve been helping businesses for over 10 years and have all the tools and know-how to help businesses grow.”

“We’ve put this new team together to offer an even better service for start-ups and pre start-ups in Barnsley. We really enjoy working with start-up businesses. The energy that’s found in new businesses is really refreshing and inspiring.

“More people than ever are considering setting up their own business largely due to the economic uncertainty which has shrouded the UK for the past few years.

“Our Smartstart and Genesis programmes are designed to complement the existing support on offer through Enterprising Barnsley and bring additional prosperity and jobs to the borough. We’re looking forward to helping even more companies in 2013.”

Coun Linda Burgess, cabinet member on Barnsley Council, attended a recent open day at BBIC and met the team.

“Barnsley Council is committed to supporting anyone who is seeking to set up a new business here in Barnsley. The recent open day was a fine example of the excellent support which is being provided to enterprising individuals throughout the Borough.”

The next Open Day will be held at BBIC, Wilthorpe Road, Barnsley, on June 11th from 10am to 4pm for anyone considering starting their own business.

Business advisors will be available to listen to ideas, carry out a business diagnostic and explain more about the free Barnsley Start Up programmes SmartStart and Genesis.

For more information and to book a place, visit

Both Smartstart and Genesis programmes are managed by BBIC, and are partnered with the Barnsley Metropolitan Borough Council.

From left: Tim Milburn, BBIC Chief Executive, with Programme Manager James Herbert, Lyndsey Maw BBIC Operations Manager, Coun Linda Burgess and Kevin Steel Business Development Manager.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.