How to get free support for your business in Leeds City Region in 2022

Businesses in Yorkshire are being encouraged to sign up for free support to kickstart 2022.

The call comes at the end of another year for AD:VENTURE, which is part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and supports businesses across the Leeds City Region that are pre-start or less than three years old.

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Programme manager Stuart Ross said: “It’s gratifying to look back over another year where AD:VENTURE has made a real difference. We know that running a business is rewarding, but tough, and many do not survive through the first few years.

Matt Wheeler and Sam Taylor, founders of madeby.

“But we also know that start-ups given a helping hand with the fundamentals at the beginning, like creating a business plan, managing cash flow and understanding their market, have a much greater chance of surviving and growing. And that’s why our support is so important.”

One of those companies supported by AD:VENTURE is madeby, a creative and digital agency with a green conscience, launched by two University of Leeds students in 2019.

Within a year the pair, Matt Wheeler and Sam Taylor, inset, saw profits go up tenfold.

The company was given a mentor, a grant to pay for new iMacs, access to workshops on topics ranging from finance to marketing, and they were accepted onto Accelerate, which is a six-month programme of support run by Leeds Becket University on behalf of AD:VENTURE. It is made up of masterclasses, seminars or webinars and one-to-one support, along with advice on grants and funding.

Mr Wheeler said: “With AD:VENTURE it’s all the different aspects that help. The mentor’s advice, the workshops, Accelerate and the funding all work together. Each one was a boost to us. It all really paid off. I think there’s a correlation there with how much we grew the year after we got this support.”

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James Mitchinson