Budding entrepreneurs in York are being given extra help with the appointment of a new business adviser – and a series of free online workshops.
Alice Ingram, who has previously worked for Coca Cola and Nestle, is the new York-based adviser for AD:VENTURE, a support programme for new businesses with growth ambitions in North and West Yorkshire.
Alice will work with pre-start and businesses who have been trading for up to three years by offering support, including mentoring, events, access to finance and grant funding.
Since the programme started at the end of 2016, AD:VENTURE, which is funded by the European Regional
Development Fund (ERDF), has helped more than 3,000 businesses and individuals in the Leeds City Region, and approved over 160 grants of between £1,000 and £25,000.
Alice said: “In these unprecedented times helping businesses survive and thrive is more important than ever.
“We want to reach more businesses in the York area. We know it is tough out there, which is why we want to try and give businesses the best start we can.”
Alice has worked in North Yorkshire for over 20 years, as a brand manager at Nestle and running her own enterprises, from a painting and decorating business to a marketing consultancy. She previously worked in marketing in London and Hong Kong, including as promotions manager at Coca-Cola GB.
She said: “I have worked for big firms and set up my own successful companies too, so I know a bit about the business world. And now I feel it is time to use that knowledge to help those who are starting on the ladder.”
AD:VENTURE is also running three free virtual events for new businesses in York on August 18, 19 and 20, followed by the opportunity for a one-to-one online meeting with Alice or a colleague.
The ‘Elevate York’ virtual events will cover business basics, such as market research and cashflow; finding business premises, and tips on face-to-face and online networking. To book on the online workshops go to https://ad-venture.org.uk/adventure-events/elevate-grow/
Among those who have already been helped by AD:VENTURE is Go Store, a family-run self-storage company that opened in York nine months ago, which has received £11,000 in grant funding to pay for IT, website development and furniture.
Co-director Rory Windham said: “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.”
AD:VENTURE’s funding and delivery partners include the region’s nine local authorities, including City of York Council; Make it York; West and North Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce; the Business Enterprise Fund; the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership, and higher education partners, including Leeds Beckett University and Leeds Trinity University.
Sarah Carling, AD:VENTURE Programme manager, said: “We are really pleased about Alice’s appointment. AD: Venture wants to do all it can to help new and young businesses in these difficult times, and we know having a business advisor who understands the area and the needs of the businesses plays a big part in ensuring we can reach and support the businesses we are here to help.
“Having that dedicated support also enables the businesses we work with to really build a strong and meaningful relationship with their adviser, which can be key to supporting their business to grow and thrive.”