Category Archives: Case Studies

Hashim Designs

Hashim Designs owner Kashif Qureshi and staff member Rachel Morris

A design and print agency in Bradford which has grown from a bedroom operation into a successful business employing five people has benefited from guidance from Bradford Council’s enterprise service.

Hashim Designs in Heaton has recruited an extra graphic designer to cope with its growing workload.

It follows a series of meetings with an enterprise coach from the Council’s Kickstart scheme, which has helped thousands of similar small businesses and start-ups across the Bradford district over the past six years.

Kickstart enterprise coach Zahra Niazi gave business founder Kashif Qureshi advice on making staff members’ roles and responsibilities more defined to improve efficiency.

Kashif said: “Everyone was working really hard but we were all doing different bits and pieces rather than focusing on particular areas.

“I didn’t know where best to start but working with Kickstart helped me to restructure things and make sure I was giving clear leadership to drive things along.

“It has already paid off and we’ve just recruited another designer because we are so much busier.”

As a teenager Kashif spent hours in his bedroom producing menus, flyers and leaflets for local restaurants and takeaways.

After building a strong client base he made a decision to rent a small office unit, allowing him to turn his designing from a hobby into a full-time job.

He then began offering print services and within two years took on an extra member of staff. Two years later he moved to larger premises in Adelaide Street, Bradford, branching further into websites, banners and external signs.

He is now serving clients like local health trusts and British Gas and hoping to grow further by building on the support from Kickstart.

Kashif added: “Graphic design was a hobby of mine, really, and I’ve managed to turn it into a successful business. Anyone who starts out on their own can make it work in the same way if they have enough passion – having services like Kickstart certainly helps too.”

Coun Susan Hinchcliffe, Bradford Council’s Executive Member for employment and skills, said: “This is another great example of how we can assist small businesses to improve, grow and as a result help the local economy by creating new jobs.

“Businesses across the country are still finding the economy tough going but there are opportunities locally for enterprising firms like Hashim Designs and as a Council we’ll help them as much as possible.”

In the past six years, Bradford Council’s enterprise programme has supported more than 1,500 new businesses and helped to create more than 5,000 jobs. It is part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund.

Anyone who wants further information about how Kickstart can call 0800 953 9503 or email

Hashim Designs

Kashif Qureshi

T  01274 745024


Kickstart helps former nurse’s business get off on the right foot

Christine Harker

An ex-district nurse has returned to her roots by setting up a successful foot care business with support from Bradford Council.

Christine Harker left the NHS in 2010 after 30 years’ service, having risen to become a senior nurse manager.  Now she is back looking after patients once again – but this time focusing just on their feet.  She set up Heel2Toe Foot Health Care last year with support from Bradford Council’s Kickstart enterprise programme and is steadily growing her list of clients.

Christine, from Haworth, said: “Given my background as a community nurse, I am comfortable with people and their own environment and don’t have a problem dealing with aspects of personal care. Plus I know from experience how much good regular foot care enhances people’s quality of life so my idea stemmed from there.

“It was always an aspiration to work for myself but knowing how to get out there and do it was another matter.

“I realised approaching Kickstart would be a great way of working through everything and creating a proper business plan – that turned out to be exactly what happened.”

She worked with Kickstart enterprise coach Candy Squire-Watt to develop her business plan, marketing and networking skills having spent 12 months gaining a diploma in foot health care and attending a centre of excellence.

Christine is now a qualified Foot Health Practitioner, performing treatments such as toe-nail cutting, dealing with corns, callus and general foot care in and around Keighley as well as at a clinic at a Harden pharmacy.

“When I went to the initial group Kickstart sessions it was really helpful to talk with other people in the same position about the positives and negatives of starting a business,” added Christine.

“The biggest message was that you had to be brave to start on your own but that the help would be there if you took the plunge.

“I had invested a huge amount of effort in getting qualified and reaching the point that I could start the business but I risked not being able to see the wood for the trees.

“My enterprise coach guided me out of the trees, as it were, and now I’ve built up a really nice client list which continues to grow.

“Eighty per cent of my clients are older people who are in their own homes and have particular problems with general foot care like thickened nails. The other twenty per cent are a mix of younger men and woman with foot care needs such as ingrown toe nails, callus and dry cracked heels.”

Coun David Green, Bradford Council Leader, said: “Christine’s knowledge and experience gave her a brilliant starting point to establish her own business and it’s very pleasing that Kickstart has been able to help her.

