Monday, 30 January 2017

Entrepreneurs From Across Liverpool City Region Gathered For Start Up Conference

Last week, Enterprise Hub partner; The Women’s Organisation hosted a Business Start Up Conference for budding entrepreneurs across Liverpool City Region. Over 30 individuals attended the conference to hear all about the support that Enterprise Hub can offer them.

We were joined by our event sponsors, Nick Bell from StartUp Direct and Lee Brooks from World Pay. Nick told the entrepreneurs all about their loan scheme that they can offer to businesses who need a helping hand financially to get started. And Lee let everyone know about World Pay’s great technology for payment that many of the entrepreneurs may need to invest in when they are up and running.

As well as this Enterprise Hub invited Florentyna Sidery to speak about the support that The Women’s Organisation had given her when starting her business Florentyna Designs. Asking business owners who have received support from Enterprise Hub to speak was a great way for the individuals attending the conference to hear first-hand about the support that they too, can receive.

Our Training Coordinator; Bernie Cox talked to the attendees all about the characteristics of an entrepreneur, thinking outside of the box being one of them! Splitting the attendees into small groups and asking them to think of all the possible uses for the cardboard box that they had been given.

And of course, as always there was time for a little networking. Even though our guests hadn’t yet started their businesses, they knew that it was never too soon to start networking and getting the word out there about what they intend to do! Following on from the Start Up Conference, everyone that was in attendance and was eligible for Enterprise Hub support will be paired up with an Enterprise Hub partner and begin working on turning their dreams of starting a business, into a reality!

Thank you to everyone who attended the event, and a special thank you to our event sponsors; Start Up Direct and World Pay and our guest speaker; Florentyna.

If you have an idea for a business, then contact Enterprise Hub to find out about the free advice and support available on 0151 706 8113 or

Friday, 20 January 2017

Do's And Don'ts For Start Ups

Do know your customer: The better you know your customer, the easier it will be to develop an effective marketing plan to reach them. If you don’t know your customer, how will you know what they want and where to find them?
Do know your competition: The better you know your competition, the more you can understand what is unique about your business and find ways to compete and stand out in your market.

Do it because you want to: Some of the most successful businesses started out from somebody’s passion. If you truly want it, your business is much more likely to succeed.

Do ask for help: There is a wealth of support around you that you can tap into. Ask those around you what they think of your idea, whether it is family, friends, work colleagues or someone you know from the shops... All of their opinions are valuable. There is also business start-up support available through organisations such as Enterprise Hub

Do trust yourself: In the business start-up process, it is inevitable that everyone will want to offer their opinion and advice, which is helpful but it all comes down to what you believe is best for the business. Trust your instincts, they’ve got you this far right?  Differentiate between those whose opinions will be loaded with bias (e.g. family who will want you to succeed) versus impartial advice, and those who are experienced and qualified versus those who are basing advice on their gut feeling. 

Do work together: Networking and making connections is very valuable for any business. If you find complimentary businesses then opportunities for partnership work and cross promotion will appear.


Don’t assume: Just because you have a great product or service that you know people will want, don’t assume that customers will instantly find you. Have a clear plan of how you will reach your customers.

Don’t do everything: No one is good at everything and starting up a business is time consuming, so you certainly don’t have time to do everything. Utilise your skills and recognise your weaknesses so you can identify ways to fill the gaps.

Don’t get left behind: Nothing is slow in business, markets move very quickly and customers’ needs and buying habits change even faster. Keep ahead of your market by regularly conducting fresh market research.

Don’t give up: Your business plan is what it says it is; a plan. It is there to guide you in the right direction but you are the one who has to choose the way. Try something and if it doesn’t work, try doing it a different way. It’s important not to give up the first time something doesn’t go to plan. The most successful businesses are able to adapt and predict their next move.

Don’t rush: Reaching customers and generating regular sales takes time. Spend time building up your business and your customer base. It is better to perfect your approach than rush ahead with one that doesn’t work, that will only alienate potential customers.

Don’t forget to have fun: Running a business can be difficult, but it can also be enjoyable if done right. Give yourself a competitive advantage by being happy.

If you live Liverpool City Region and you are thinking of starting a business, free support is available from Enterprise Hub to help you get starting. Get in touch via or 0151 706 8111

Thursday, 19 January 2017

Yolane Belami Kicked Off The New Year With Business Launch - Mr Luxe Collections!

