Weston College Business Services

Tag: North Somerset Enterprise Agency

Flurry of new business start-ups according to North Somerset Enterprise Agency

During July and August, North Somerset saw a flurry of new business start-ups and jobs being created according to North Somerset Enterprise Agency.

Latest statistics from organisation show that in the last two months it has helped twenty-four new businesses to start-up, an increase from nineteen in the same period last year.

The range of new businesses is varied and includes a cleaning business, coaching and marketing enterprises, a horticulture company, a sweet and gift shop and furniture and reclamation business.

In the same period, start-up and small businesses working with the Enterprise Agency have created an impressive 44 new jobs.

Research into companies who set-up this time last year reveal that of the nineteen businesses launched last July and August with North Somerset Enterprise Agency’s help at least fifteen are still successfully trading after their first twelve months in business.

And of the twenty companies who set up in the same period in 2009, 13 are still trading after surviving the critical first three years – the period when many new businesses fail.

Angela Hicks, Chief Executive of North Somerset Enterprise Agency comments: “Despite – and in some cases because of – the recession, local people are still spotting and taking opportunities to start their own business.

“Fortunately by taking advice, they are also giving themselves the best chance of survival, growth and creation of employment, which bodes well for the local economy going forward.

“We welcome anyone thinking of starting a business in North Somerset to come and talk to our experienced, knowledgeable and locally-based team of advisors for sound – and free – advice.”

North Somerset Enterprise Agency is a not-for-profit organisation which provides free and low-cost advice, support and training to start-up and growing companies

For further details visit www.northsomersetenterpriseagency.co.uk or contact Hazel Wintle on 01934 418118 or by e-mail to hazel.wintle@nsea.biz.

Entry deadline looming for business awards

Young businesses across North Somerset have just two weeks left to enter this year’s Siân Lloyd-Jones Business Awards – and are being urged by last year’s winners to use the opportunity to celebrate and showcase their successes and achievements.

The Siân Lloyd-Jones Business Awards are run annually by North Somerset Enterprise Agency and sponsored by North Somerset Council.

The awards celebrate business talent in the local area and are open to North Somerset based businesses of any size who have been trading for between two and five years at the time of application.

With the entry deadline of September 15 looming, previous winners are urging local businesses to get their entries in and promote the success of their businesses.

Andrew Scott, who is Managing Director of Insight Data – double award winners – had this to say: “We have won the award on two occassions – it was great to get rewarded for the cutting-edge work we do. We employ twenty plus staff and plan to double this by 2015.

“I would encourage any businesses who meet the criteria to apply. It’s well worth it and the awards night is a great business occasion in itself.”

To find out more about Insight Data please visit: www.insightdata.co.uk

Debbie Fortune, founder and director of Debbie Fortune Estate Agents in Wrington, now a multi-award winning estate agency agrees, saying the award was a special accolade for her business.

“Winning this award, not just within our own industry but across a range of businesses meant a great deal to us and was hugely motivating for our staff.

“Unlike many, these awards are easy to apply for and I would encourage any business, however small, to apply. The awards night and charity ball are also a wonderful way to network.” she says.

The awards will be presented at this year’s North Somerset Business Club Charity Ball, which is open to all and takes place at The Winter Gardens on Saturday 13 October 2012. The winner and runners up will each receive an award and publicity.

North Somerset Enterprise Agency’s team, which acts as a ‘one stop shop’ providing free or low-cost advice, information and training to start-up and growing businesses in the area, has run the award annually since 2000 in memory of their former colleague and friend Siân Lloyd-Jones.

Angela Hicks, Chief Executive of North Somerset Enterprise Agency says the awards provide a real opportunity for local businesses to showcase their progress and success.

“Every week our team is working with exciting new and growing businesses in North Somerset, helping them to start up and develop. These awards give all local businesses the chance to tell us – and potentially the entire business community – about all the good things they are doing.

“We, and our colleagues at North Somerset Council who support the awards, are looking forward to highlighting their achievements and success.”

