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Sylvia Philips


8th November, 2015 No Comments

Only one week to go to the start of the world’s largest campaign to celebrate and promote entrepreneurship.


In 2014 GEW reached over 8 million people in 149 countries across the world, with more than 350,000 participants in the UK. Not surprising therefore that we are seeing nothing short of an enterprise revolution, with more new businesses starting than ever before.

The theme for GEW in the UK for 2015 is ‘MAKE IT HAPPEN’, encouraging those aspiring entrepreneurs to seize the opportunity to ‘make it happen’ for them.

GEW is hosted by Start Up Direct, UnLtd, Virgin StartUp, and Youth Business International, in partnership with Barclays. This year the campaign will be launched on Monday 16 November in Manchester, the first time it has ever happened outside London.

As the North West delivery agent for Virgin StartUp, Cavendish Consortium member, BBV is pleased to be supporting the launch, and will be participating in the panel session on ‘How to Validate a Business Idea’.

For many people the thought of starting up their own business is overwhelming and many entrepreneurs do not make it to the next stage of realising their business ideas, mainly because they do not make the right connections.  Global Entrepreneurship Week offers these aspiring entrepreneurs access to practical and professional support and business networks, locally, regionally, and globally.

In line with the GEW initiative, Cavendish partners want to encourage people to do just one thing to become more entrepreneurial – whether it is seeking feedback on a new business idea; attending a networking event; signing up for a training course to get the right skills needed to start a successful business; identifying appropriate sources of finance; or finding a mentor who can provide practical guidance.

Around the country Cavendish Consortium partners are hosting different events to support start up, new, and growing businesses – see list of events below.  Of course these are just some of the many events that will be taking place across the UK during GEW.

The Consortium members are delivering the Start & Grow programme which is funded by the Regional Growth Fund and delivers support and training to potential entrepreneurs across England.  The scheme is available to those looking to start a business which expects to employ people from its early stages and where start up financing will be required to get the venture off the ground.   Start & Grow could help you MAKE IT HAPPEN – further details about the programme here.

GEW is a great opportunity.  Don’t miss out …..

go to events,

share your ideas for business,

show your passion and commitment,

be inspired by other entrepreneurs,

and above all MAKE IT HAPPEN.


Written by Sylvia Philips, CEO, BBV Ltd


Cavendish Consortium Partners‘ GEW Events:

NORTH WEST delivered by BBV

BBV is involved in the launch of GEW on Monday 16 November in MANCHESTER, participating in the panel session on ‘How to Validate a Business Idea’.

BBV is also running its own business start-up seminar in BOLTON on Wednesday 18 November, which is open to all aspiring entrepreneurs to attend. This free event will enable participants to get connected to new business ideas, contacts and support, as well as be inspired by other entrepreneurs who have already made it happen, by turning their ideas into reality.

It promises to be a great event and is being held in an amazing venue, All Souls Bolton, which is a place that inspires. So if you want to start your own business this is the place to start and the opportunity that you have been waiting for to MAKE IT HAPPEN.


NORTH EAST delivered by TEDCO

Virgin Start Up Surgery at the Quadrus Centre in Boldon, South Tyneside – Monday 16th November

Presentation of the Virgin Start Up and Start and Grow service to the North East Growth Accelerator and Incubation Network  (GAIN) at the BIC in Sunderland – Tuesday 17th November

If We Can, You Can challenge and GENESIS 5 regional universities event at Baltic Gateshead – Wednesday 18th November

Start & Grow surgery Enterprise House, Barnard Castle, Tees Valley – Wednesday 18th November

TEDCO advisor drop in session (Tracy) at Campus North café, Newcastle – Thursday 19th November

Starting up in Business seminar Darlington Business Central – Friday 20th November

Contact TEDCO for more information on any of the above [email protected]


YORKSHIRE & HUMBER delivered by NEN / Airedale Enterprise

Introduction to Tax & Self-Assessment for Self-employed -2 hour workshop – Monday 16th November –  10–12 noon

Understanding PR full day workshop – Tuesday 17th November

Introduction to business planning (Virgin Start-up 2 hour workshop) – Tuesday 17th November –  11am–1pm

Social Media: Getting Started full day workshop – Wednesday 18th November


YORKSHIRE & HUMBER delivered by NEN / Business Support York and North Yorkshire

Exhibitors at SuperNetworking in York – Monday 16th November


WEST MIDLANDS delivered by NENBirmingham Chamber of Commerce

Know your Business

Session content: The event will have a strong focus on market research covering topics such as clients, suppliers, competitors and marketing, and is designed to challenge your knowledge of your target market and subsequently the potential viability of the business.

