Category Archives: Case Studies
Simon Whyte of Whyte’s Artisan is very passionate about candles. His home poured soy wax candles are ecologically sound and provide a long clean burn with a fabulous aroma that fills a room. He also creates melts which sit in an oil burner and give the same range of scents in a smaller version. Simon visited dozens of craft fairs with his wife’s stained glass business and realised that he could sell his candles, melts and beeswax polishes via these fairs. Simon’s candles are selling well in a variety of places including on Face Book, Etsy.com and in craft collectives around Yorkshire, such as Created in Yorkshire based at the Ridings Centre in Wakefield.
Simon had been making his candles in his kitchen using standard kitchen equipment since the beginning of the year and needed some investment to get his production facilities scaled up ahead of the Christmas period which Simon predicts will be his busiest time of the year. He approached Celia Hickson, an Enterprise Coach working for Bradford Kickstart, and together within 3 weeks of first meeting they submitted an application to the Business Enterprise Fund for a loan to purchase specialist candle making equipment and bulk supplies of wax, wicks, scents and jars.
Simon is now in a position to prepare stock for his Christmas fairs and can build relationships with other businesses such as garden centres and florists where his beautifully displayed products attract sales and smell divine. Simon said “I knew about the Business Enterprise Fund and had started to put a business plan together, but Celia was able to provide me with a bit of extra oomph in the way I described my business development plans. I couldn’t have got the loan without Celia’s help; she was very supportive and gave me confidence to pursue my business ideas.”
Celia said “Working with Simon was great fun; he had a vivid vision for his business and knew how he wanted to progress. We worked to a tight timetable as he had already planned his candle making in the next few months to get his Christmas stocks ready for the shelves.”
E firstname.lastname@example.org T 07921 103045
When Mohammed Atique completed his degree in Fashion Design at Huddersfield University in 2011, he immediately set about trying to hone his skills at home. He soon realised that home could not provide the much needed space for an aspiring fashion designer to get creative and spark original ideas.
Atique searched around Bradford looking for work space, and when a large unit became available in the City Centre, he knew it was an opportunity not to be missed. The floor area itself far exceeded Atique’s requirements, and so through his extensive work with charities, volunteering and full time work, he came to the realisation that there were many young people in a similar situation to himself, looking for an outlet for their creative energy but lacking the necessary space to make it happen – and so Our Light Bulb CIC Ltd was constituted in April 2013.
Over a period of several months, and with the help of friends and colleagues, the unit was renovated and transformed from a derelict space into a creative hub full of energy, innovative ideas, and positive action.
“The space has become a multi-purpose facility in which numerous activities have already taken place for the benefit of those less fortunate,” says Atique. “For example, the Cakes 4 Syria campaign which Islamic Relief ran across the UK during the month of Ramadhan 2013, was coordinated and managed entirely from this space. In all we raised over £300,000 for the people of Syria, and supplied over 20,000 cakes to all parts of the country,” he adds proudly.
Atique has a strong background in humanitarian relief and charity aid work, but lacked the business nous to work out how best to generate income from the building and at the same time further its social and charitable objectives. He turned to Bradford Kickstart and quickly formed a relationship with Rizwan Seedat, Enterprise Coach for the City Centre and Great Horton.
“It has been very useful to have Rizwan on board with our project. I had very limited knowledge of running a business, and so to have someone there to guide us, and bounce ideas off, has been extremely helpful. Rizwan has helped with company formation issues and general business advice on operational matters. We continue to work together on various grant applications, and value his experience and input. ”
Our Light Bulb Ltd operates out of a large first floor office in the heart of Bradford City Centre. The floor space has been carved out into a number of sections, each section corresponding to a specific use. The company hopes to attract budding artists who will pay to become members, thus enabling them to book space and access various classes in sewing, fashion design, calligraphy, art and photography. There is also a photography studio, café area, conferencing/training space and a resource library all for shared use by the organisation’s members and bookable in advance.
Our Light Bulb CIC Ltd
T 07590 756506
The School of Rock and Media (SORM) came into being in late 2011, launched by two people John and Tony who both shared a passion for music and for using music as a way to engage with young people in the BD5 area to give them a creative outlet for their energies, in a way not offered by more traditional youth groups. By early 2012 they had found a home at the Mapa Centre in BD5, where they developed a rehearsal space and make-shift recording studio using equipment they had gathered over the year and were seeing in the region of 30 young people a week for their youth group sessions.
Through work being carried out jointly between Bradford Trident and Mapa, enterprise coach Jonathan Smith was introduced to John and Tony as they were in the process of developing a formal business plan and needed to formalise ‘SORM’ in order to take it to the next level, several meetings followed in fairly quick succession and once the business plan had taken shape Jonathan was able to signpost John and Tony to a Social Enterprise specialist who helped them to formally establish the School of Rock and Media as a Company Limited by Guarantee. Jonathan said ‘It was clear at first meeting just how passionate John and Tony were about what they were doing and what they knew they could achieve, in fact most of the sorting out of the business plan had to be done through e.mail whilst John was recuperating in hospital from a knee operation, I draw the line at actually holding client meetings in hospitals, but that’s technology for you”.
During this time, and knowing only too well the aspirations John and Tony had, Jonathan came across a potential site ripe for development into studio space, close to Bradford City Centre; all agreed this would give the business the chance to grow in a way that could sure up the financial future of SORM in the long term and help them in their goals to reach a wider audience. They took on the space in Edward Street, just behind the Bradford Interchange, moving in mid July 2013 and set to work converting the basement of this building into recording studio and youth group space.
Due to their hard work and determination the space at Edward Street now boast 4 separate recording studios, they are seeing 3-400 people come through their doors every week, have over 1000 Facebook followers and over 50,000 Twitter followers, are recruiting staff, have expanded their offer to include vocal coaching, are working with young adults with learning and physical difficulties and bands such as Pearl Jam, as well as winning and delivering contracts for Imagineer CIC, Affinity Trust, Supported Lives, Lifeways, Youth Service, Bradford Council and more recently the DWP. They are at last managing to take (all be it minimal) wages too. John Bolton says “For all that it’s been a little while since we’ve had a formal meeting, it’s fair to say we’re in touch with Jonathan on a regular basis, who does a great job of encouraging and at times reigning in our enthusiasm, we’ve benefited enormously from the ongoing support and the local networking events that Trident put on; the last two years have been a great journey and we can be proud of all we’ve achieved, safe in the knowledge that we’re here to stay and grow, continuing to support people and help them learn and develop skills in a productive way.”
School of Rock & Media (SORM)
John Bolton and Tony Saunders
Based at the former Manningham Baths, the new ladies state of the art and luxury fitness facility, The Curve Fitness, opened its door in February of this year. Much of the old features of Manningham Baths still remains; combining its historic Victorian features with a new modern and contemporary feel. A facility that sets a high quality standard, a space designed exclusively with women, for women that provides a solution to some of the rising issues in Manningham. Helping combat obesity, diabetes and reducing isolation in the home.
The gym benefits from a wide range of services such as fitness, beauty and massage, hairdressing, spa, sauna, steam room and café. Certain facilities such as the café and beauty rooms are also open to the general public and non-members.
Amjad Saddiq owner of The Curve Fitness had an ambition to open his first ladies only gym in the heart of Bradford. After purchasing the redundant property from auction, he worked carefully with his advisors and architect to set about producing something unique for Bradford. He first approached Bradford Kickstart after the idea was born from a significant rising level of women’s unmet needs, highlighting a gap in the market. A working group was created, which Bradford Kickstart was pivotal in addressing some of the project challenges, this included timescales, resources such as access to financing, building design and implementation work, getting the right staff and ensuring the right brand and sales strategy were deployed. Zahra Niazi, Enterprise Coach worked with the Curve Fitness over a course of a year before the gym was launched. Support such as business planning, brand marketing, HR strategy and general recruitment, access to grants such as the Investment Training Fund, support for a pre-base office at the Carlisle Business Centre and support for sales were part of a long term support strategy that enabled Curve Fitness to make an immediate impact upon launch.