Local Croxteth man Yoane Belami has kicked off the New Year by starting up his own new business, Mr Luxe Collections.

Yoane first approached Alt Valley Community Trust in September last year about the possibility of helping him put his Business Plan together with a view to submitting a Start Up Loan application to the Start Up Loan Company.

Mr Luxe Collections will be specialising in the online sale of designer fashion products and accessories – eg shoes, clothes, wallets, time-pieces etc – using social media and sophisticated online marketing techniques via the “dropshipping” model.

Through a combination of specific workshops which covered the Start Up process, digital marketing, Business Planning and Selling Techniques, as well as through bespoke one-to-one sessions, the Advisors at Alt Valley Trust have helped Yoane with his successful application for the necessary Start Up Loan funding, via Start Up Direct.

Alt Valley Trust are one of the delivery Partners of the Enterprise Hub Business Start Up programme covering the whole Liverpool City Region.

Yoane praises the contribution of the Alt Valley Business Support Team:

“I’ve had my business idea for a while now and had already started putting a business plan together; but I admit I was struggling to get it into a shape which was realistic and ready for the start up funding I needed.

“From the moment I registered my interest with the Alt Valley team I have found them to be a really useful source of all the information I needed to put together a viable Business Plan and associated cash flow forecast. The Start Up Loan Company needed both of those in order to assess whether they would lend me the start-up funds.

The workshops they run are really good and very down to earth and practical; and there’s always an Advisor on hand if I need to query something.”

Alt Valley Business Advisors Ian Marshall and John Mathias worked with Yoane. Ian adds:

“ It’s great to see local people like Yoane bringing his business idea to fruition; his was the perfect example of needing to modify his Business Plan and Cash Flow forecast to reflect his own circumstances, resulting in a successful Start Up Loan application. In addition we were able to provide as much knowledge and information as he needed in order to ensure his business gets off to a great start.”

The Enterprise Hub Business Start Up programme runs until the end of 2018 and people thinking about starting up on their own or forming a company can access a huge range of start up support designed to give their business the best possible chance of success.

New Start-Up Gets Off To A Fantastic Festive Start!

Simon Whitter signed up to receive support on the ‘Smarta Business Starter’ programme in June 2016 with the idea of creating a café and employing homeless and socially disengaged people on Merseyside; in order to improve their, health, wellbeing and  lifestyles. 

Through a combination of specific workshops which covered the Start Up process for Social Enterprises, as well as through bespoke one-to-one sessions, the Advisors at Alt Valley Trust have helped Simon with his successful application to register Neva 2 Latte as a Community Interest Company.

Alt Valley Trust is one of the delivery Partners of the Enterprise Hub Business Start Up programme covering the whole Liverpool City Region.

Neva 2 Latte is a CIC launched in October 2016 and since then Simon has been busy working on a project called ‘Yummy’s Scouse Christmas’ which successfully fed 1,000 people on Christmas Day.  People, who may be homeless, socially excluded, marginalised families and the elderly were invited over multi

ple locations in the city on December 25th .
Simon, who spent time on the streets in Manchester as a teenager, added: “We were looking at making it a really special day to remember for those who came along, with food and entertainment provided.”

The 43-year-old, who left care when he was 16 and ended up living rough on the streets of Manchester, said: “I’ve been homeless, I’ve been in care, I’ve been in prison and I’ve been sectioned. I would like to say that the kindness, warmth and generosity shown by the people of Liverpool never ceases to amaze me.”
The event was a massive success and now Simon has turned his attentions to setting up community interest café Neva 2 Latte, which he expects to open in Old Swan in the spring and will be run by homeless people as a stepping stone to get them into work.
John Mathias Business Advisor at Alt Valley Community Trust said “I was immediately impressed with Simon’s can do attitude, self-belief and determination to make the venture a success. He has a caring nature and an empathy to make a difference to disadvantaged individuals and communities. What he is has done so far and his ambitions for Neva 2 latte  are truly inspirational and  it’s fantastic that we could be involved in helping Simon with setting up this Community Interest Company “
If this has been an inspiration to you to set up your own business maybe a social enterprise such as a Community Interest Company then get in touch we can help you realise your ambitions.

The Enterprise Hub Business Start Up programme runs until the end of 2018 and people thinking about starting up on their own or forming a company can access a huge range of start up support designed to give their business the best possible chance of success.