Wednesday 18th November : 10:30am – 1pm

Friday 20th November : The Vox Conference Centre, Resorts World Birmingham, Birmingham : 11am – 1:30pm


EAST MIDLANDS delivered by NBV

Technology for Start Up Businesses workshop – NOTTINGHAM – Tuesday 17th November


EAST of ENGLAND delivered by Nwes

GEW Networking Event – SUDBURY – Monday 16th November

GEW Networking Event – HARLOW – Tuesday 17th November

GEW Networking Event – NORWICH – Tuesday 17th November


SOUTH WEST delivered by Business West

Business StartUp Workshop – Gloucester  – Thursday 19th November


SOUTH EAST delivered by Enterprise First

Business Start-Up Workshop – Tuesday 17th November

Meet the Local Expert – Wednesday 18th November

Gosport Informal Network  – Thursday 19th November

Bookkeeping Workshop – Friday 20th November

Business Start-Up Workshop in Southampton – Friday 20th November

Business Growth Network in Southampton – Friday 20th November



Recognition for Enterprise Support Sector in Sunday Times Top 100 Best Companies

18th March, 2015 No Comments

As the National Enterprise Network, the unique membership body who represents those working in the enterprise support sector across England, we know that working in the enterprise support sector isn’t just a job, it’s a vocation. The sector has a tendency to capture people’s hearts. There is a commitment to encouraging people and supporting small businesses across the county.

With the belief that our members are crucial to England’s economic growth, the National Enterprise Network will support their work by representing their interests and by promoting the results they achieve, thereby connecting them with opportunities for even greater success.

We acknowledge that the enterprise support sector requires real dedication from those involved, together with a strong desire to impact upon the lives of the individuals and businesses they support. Enterprise support professionals really do love what they do – they believe in enterprise, are passionate about entrepreneurship, and are clear on the value of business support. As independent, not for profit organisations, they are proud to maintain a strong social ethos – a belief embedded to the core.

It wasn’t a surprise, therefore, to receive the news that two of the enterprise support organisations in our membership were ranked as the UK’s best employers in this year’s Sunday Times ‘100 Best Not-for-Profit Companies’ awards.

Nwes and Business West are both long standing agencies, NEN Quality Assured Members, and partners in the Cavendish Consortium. Their services include business support, advice and training, and they both offer premises on easy term agreements for businesses in their regions.

The two organisations were announced alongside all other winners at a ceremony in London in February this year. Nwes in Norwich was ranked 17th in the Top 100 Not-for-Profit Best Companies to Work For in the UK, and also received the Comic Relief Special Award for ‘Giving Something Back’ to the community. Business West in Bristol was ranked 80th – coming in the top three for the South West region specifically.

Candidates were judged on a number of criteria including employees’ views on the company’s leadership; their manager and team; their personal growth opportunities; giving back to society and the local community; and pay and benefits.

There is an overall focus on those companies which invest in the wellbeing and motivation of their employees, and we are delighted that two of our members have been recognised in this way. Enterprise support professionals are driven to help their clients and work hard together as a team, often in challenging circumstances, in order to do so.

We appreciate how unique our network is and the importance of the role our members have in their communities, and are delighted that the sector has been recognised in these national awards.

Our wholehearted congratulations to Nwes and Business West!

Posted by Dawn Whiteley, Chief Executive, National Enterprise Network



Davina Young

You, Your Business, and You

23rd January, 2015 No Comments

As a small or medium business owner, where would you be without your business?

More importantly, where would your business be without you? The answer to which, no doubt, takes you back to the first question, ‘where would you be without your business?’

Many business owners tend to forget that their business reflects their own expertise and ability. The business is built upon their own knowledge and skills. Therefore, it is logical to conclude that by improving, building upon, and expanding the skills, expertise, and ability of the business owner, the business itself will improve, expand, and have a stronger foundation upon which to grow.