Since launching the gym, The Curve Fitness now welcome over 500 women through their doors every week. Their presence in Manningham is seen as a sign of the area improving at a time when the city of Bradford is witnessing some major regeneration projects like the Westfield Shopping Centre and the completion of the David Hockney building. On a local level, The Curve Fitness has been a positive step into encouraging women of all ages and backgrounds to make a firm commitment towards a fitter and healthier lifestyle. The business has successfully overcome obstacles that they have faced, by creating a lively and warm environment for women, which is debated, discussed and led by women. The Curve Fitness has received fantastic feedback with users commenting on their ability to engage with people at local level and being remarked by members as “the best women only gym in Bradford”. Helen Moore, Club Manager of The Curve Fitness gym believes, “support from programmes like Bradford Kickstart has been extremely beneficial at a time when getting everything right the first time is critical thus saving time and money”.
One of the local businesses helped by Kickstart Enterprise Coach, Mike Whitehouse, is Tiffany Park owner of Tiffany Park The Salon in Eccleshill. Tiffany from Eccleshill opened her first salon in Cleckheaton at the age of 21 and built the business up over a ten year period, at which point she sold the business to move to Huddersfield, where over the next 10 years she opened another 3 salons.
Eventually Tiffany decided to take a year out and trained for a degree in lecturing at Huddersfield University, enabling her to open her own hairdressing training school. This was an idea she wanted to bring back to her home town of Bradford.
With the help of Mike from Kickstart Bradford, she found the perfect premises, wrote her business plan and opened Tiffany Park The Salon in Eccleshill. Mike was also there to make important introductions to key contacts that could help Tiffany to achieve her dream and through their monthly meetings Mike continues to offer invaluable support.
Tiffany is now putting everything in place to open the upper floor of the salon with a Tanning Suite and a Beauty Room which will be open from the end of September, and the final piece in the jigsaw will be the hairdressing school which Tiffany is hoping to open next year.
Tiffany said “it was great to have the support of Mike, he helped me with a lot of the issues that were new to me like finance and tax”.
Anjela Pianforini has a passion for clothes; she spent a lot of time working in beautiful boutiques selling high end and designer clothes and accessories, so it is fair to say that she knows her Prada from her Primark! Naturally, she wanted to be able to update her wardrobe each season, so she started to sell her pre-loved items on-line, so that the coffers were refilled and so was the shoe closet! Then a friend asked her to sell some things for her too, and then another, and another. Before she knew it, Anjela had a unique business as an online dress agency and an E-bay shop called Have I got New for You.
Anjela initially met her Kickstart Enterprise Coach, Candy Squire-Watt, after enquiring about business support from Bradford Council. She wanted to add a website to her growing business, but didn’t know where to start. They discussed the situation, and Candy did some research around University internships, which helped Anjela focus on what she wanted and how to achieve it. As the business was expanding Anjela took on more staff and found the support from Kickstart really useful, ‘It has been great to have someone outside the business to act as a sounding board’ she said, ‘Candy gives me a fresh pair of eyes, and helps me to see different options to go forward’.
Anjela’s website www.nu2u.org has just been launched, and is attracting attention from fashion bloggers and celebrities alike (Sienna Millers’ scarf anyone?). She now has 3 staff, an exclusive list of clients she sells for, and is trading online 7 days a week. They have between 400 and 500 pieces for sale at any time, and ship to 5 continents! But Anjela is certainly not resting on her laurels, with more expansion plans it is fair to say that this business could well be Ilkley’s most exciting new business. The website is fun, quirky and indulgent (a bit like Anjela herself!) Ladies, put your feet up and have a browse!