One of the most difficult things to navigate in business can be the support landscape. What help is available? Are you eligible? What does it cost? Can your budget stretch to that? Will it even make a difference?
These questions are crucial when any business is starting out - when money, time and resources are all stretched. The first few years of any business can either help it start on the right track or sow the seeds for future failure.
How’s Business is the growth hub for York, North Yorkshire and East Riding. We’re here to help budding entrepreneurs find the right way through what can be a complicated business landscape. Best of all, the support services we offer are free to businesses within the region. So entrepreneurs (including those aged 16 to 24) do not have to work out if they can stretch their budget to get some help.
Growth hubs are part of the Local Enterprise Partnership network set up by the government to help support and encourage businesses in local areas. They offer mentorship, help with sourcing funding, provide helpful articles on common business topics and toolkits to help your business navigate things like finding an apprentice or how to prepare for Brexit.
One of our recent success stories comes from helping Whitby Distillery, a company set up by 2 young entrepreneurs, Jess Slater and Luke Pentith.
They came up with the idea while on a trip to the Outer Hebrides in 2017. After returning from holiday, they ordered a still and started distilling what has turned out to be one of the finest gins in the country.
Whitby gin is a premium product which includes foraged ingredients and botanicals from the North York Moors. Luke and Jess do everything by hand, including bottling and labelling, to ensure that their gin retains a high-end, artisanal quality.
Luke and Jess got in touch with our growth hub to see what support was available for young businesses in the region. Our growth managers went and spoke to them on site to hear about the challenges they were facing. We helped them access funding to buy vital pieces of equipment and pointed them towards training providers to help them fill skills gaps. We then helped them start to look at the export market and identify the steps they needed to take in order to access markets abroad and build capacity within their company to take on an exporting role.
As a result of the help Luke and Jess have received, Whitby Distillery is going from strength to strength. In the year or so since they launched their product to market, they have won 5 major awards including Best British London Dry at the World Gin Awards. They have plans to move premises and expand their production, creating jobs within their local community.
If you’re an entrepreneur with a fledgling company, get in touch with your local growth hub to see how they may be able to help you.
And if you’re based in the York, North Yorkshire and East Riding region, visit howsbusiness.org to find out more, get in touch, or make an appointment with one of our team.