“Going it alone is an admirable but foolhardy and highly flawed approach to taking on the world.” Richard Branson, founder of Virgin

By accessing the services of The Cavendish Consortium group, you, as a small to medium business owner, can develop your business understanding and expertise. The Consortium sees the coming together of six of the largest enterprise agencies in England, each with over 30 years experience. These six agencies are among the most prominent not-for-profit social enterprises in the country.

Working in close partnership with a variety of organisations from the private, public and third sectors, The Cavendish Consortium has a revered reputation for achieving excellent results in business enterprise. Together with the National Enterprise Network, the Consortium partners are longstanding members of the business support community, being highly respected for their independent and impartial advice, and their impeccable moral integrity.

The services provided by Consortium members include financial advice, business planning, grant applications, training, advice on expanding overseas, networking solutions, and office space. As regional organisations themselves, each of the members has specific and invaluable knowledge of business sectors and needs in each region across England.

The important step for you as a business owner is to accept that you can actually benefit from some advice and help.

Richard Branson admits to having had help, advice and support along the way. In his book he writes,

“What do Larry Page, Steve Jobs and yours truly have in common? We’ve all received guidance from mentors. Yes, even the famously individually-minded Apple Founder got by with a little help, advice and support from time to time. No matter who you are, where you’ve come from, or what you have achieved, a good mentor is an invaluable asset in business…”  (extract from ‘The Virgin Way’)

As mentors, the Cavendish Consortium partners make an invaluable asset to any business. Each has a proven track record in delivering help and advice to thousands of businesses across England.

So …… are you ready to accept that you and your business will benefit from the services offered by the Cavendish Consortium?

Written by Davina Young @ Nwes

Find out more and access the services in your region via:

BBV Logo


For over 30 years BBV has delivered across North West England business support and enterprise contracts through a dedicated team of professional and highly skilled business advisers and mentors.

Business West Logo


As the largest membership organisation in the South West, we represent and work with 16,000 businesses, providing a range of advice and support services from how to start, develop and grow your business to expanding overseas as well as flexible workspaces and prestigious conference facilities.

Enterprise First Logo


Since 1981 Enterprise First has been helping people start their own business and develop their existing enterprises across the South East of England.

NBV Logo


The award winning NBV Enterprise Solutions Ltd (NBV) has been supporting enterprise in the East Midlands for over 30 years. NBV’s success as a business support organisation has been built on a culture of openness, enterprise and innovation.



For over 30 years Nwes has been helping new businesses to start up, thrive and survive across East Anglia.

TEDCO Business Support Logo


TEDCO Business Support helps businesses to start up and grow across the North East of England. We have an experienced and diverse team of business advisers offering business advice, access to finance and access to key networks and contacts.

National Enterprise Network Logo


National Enterprise Network is a unique membership body representing those working in the enterprise support sector across England and we believe our members are crucial to England’s economic growth.


Dawn Whiteley 150x140px

As the door closes on ‘Ready for Business’, the Consortium Partners will continue to provide support

19th January, 2015 No Comments

As we start another new year with a sense of hope and expectation, it is perhaps with a sense of loss that we have to look towards the conclusion of the Ready for Business programme.

RFB 550x220px

Ready for Business started in 2012 and has been a great initiative for a great number of people looking to start and run a business across the country, but it will come to an end later this year.

So far we’ve helped 6,000 people to start a business, with more than an additional 2,300 jobs being created within those businesses.  In total more than 29,000 people have sought our help because they had an interest in starting their own business and we’ve been delighted to help them explore those ideas, test them, work out if they’re viable and where they are, to support them to turn those dreams into realities.

We’ve worked with a whole host of different types of businesses from those looking to start as a sole trader, working from home fulfilling their ambitions to work for themselves, such as Warp & Weft Handmade; through to those opening shops and factories, like Fastglass based in Washington, who are employing people, and who have significant growth in their sights.

WarpWeftHandmadeJewellerywebCredit; Ian McClelland Photography.

The programme was designed to assist those who wanted to start a business to be investment ready, in other words, to understand the finance behind their business ideas and be in a position to obtain the finance they needed to see those ideas to fruition.  So it’s very encouraging to see that more than £31m of equity has been injected into the businesses started through the scheme.