Entry forms can be obtained by calling North Somerset Enterprise Agency on 01934 418118 or by emailing hazel.wintle@nsea.biz. Entries need to be submitted no later than Friday 14 September 2012.

Newsbite: North Somerset Enterprise Agency boost

According to the North Somerset Enterprise Agency six new businesses have started trading in the region in June, with support from the organisation.

This takes the total number of businesses, who have benefitted from start-up advice and support from The North Somerset Enterprise Agency, to 126 across the last 12 months.

The most recent start-ups include a charity and a plumbing business.

As a result, eight new jobs have been created in North Somerset, bringing the number of jobs created from new businesses supported by North Somerset Enterprise Agency in the last twelve months to 175.

Angela Hicks, Chief Executive at North Somerset Enterprise Agency comments: “Far from being frightened of or discouraged by the recession, we are seeing more would-be business owners confidently setting out on the path to success knowing they have everything in place to take their businesses forward.”

To find out more call 01934 418118 or more information can be found at: www.northsomersetenterpriseagency.co.uk

Help for ambitious businesses

Businesses across the South West, with the potential to achieve a turnover of between £500,000 and £1 million pounds in their first three years of trading, are being offered a free place at a High Growth workshop which takes place on Thursday 28 June 2012 at the North Somerset Enterprise Agency.

The workshop is part of three high growth business services – Starting a high growth business, coaching for high growth and understanding finance for business – being offered by the local business support organisations.

The services are all funded by the European Region Development Fund, so are free to participating businesses.

Each service delivers one-to-one assistance through over 100 of the top independent business coaches based in the region.

Growth businesses can benefit from their extensive boardroom experience and a carefully planned combination of advice, workshops, business strategy and finance guidance, with support being long-term and tailored to the exact requirements of each participating business.

To qualify, businesses will be starting up or less than a year old and have the right attitude or innovation such as a new product service of concept to achieve fast growth.

Places for the event can be booked by contacting Hazel Wintle 01934 418118. More information about the growth services available can be found at


Free help for ambitious North Somerset entrepreneurs

Ambitious start-up businesses and entrepreneurs across the South West who are looking to achieve a turnover of between £500,000 and £1 million pounds or more in their first three years of trading, are being invited to take part in a free High Growth Start Up workshop in February or March.

North Somerset Enterprise Agency, in partnership with Business West, has organised the workshops to run from 9.15 a.m. – 4.00 p.m, on Tuesday 21 February and Thursday 29 March at its offices in Oldmixon Crescent, Weston-super-Mare.

The workshops are part of three high growth business services – Starting a High Growth Business, Coaching for High Growth and Understanding Finance for Business – being offered by the local business support organisations. The services are all funded by the European Regional Development Fund, so are free to participating businesses.

“Each of the services delivers one-to-one assistance through over 100 of the top independent business coaches in our region,” explains Angela Hicks, Chief Executive of North Somerset Enterprise Agency:

“Growth businesses can benefit from their extensive boardroom experience and a carefully planned combination of advice, workshops, business strategy and finance guidance, with support being long-term and tailored to the exact requirements of each participating business.”

To qualify, businesses will be starting up or less than a year old and have the right attitude or innovation such as a new product, service of concept to achieve fast growth.

Places for the February and March events can be booked by contacting Hazel Wintle on 01934 418118. More information about the growth services available can be found at www.growthsouthwest.co.uk


Economic Development Service helping your business grow

Economic Development Starting or growing a business can be daunting, especially in uncertain economic times. However, the North Somerset economy has weathered the recent economic downturn better than many other areas, due to its broad economic base of over 8,500 small and medium enterprises (SME’s) and around 70 major employers (employing over 100 people or above). Unlike other local economies, North Somerset does not have an over reliance on any particular sector, which has proven to be a key advantage during and post the recession.

Although we remain in difficult economic times, with much talk of a slow economic recovery and fragile business confidence, North Somerset has seen a steady number of new businesses starting up. The Economic Development Service at North Somerset Council (NSC) and North Somerset Enterprise Agency (NSEA) work closely together to deliver a package of business support to help meet the needs of both new and growing businesses, with tailored programmes to help businesses start, survive and develop.

NSEA has over 20 years experience in helping business owners with every aspect of running their businesses. Angela Hicks, the agency’s Chief Executive, often sees businesses approach them when their problems have been ongoing for some time, which can make them more complex to overcome. The NSEA is there to help businesses avoid or minimise the problems they face, as well as develop and grow. NSEA offers businesses and budding entrepreneurs many types of support including:

• Free advice, coaching and mentoring
• Low-cost practical seminars
• Solutions to business problems
• Information about sources of business finance and
• Networking opportunities.

In addition to the support and advice available from NSEA, the Economic Development Service is dedicated to promoting economic growth in North Somerset through supporting local businesses, raising the profile of the area and encouraging inward investment. Services provided include:

• Assistance in locating land/premises
• Statistics and economic data on the local area
• Information on new commercial development opportunities
• Links to key departments within NSC as well as external agencies and networks
• Advice/assistance for new business start-ups (in partnership with NSEA)
• Employment support and
• Maintaining the business focused website www.innorthsomerset.co.uk

If you would like to know more about the business support available in North Somerset, please contact either:

1) The Economic Development Service (Simon Gregory or Jane Vivian) on 01934 426 266, business@n-somerset.gov.uk  or visit www.innorthsomerset.co.uk  or


2) NSEA on: 01934 418 118, info.weston@businesswest.co.uk or visit www.northsomersetenterpriseagency.co.uk

Debbie Fortune wins free space at North Somerset Business Show.

Debbie FortuneDebbie Fortune Estate Agents, based in Wrington, has won a free space at the North Somerset Business Show.

The company won the free exhibitor space at the next North Somerset Business Show by completing an on-line survey which asked respondents where in the region the business event should take place and, out of almost 100 respondents, Debbie Fortune were drawn out of the hat.

Principal Director of the firm Debbie Fortune said:“We could not be more pleased to attend this excellent event- particularly as prize winners. We are looking forward to meeting like-minded and proactive businesses in North Somerset and making lots of new friends and business contacts.”

A spokesperson for North Somerset Business show said:”We are delighted that a local company, that is still relatively new to North Somerset, has been given the opportunity to meet other, like-minded businesses.

“The event hosted 55 exhibitors in 2011 but, given the amount of interest already shown, we hope to double that number in 2012.

“The idea behind the survey was to ensure that we are catering for the needs of the North Somerset business community, and the results were interesting.

“The largest vote went to Weston-super-Mare and so that’s where we will be holding the event again in 2012. We had thought that Portishead would be second but, in fact, it was Clevedon and so we have committed to running the show there in 2013.”

The draw for the free exhibition space was made at the North Somerset Enterprise Agency. Area Manager Terry Gilbert said:”We are very pleased that the North Somerset Business Show 2012, and its location has been confirmed. It was a great success last year and is expected to double in size.

“It is very important for North Somerset businesses, both big and small, to showcase their products and meet new clients in this manner.

“We would also like to acknowledge the fact that the organisers have offered exhibition space to North Somerset Businesses at a very reduced rate.”

The event has been booked to take place on Wednesday 23rd May 2012 at The Winter Gardens, Weston-super-Mare.

Visitors to the show can get free entry by pre-registering on the web site: www.ns-bs.co.uk, where all the details for exhibitors can also be found.

North Somerset Enterprise Agency gives couple a ‘helping hand’

Helping Hands team

Helping Hands team

A Weston-super-Mare business which was launched as a result of redundancy has entered its second year of business with a fast growing order book and an expanding list of popular services.

Helping Hands, run by husband and wife team Dominic and Ally Ife, frees up people’s time and makes their lives easier by taking over many of life’s chores. The business offers a huge range of services from gardening to spring cleaning, dog walking to errand running and form filling to accompanying people to hospital.

