Home Appointments & Contracts Bigger and better for Enterprise Services and Business Growth in Yorkshire

Bigger and better for Enterprise Services and Business Growth in Yorkshire

Keighley’s own Business support organisation Airedale Enterprise Services (AES) recent move to Crown Works Business Centre has now expanded its offering for start-ups and existing businesses to access Business advice, Funding for growth, training and support.

Founded 33 years ago in Keighley, the social enterprise has been instrumental in nurturing 3800 businesses and over 17000 people to success over more than three decades.

Business & operations Manager, Wendy Spencer, has been with the organisation since 1997, dealing with their strategy, funding bids and day-to-day management.  She sees the recent move to Crown Works Business Centre as a launch pad for a new program of business support packages & training courses and with the additional space for more incubator offices as a great opportunity for fledgling and established businesses to develop.

“Many micro business owners need a low-cost option which is a step up from working from home, and incubator offices provide an ideal opportunity to make that move.  With the support of a manned reception service and professional business mentors on hand they can really benefit from the supportive environment of the centre”, says Wendy who has 7 units at the new location.

Hot desking with free wi-fi and meeting room hire is also available to business owners who only require occasional access to larger or better equipped space. The large training room is also ideal for business owners who want to get their team out of the office for planning days.

Access to funding plays key role in Airedale Enterprise Services support to businesses, with Virgin Start-Up Loans as the latest offering.  As the designated partner for delivering the funding from Virgin in West and North Yorkshire, eligible entrepreneurs and businesses trading for up to 3 years can access from £500 to £25000 through AES. Within the scheme, the team provides dedicated support through a mix of one-to-one mentoring, remote support and face-to-face meetings. Businesses without a fully-formed business plan receive guidance to get their business plan written or have their existing plan reviewed to maximise their chances of success. Once approved for the loan, the business receives a further 12 months mentoring support.

Other funding and subsidised support available through Airedale Enterprise Services is available from the Regional Growth Fund Start & Grow initiative and for training through the Leeds City Region LEP skills service.

A range of training courses, some of which are free to those looking at starting a business are run at the new location by the AES in-house team along with others delivered by external experts in various aspects of business development.  New trainers have been brought in to help expand the range of topics from 2016, introducing ‘The Business of Resilience’ , ‘Understanding PR’, ‘Managing Stress in the Workplace’ and ‘ISO-9001’ to the existing mix of HR and social media courses which have proved very popular.  The new training programme is available from January 2016

Sponsors & an integral part of the steering group of Keighley Business Awards, the Airedale Enterprise Services team play a significant role in the local business community, but their reach actually goes far beyond the town, stretching to Humberside, Lancashire and North Yorkshire in providing business support and funding. 

Consultant David Gagen has been with the organisation for 3 years and works with companies as diverse as NAVIGO Health & Social Care based in Grimsby and Control Technology UK Ltd based in Keighley delivering high calibre one-to-one strategic business advice at a rate which is highly competitive against commercial providers.  “As a social enterprise the ethos has always been on making business support affordable, and all profits from consultancy work are ploughed back in to help support fledgling businesses”, he explains. “On average we have helped 70 people a year out of the benefit system and into a position where they are now employing other people; it’s a great legacy and one which we are excited to be developing further in this new chapter of our history at Crown Works.”

As well as providing business coaching, training, low cost incubator office space and help with obtaining financial support for start-up & growth, the AES team are in the process of launching a new business club. The AWWEsome business club is set to provide a range of support services to members and will be championing the growing willingness for businesses of all shapes and sizes to work together to forge their own networks for growth. Members of the club will also be able to access our team of business mentors/coaches for one to one business development and growth.

The Club will officially launch in March 2016, to book a place or for more information please call Lynne on 01535 607775