“Whether you have 30 years’ or 30 weeks’ experience, starting out on your own can be a daunting proposition but our enterprise coaches offer invaluable assistance and support.”

Heel2Toe Foot Health Care

Christine Harker

T  07504 714072

Enthuse partners offer one-stop shop to schools!

Naveed Mushtaque and Richard Harrison

Born and bred in Bradford, Naveed with his business partner Richard want to make their mark on children and families in cities like ours.

Toller-based Naveed Mushtaque was recently made redundant, having served in Bradford Council as an Extended Services Co-ordinator for 4 years. Naveed’s decision to undertake a bold and brave move into self-employment was mainly derived from his passion and belief in the outcomes he was already delivering to schools and children based within the BD5 area.

Naveed’s business partner Richard comes from a similar background having delivered the On Track project for Bradford Council as well as working with schools on funding and sports development.

Naveed and Richard both believe that there is social and moral obligation for schools, to provide children and their families with positive life experiences. Combining their experiences and skills together, they believe that they are a unique and powerful duo offering a holistic approach to making innovative things happen. Building on strong relationships with school head teachers, Naveed and Richard have expertise around accessing funding, providing staff to deliver activities, managing, creating and developing projects or supporting pathways for students. Head teachers such as Mike Latham from Newby Primary, who have already accessed their services, are completely delighted with the impact their involvement has made on their school’s achievement. With so many changes in the educational sector, it was challenging to get schools to recognise the value and moral aspect of what the business offers and willingly pay for services which have been traditionally offered for without cost to the schools.

Naveed says; “It was extremely challenging to try and change the way I thought about my services in terms of monetary value. The whole paradigm shift was difficult to get to grips with. I wasn’t sure how to develop the business from the initial idea, or what type of structure we should go for or how to market the business to schools as a business, which is why I approached Bradford Kickstart for help.”

Since contacting Bradford Kickstart’s coach Zahra Niazi, Naveed’s confidence has significantly grown. Naveed says, “Talking through the business plan, marketing strategy and just having someone to coach me through the process has made me less fearful of things that might go wrong. It’s just been really useful to be able refer to Zahra and have the confidence that there is expertise and reassurance. Someone you can trust every step of the way, that was really important to me.”

Through the support of Bradford Kickstart, Naveed and Richard officially launched their business ‘Enthuse’ in April 2012 operating from the Park Lane business centre.


Setting up a business is child’s play for Nehgat

Nehgat Shah at The Gingerbread Mill with her children, from left, Ali-Haider Naqvi, Aliya Syed and Aliza Syed

A mother-of-four from Bradford has combined her dream of opening her own coffee shop with setting up a new indoor play area.

Nehgat Shah has opened The Gingerbread Mill in Florence Street, Laisterdyke, after receiving support from Bradford Council’s Kickstart enterprise programme.

It features a two-tier play frame and separate soft play area for toddlers as well as a café and is proving a hit with parents and children alike after opening at the end of last year.

Kickstart provided information about business planning, costings and to meet health and safety and food hygiene requirements. The business now employs two full-time members of staff and other part-time workers for busy weekends and parties.

In the past five years, the Kickstart programme has supported more than 1,500 new businesses and helped to create more than 5,000 jobs. It is part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund.

Nehgat, a former teaching assistant who worked in schools across the Bradford district for 12 years, said: “I’d always thought about starting my own business but had a coffee shop in mind.

“Then I started helping a friend with her play centre on the other side of Bradford and thought there was an opportunity to combine my experience of working with children with the cafe.

“I thought a play centre would be popular here because, although I live in Heaton now, I grew up in and around Leeds Road and my parents have a business here so I know the area really well.

“The help I received from Kickstart has been invaluable. I approached them at the outset and it has been a great support throughout the whole process of setting up and starting out on my own.”

Coun David Green, Bradford Council’s Executive Member for Regeneration and Economy, said: “It’s great to see Nehgat get her business off the ground and create jobs for local people at the same time.

“Setting up a play centre like this throws up a number of issues like health and safety requirements which can look daunting for start-ups.

“Our Kickstart enterprise coaches have experience dealing with a wide range of sectors and are always able to either offer guidance direct or show where the best advice is available.”

