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How has the Growth Hub helped people do business?

York & North Yorkshire Growth Hub provides business support in North Yorkshire to help businesses to start, grow and scale – here’s how.

At York & North Yorkshire Growth Hub, we put businesses at the centre of every conversation. Helping you do business is our main priority – whether that means answering pre-start questions, connecting you with funding opportunities to invest in growth, or finding tailored support programmes to take you to the next level.

We have a number of avenues of support to help you do business, each suiting the different needs of starting, growing and scaling businesses.

So, how has York & North Yorkshire Growth Hub helped people do business? Here’s some of our support success stories to give you an idea of how we can help you.

The Enterprise Centre

With links to local authorities, universities, and varied support providers, we can put you on the right track and find support that suits your needs.

One of the ways we do this is with the Enterprise Centre, a hub of support created in partnership with York St John University. Opening its doors in May 2022, the Enterprise Centre has already welcomed numerous businesses and entrepreneurs who are taking full advantage of the Centre’s position on the university’s York campus and the connections with both university and York & North Yorkshire Growth Hub expertise.

One of these businesses is AgriSound, the first business to move into the Enterprise Centre. AgriSound is dedicated to increasing biodiversity levels, and does this through its POLLY technology – a piece of hardware which monitors natural pollinators, such as insects, and provides real-time data to farmers and landowners so they can more efficiently manage and make use of them.

With the help of recent York St John University graduates, AgriSound created a video to support a successful crowdfunding campaign. Emma Rollason-Taylor, the Growth Hub Business Relationship Manager of the Enterprise Centre, was able to connect AgriSound to the university careers service, who provided suitably qualified graduates to the project.

Two people looking at a large PC screen on a desk
An office space with a sofa on the left and a meeting table on the right hand side

Many of the occupants at the Enterprise Centre speak highly of Emma and the support they’ve received.

“Emma and the Enterprise Centre have been extremely helpful to me and my business,” says Joseph Maltby, founder of video game development company ShotDash. “For instance, they have helped me set up my business, they’ve given me official office space for my business, helped me pitch for funding, and plan the future of my business.”

Alicia Ridout, founder of Involve Me Digital Health, says: “When I started my PhD at York St John, I was blown away by the support for me to find a way forward with our webapp for occupational therapists. Emma was key to this, letting me blurt out a ramble of issues and ideas and helping me take a step back and prioritise the most immediate needs.”

“As a result of her help and having a space in the centre to come to, I was able to access expertise in a range of business-related areas, such as IP. This added challenge and focus to my thinking which helped me make some really key decisions.”

Learn more about the Enterprise Centre.

Dedicated programme of business support

Our support also reaches beyond York and university connections. As part of our 2022/23 programme of business support in North Yorkshire, we’ve delivered 36 programmes – including workshops, seminars, training and networking events, connecting people to vital support such as the StriveLive Start-Up Incubator.

The StriveLive Start-Up Incubator is a seven-week programme designed to support grassroots entrepreneurs in starting or taking their business to the next level. So far, the Growth Hub has helped deliver three successful cohorts, and is expanding the StriveLive offer this year due to overwhelmingly popular demand.

Read about some of the success stories from our StriveLive cohorts.

The support offered by the StriveLive programme has helped businesses win their first contract, given them the confidence to move forward with their business ideas, and allowed them to connect with other like-minded businesses to create a local network of support. This is just one of many programmes that the Growth Hub has connected people with in order to support their business needs.

A highlight of this year’s business support programme has been working in partnership with York Business Festival to host a full day of business support activities at York’s historic Guildhall, focused on the theme of ‘growing your business in challenging times’. The day saw 139 total attendees come out to connect with their peers and take part in discussions on ways to tackle the key issues affecting businesses currently, with the day ending on a high note with an insightful panel discussion featuring Simon Jack, renowned business journalist and broadcaster.

Over the course of this year’s programme, we’ve seen the start of some exciting conversations and business growth opportunities. We have plans for more dedicated support to come, and make our support programme accessible by offering several of the sessions on-demand.

Connected, continuous support from our helpdesk

When you call our helpdesk team for business support in North Yorkshire, we don’t focus on finding a one-fits-all, quick solution.

We work with you to connect you with the support that suits you best, and to continue to support you on your business journey. Upon calling, our helpdesk team runs through a quick diagnostic to discover what your business needs are, and then directs you to the support that best suits you.

That support can come in a number of forms: we may direct you to expert-delivered programmes, online resources, upcoming events or connect you with our team of experienced Business Relationship Managers.

One of the businesses we’ve supported through our helpdesk is Go Indian Spice, who first contacted us in 2021 and has received continuous, relevant support ever since. Founded by Dave and his wife, Lucky, Go Indian Spice has worked with the Growth Hub from the start of their journey.

Thanks to our helpdesk team, Go Indian Spice has been connected with start-up support and resources, digital skills support, and was shortlisted for Best New Food Product at the Garbutt & Elliott awards after finding out about the awards through the Growth Hub.

A picture of potatoes and vegetables next to a packet of Go Indian Spice mix
A picture of meat and vegetables on a plate next to a packet of Go Indian Spice mix

Faye, a member of our helpdesk team, talks through another real example of a business’ journey with the Growth Hub helpdesk below:

  • October 2021 – The director of the company got in touch looking for resources and grants that could help with their business. I performed a diagnostic to figure out the basics of the company and to triage them to the most relevant support. I learned they were a relatively new business in the Richmondshire area, so the Richmondshire Council Small Business Grant would be useful for them.
  • November 2021 – Nick, one of our Business Relationship Managers who works closely with Richmondshire-based businesses, had a Zoom call with the company to assess their eligibility for the Richmondshire Council Small Business Grant and performed introductions to other support providers.
  • December 2021 – The director told me that their application to Richmondshire Council (now North Yorkshire Council) was successful and that he’d been in touch with a few of the other possible avenues I’d recommended. One of these was The Supply Chain Network (TSCN), so I re-connected him with Nick to help progress his application to TSCN further.
  • 2022 – Nick arranged a meeting with the company and provided a range of support, which eventually led to a successful grant application with TSCN. This is just one of many examples of the business journeys the Growth Hub helpdesk has helped support.

You can read more about how our helpdesk team works and the kind of support they can provide you with here.

How can the Growth Hub help you?

If you need business support in North Yorkshire or want to learn more about ways to start, grow or scale your business, don’t hesitate – reach out to us today.

You can contact our helpdesk team for free by: