AD:VENTURE, a support programme for businesses in North and West Yorkshire, has moved its events and support online during the coronavirus lockdown. But its business advisers are keen to stress they are still working hard behind the scenes to offer a helping hand.
AD:VENTURE supports pre-start and new businesses which have been trading for up to three years and who have ambitions for growth, with a mix of offerings, 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 to help start-up businesses grow.
Sarah Carling, AD:VENTURE programme manager, said:
Our advisors are here to support new business owners in these really tough times.
As a new and growing business there are always so many things to consider, particularly in the current situation it can seem like you are literally spinning plates. With so much to do, it is easy for new business to feel there are too busy to access support. But this can be when it is most important. AD:VENTURE is here to provide that support.
We can provide a listening ear, be a critical friend and offer practical help to overcome the real challenges ambitious businesses are facing currently; that might be funding or training or advice. Whatever a business needs, we will do our bit to help.
Among those who have received help from AD:VENTURE is BishopSound of Ripon, which has received support and funding to grow its high quality PA speaker systems business.
Founder Andrew Bishop said:
I would advise anybody who wants to grow their business to get in touch with AD:VENTURE as soon as possible. Their advisors will ask much needed challenging questions, which help entrepreneurs like me stay focused, but they have tremendous expertise because they have helped many other businesses trying to do the same thing.
BishopSound was awarded an £11,000 grant from AD:VENTURE, which was used to develop its website, product photography, a promotional video and IT equipment. Grants of up to £25,000 are available from AD:VENTURE if they are match-funded by the business.
Without that funding, we definitely wouldn’t have been able to operate at the capacity we are currently working at and we’ve been able to speed up our new product plans.
Seminars and workshops have now gone online and AD:VENTURE is successfully running regular online webinars covering everything from strategic marketing and networking skills to data protection and advertising law. Eligible businesses can book via the AD:VENTURE website: https://ad-venture.org.uk/events/
AD:VENTURE’s partners include the region’s nine local authorities, including Harrogate Borough Council; the Business Enterprise Fund; the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership, and higher education partners, including Leeds Beckett University and Leeds Trinity University.