For further information on The Gingerbread Mill, contact Nehgat Shah on 01274 662114

Enterprising Emma takes leap of faith into self-employment

Photo of Emma Austin of Sandwich Stack

Three months out of work, and struggling to find a job, Keighley-based Emma Austin has now taken the leap of faith into self-employment, through her new business Sandwich Stack, ‘I had always dreamed of working for myself, and having the freedom to make my own decisions.  Being unemployed was not something I was comfortable with, and the lack of jobs meant I could really focus on what I really wanted, which was to run my own business’ said Emma

Emma, 23, who lives in Long Lee, has received strong support from Bradford Council’s enterprise support programme, Kickstart.

Rav Panesar, an Enterprise Coach at Keighley-based Airedale Enterprise Services, supported Emma through discussions around self-employment, business planning and marketing.

Support was also provided by the Prince’s Trust, the charity established by the Prince of Wales to help enterprising young people start their own business.

Emma attended various network and training events that gave her an idea of what it was like to be self-employed, ‘I attended a networking event in Keighley which was great as I met loads of people who could help me.  Also through the Princes Trust, I attended a training event where I learned about the basics of setting up’ said Emma

‘I’ve received some great help and support in getting my business off the ground. Setting up a new business is not easy, and having someone around to talk to has been invaluable’

Her new company Sandwich Stack offers an outdoor catering service of fresh sandwich platters for local events, business meetings and lunchtime catering for professionals, ‘We cater for anyone who is organising a meeting, or an event and needs good quality food, using the freshest of ingredients delivered to their door. We have a simple approach, which is to give customers a great service, great food using fresh ingredients and a simple menu to order from’ said Emma

Sandwich Stack offers a choice of three simple options, silver stack, gold stack and platinum stack.  ‘Its very easy to over-complicate things, however, my philosophy is to keep things simple and easy to understand for my customers.  I want to help businesses that want an event or meeting catered for, in a simple and easy way!’

Emma, who enjoys running and pilates recognises the importance of a healthy diet when it comes to food, ‘I love to keep fit and healthy, and I’ve introduced a fresh fruit platter for business people who are always on the move.  My motto is ‘Food for Thought’ which is exactly what people will get!’

Sandwich Stack –, 07540 252933
Kickstart Information Line – 0800 953 9503
Rav Panesar, Enterprise Coach, Keighley – 01535 607775
Princes Trust –

New health and safety firm puts small businesses first

Bingley-based David Bennion, owner of DGB Health & Safety Solutions is on a mission to help frustrated local businesses overcome obstacles faced by red tape.  He is finding that small businesses are becoming tied up in knots by red tape, which in turn prevents them from expanding and taking on new opportunities. ‘I want to help businesses recruit, grow and thrive, without them worrying about the red tape of health and safety.  People come to me because they are worried, scared and been told myths about what they should be doing. Well, I want to try and put an end to that’.

DGB Health & Safety Solutions, trading just over nine months has generated a lot of interest from local businesses and housing associations that need help, ‘Since I started the business, I have been very busy educating people on what they need to do in order to comply with legislation.  Sometimes, all they need is a bit of reassurance that what they are doing is correct’ said David. ‘I am astounded at what I read in the papers, which is why I’m here to help get businesses moving’

Supported by Bradford Kickstart Enterprise Coach Rav Panesar, David has attended various events and has spent time building up his profile, ‘Rav has opened doors that I didn’t even know existed. Through his support I have attended various events, which have been very useful in helping me to spread the word and get people interested in what I do’

‘I am now working with Rav on putting together a plan for the future. I want to help more small businesses, letting them know I’m here for them when they need me’ said David. ‘I have plenty of ideas; I just needed to talk to someone to help develop them. That’s where Rav has been magnificent’.

DGB Health & Safety Solutions has already benefited from the support through new contacts and having a clear focus on opportunities, ‘As a new business, it’s very easy to get pulled in different directions. Through this support, I have managed to stay focused on my strategy, and this has helped to get me there’.

DGB Health & Safety Solutions offers services to local businesses, including risk assessments, toolbox talks through to detailed audits.  ‘I’m here to unpick the health and safety minefield, that will improve a businesses reputation, drive down insurance costs and improve efficiency in the workplace’, concludes David.

DGB Health & Safety Solutions
web:, 07900 431649
Kickstart Information Line – 0800 953 9503
Airedale Enterprise Services, Keighley – 01535 607775

DGB Health & Safety Solutions Owner David Bennion