Local start-ups set for bright future

Fourteen local businesses seem set for a great future. All fourteen have recently completed StriveLive, a two-month start-up incubator, with five businesses picking up awards and £2,500 in grant funding. The project was open to residents of Harrogate Borough Council and City of York Council areas, or those setting up business there.

“I’m really thrilled to win the Strive Best Brand Award. The recognition and confidence the award brings along with everything I’ve learnt on the Strive project, makes me far better equipped to really grow the business.” – Russell Gordon, founder of InSync Cycling Coach


“Strive is an amazing place to learn absolutely everything you need to know about business. But most importantly Paul, Richard and Laura work very hard and they are always available for any questions or concerns we had. We really enjoyed it and we have learned a lot from the project.” – Daniela Genova, founder of Café Lago di Como, pictured with partner Nertil Xhallo


“I encourage anyone who is nurturing their small business idea to sign up for Strive. The project will benefit everyone on their business journey. Engaging sessions delivered in a friendly and encouraging environment. Plus, you get to meet likeminded people, which is fabulous.”Andrea Clarke, founder of Hand Sown Flowers

Three business experts were invited to judge Branding, Marketing, Concept and Strategy categories in which each winner scooped a £500 business grant. It was no easy task, judges saw an incredible range of businesses and talented local entrepreneurs. When the judging concluded a cycling coach, Russell Gordon, Harrogate café, Lago di Como, massage therapist, Abigail Homer, first aid trainer Yvonne Lewis, and Andrea Clarke who cultivates hand-sown flowers had come out on top.

The Strive project was funded by Harrogate Borough Council and City of York Council, and commissioned by the York & North Yorkshire Growth Hub as part of a series of business support programmes and events. To find more upcoming events and workshops, please visit our events page.

Award Winners

  • Yvonne Lewis won Best Business Concept for Wise First Aid Training which offers a range of first aid training, including courses for parents and toddlers.
  • Daniela Genova and Nertil Xhallo won Best Marketing for Café Lago di Como, a café in the centre of Harrogate offering award winning Italian cuisine.
  • Russell Gordon won Best Brand for Insync Cycling Coach which offers coaching, bike fitting and is supporting the Northeast Cyclocross Championships.
  • Abigail Homer won a Strive Start-Up award for The Therapy Room Thirsk which offers a range of massages.
  • Andrea Clarke won Best Strategy for Hand-Sown Flowers which cultivates flowers locally for weddings and florists.

To find out more about business support, you can contact the Growth Hub directly either online or by calling Faye on our helpdesk for free on 0800 246 5045.

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The York and North Yorkshire Growth Hub is working in collaboration with Harrogate Borough Council to deliver an extensive range of business support programmes. Starting from September 2022, these events will be held at venues in Harrogate and aim to support business owners, managers, and employees on a wide variety of subjects. These fully funded

Upcoming Business Support Programmes in York

The York and North Yorkshire Growth Hub is working in collaboration with City of York Council to deliver an extensive range of business support programmes. Starting from September 2022, these events will be held at venues in York and aim to support business owners, managers, and employees on a wide variety of subjects. These fully

Upcoming Business Support Programmes in York and Harrogate

The York and North Yorkshire Growth Hub is working in collaboration with City of York Council and Harrogate Borough Council to deliver an extensive range of business support programmes. Starting from September 2022, these events will be held at venues in York and Harrogate, as well as online, and aim to support business owners, managers,