Hopefully these foundations have put those businesses in very good stead for the future  We are seeing that they are surviving as well as, or in many cases better than, national averages.  There is no doubt that the support they have experienced as part of the set up process has benefitted those businesses in terms of their future chances of survival and growth – that’s what Ready for Business is all about.

2015 brings us a general election, and it is encouraging to see all the major political parties are starting to recognise the value to the economy of small and particularly micro businesses – just the sorts of businesses which the Ready for Business programme has helped to start. There is no doubt that the economy is being driven more and more by those very small businesses, and that there are more and more of those as the make-up of the business population shifts – so it’s only right that Government sees this, and let’s hope the future actions of the next Government matches the words we’re hearing from them now!

So as Ready for Business comes to a close what does that mean for those who might in future want to start their own business?  Well, hopefully, there will be other opportunities to get the support they want and need.  The Cavendish Consortium partners who have delivered this programme have been helping people to start a business for well over 30 years and so, all being well, they will continue to offer help of one sort or another.  Thus, the next generation of entrepreneurs can benefit in the same way as those such as Liesel Corp, founder of Magic Mirror, who have benefitted from the Ready for Business programme.


Written by Dawn Whiteley, Chief Executive, National Enterprise Network


NBV and RfB

Moving beyond Business Start-up: Turning the Tables with a Vinyl Revolution

15th January, 2015 No Comments

NBV, RfBTallbird Pic

Through the Ready for Business programme, many budding new entrepreneurs are making their dreams a reality and starting their own business.  Maria Harris from Chesterfield is one such entrepreneur, who started her business with the help of NBV Enterprise Solutions Ltd (NBV), based in the East Midlands.

Maria has a background in music retail, working for big names like Beggars Banquet and Virgin Retail, plus a degree in Radio, Film & Television Studies, and made the decision to play her part in the vinyl revolution by setting up Tallbird Records.

Maria explained “I started my own business because, quite frankly, I was a bored housewife who had a dream of owning and running a record shop.”  This led to Maria doing some internet research on setting up a business, where she found NBV.   “I only attended a one-day seminar about starting a business, but it was there that I was introduced to my NBV Business Adviser, Anna Sywyj, who became such a support to me” said Maria.  “She was the one person I could discuss my business planning concerns with; she was also someone to kick ideas around with and an invaluable source of advice about the logistics of starting a new business.”

Maria opened her shop in October 2013.

“My claim to fame is that Tallbird Records is currently the only record shop in Chesterfield!”

“I’m proud to offer a great range of products, alongside first-rate customer service. I also make a profit, which of course is the really important bit!”

There have of course been the inevitable highs and lows to navigate.  Maria said “The high point of opening the business for me has been the incredible positivity and genuine warmth from those who have visited the shop, some of whom have become regular customers.  I have had days when my takings have been down, but on the whole, there have been many more highs than lows.”

NBV Business Adviser, Anna, added, “Maria had a sound business plan when we met; she just needed a steer in the right direction.  She has now developed a successful enterprise, which is based on her passion for music.  It has been such a joy to see her confidence grow as a direct result of opening and growing her business.  When you visit the shop, it’s clear to see that customers really value Maria’s knowledge and the excellent customer service that she provides. I am also really pleased that the business is exceeding its initial financial projections.  Maria has adapted and tweaked the business to meet the demands of her record-buying public; she’s also added to her new product ranges to ensure she stays one step ahead of the game.”

The future is bright for Maria and Tallbird Records.  Summarising her experience of Ready for Business with NBV, Maria concluded “I would advise anyone wanting to move on from business start-up, to contact NBV and make the most of the services and support on offer.  I’ve just taken on a part time member of staff and am looking forward to offering the same great service, on a slightly grander scale.  I’m also exploring setting up an online shop, further marketing of the business and long-term, even a move to slightly larger premises.  My turnover is also growing; who knows where I’ll be in another year’s time!”

If you would like to follow in Maria’s footsteps and start your own business, contact your local enterprise agency within the Cavendish Consortium partnership.

Cavendish Enterprise Logo Cavendish Consortium Ltd.
Leigh Court Business Centre
Abbots Leigh
Bristol BS8 3RA

Built by Accent Design Group Ltd.


E: [email protected]