Launch of Yorkshire support network

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A NEW business support network, which is geared towards people running small and micro businesses in Yorkshire, has launched.

BiY has been created off the back of Brand Yorkshire, which runs an annual conference and produces a quarterly magazine with the aim of helping businesses in the region to develop and grow.

Darren Shaw, who previously was responsible for membership at the Leeds, York and North Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce, and Richard Norman, who is behind Brand Yorkshire, are running BiY in partnership. Both have run their own businesses and have had stakes in other people’s businesses.

Mr Shaw said that since BiY launched a week ago it has attracted over 100 responses from people. He said: “Our ambition is to have 500 members by the end of June. We will then scale up as required. It will remain in Yorkshire. It is purely for Yorkshire businesses.”

Launch events are due to take place in Leeds on March 28 at The Shine business centre between 5pm and 7pm, and at later dates in Barnsley, Huddersfield, Bradford, Sheffield and York.

Mr Shaw said: “It’s about providing personal and business support for people running micro and small businesses. We are looking for any business which hasn’t achieved the scale where they have a board and proper management structure. It’s a package of business surgeries, training seminars, associate workshops from our associate specialists, and then we will also have peer group round table sessions as well.”

Mr Shaw added: “There are lots of networking groups out there and there’s no shortage of people offering business support, but no one organisation allows people to tap into it all in a one-stop shop.”

He stressed BiY wants to work in collaboration with other parties such as media centres and business centres, as well as people with “healthy business networks already in existence”. The monthly fee for BiY membership is £25.