Having researched the business idea Dominic approached North Somerset Enterprise Agency, which supports start-up and businesses with free advice, information and low-cost training and soon found himself learning everything he needed to know to start his business from training courses and workshops. The agency also helped with networking, local advice and contacts and an open door for advice and help.

“Our services are only limited by our customers’ imagination – and of course legal, moral and ethical boundaries.” says Dominic. “If clients ask for a service that we don’t offer we will introduce it ourselves or find someone who can – there is very little that we can’t do. We even offer gift vouchers so that customers can treat their friends and family to the gift of some time off!”

Fees for services are charged either hourly or as a job rate, contract or package. Whilst having worked hard to make Helping Hands’ services affordable, Dominic admits that he’s been surprised by just how widespread the demand for the firms’ services has been.

“We originally thought that our services would appeal more to elderly people who needed help with practical jobs, but our customers come from all age groups, our youngest being a 13 year old who wanted us to hide her gift of a second-hand bike for her brother until Christmas Day! (Of course no charge was made for the service !)

“We might be watering a customer’s plants whilst they are on holiday and ensuring another customer receives their morning newspaper then an hour later we could be running a pet taxi service! There’s never a dull moment and although the business demands long hours and we have to be very flexible to fit around our customers’ needs, we love the variety.”

He credits the team at North Somerset Enterprise Agency with ensuring Helping Hands survived the early days. “We had access to all the help and support we needed and were always able to see an adviser when we wanted to. They also introduced us to a wealth of local contacts.” he says.

Terry Gilbert of the North Somerset Enterprise Agency says: “Helping Hands is a business that spotted a need and has worked hard to deliver a service that has something to offer almost everyone. It’s terrific to see them heading into their second year of enterprise with a growing reputation and demand.

“At a time when there is little job security, it’s inspiring to see how redundancy can be turned from a real blow into an opportunity for a new way of life. Running a business is hard work and isn’t for everyone, but as Dominic and Ally demonstrate it can be a life-changing and rewarding way forward.”

Helping Hands can be contacted on 01934 623068, mobile 07907 844078, via the website: www.helpinghandsweston.co.uk or by e-mailing info@helpinghandsweston.co.uk

For more information on the North Somerset Enterprise Agency visit: http://www.northsomersetenterpriseagency.co.uk/about-us/


ASG Marketing supports local charity event

Sophie Priest

Marketing Services Manager Sophie Priest

North Somerset based ASG Marketing, the specialist digital and direct marketing company, supported the recent North Somerset Enterprise Agency Charity Ball held at the Grand Pier on October 8 2011.

“We were delighted to get involved,” explains Marketing Services Manager Sophie Priest: “The event raises money for local charities and is match-funded by Santander Bank, so we were delighted to donate a new state-of-the-art website package that was auctioned off during the Charity Ball.”

ASG Marketing is the largest marketing agency in North Somerset and employs 20 staff from their offices in Weston-super-Mare. The company specialise in digital and direct marketing, from website design and email marketing to direct mail and design and print.

The direct mail division provides a service to local businesses that don’t have the time or resources to fold invoices, statements or mailshots and stuff envelopes. “Businesses can just provide us with the material to mail each week or month, or for mailshots our graphic design studio can produce really powerful mail-outs that generate lots of sales leads,” explains Sophie.

The company also employs a team of web designers and digital marketing experts who design websites with the aim of attracting more visitors and converting them into enquiries and sales leads.

Sophie comments: “Unfortunately many web designers are technical or graphic minded people who don’t really understand that a website is a tool that needs to generate business.”

ASG’s in-house digital marketing team has also developed Mailminx, an advanced email software system that manages email campaigns and customer e-newsletters. The team also manage their client’s online marketing and search engine optimisation (SEO).

For more information visit www.asgmarketing.co.uk and follow them on Twitter: www.twitter.com/asg_marketing