Diverse line-up shows off city’s businesses in York Business Week

22nd November 2019

Diverse line-up shows off city's businesses in York Business Week

ENTREPRENEURS shared their success stories as part of the diverse programme of events during York Business Week 2019.

The week featured conferences, workshops, networking events and fact-finding sessions for businesses of all shapes and sizes.


Among the line-up was the Young Entrepreneurs’ Breakfast, held at Carluccio’s and organised by the York Guild of Entrepreneurs. Gillian Robson and Katy Foxcroft, founders of Tancream, who won support in BBC’s Dragons Den, were among the speakers, alongside David Brandon, co-founder of software developer RotaCloud.

The tech company’s employee scheduling software is now used by businesses across the world to simplify rota management. Having started as a part-time project by David, Joel Beverley and James Lintern, it is now reporting healthy turnover and impressive profits.

Bethan Vincent, of Netsells and a founding Guild member, said about 50 people attended the breakfast. “It was a really nice thing for us, with a wide range of entrepreneurs. We had university students there who are maybe playing around with their first idea to people who have had a business and sold it.”

Start-ups to established businesses were offered one-to-one advice with development and growth from business funders and support providers at the Meet the Funder Networking event, at Novotel York.

Among those represented were Ad:Venture, BRDC, Digital Enterprise, DIT, Leeds City Region, Let’s Grow, Make It York, Manufacturing Growth Programme, Mercia, PAPI / University of York, Pinpoint Finance, Red Sky, RTC North, Santander, Skills Support for the Workforce, Winning Pitch, YNYER LEP.

Keith Humphreys, of York-based Pinpoint Finance, said the session enabled people to find out about the wealth of funding opportunities available. “The day is gone when you go and see your bank manager. The market is so fragmented now with lenders. If a bank says ‘no’ people thinks that’s the offer, but really it is just a ‘no’ from them.”

Investment manager Matt Woods, from the Business Enterprise Fund (BEF), said: “This is a great opportunity, especially for start-ups, to gain an insight into what available funders there are on the market. And it is always a great opportunity to network. I don’t think people realise how many funders there are. They think of the high street bank rather than smaller funders like us.”

Your Business, Your Way, at York Marriott Hotel, was organised by NRG Healing, with seven women sharing how they run their businesses. Themes included sociable networking, connecting with your target audience on social media, resilience and wellbeing.

Lindsay Banks, of NRG Healing, said it was a sell-out success. “There were women at different stages of their business. Some were thinking about starting their business and wanted to hear other people’s journeys, and others had had their business for seven to eight years. There was something they could take from it, regardless of what stage they were at. My talk was about looking after you and your business. If you are a one-man band and not looking after you, you are going to crash and burn.”

She added: “We have already been asked when our next event is. We will definitely be running something else as part of York Business Week next year.”

The other speakers involved in the day were Catherine Adamson, Andrea Morrison, Tracey Burleigh, Laura Richardson, Sam Mason, June Tranmer and Katy Garner.

Businesses, including Hiscox and Netsells, also staged open days during the week.

One of York’s biggest successes, Nestlé, welcomed a party of 25 for a behind-the-scenes tour, including Nestlé UK’s Insight and Learning Centre, which is used to demonstrate how people behave when shopping and using Nestlé products at home.

Combining consumer research with the latest technology, the centre features a working kitchen, replica lounge and full-size convenience store to help retailers gain a strategic insight to maximise sales while growing Nestlé’s product range.

The group also visited Nestle’s Product Technology Centre, where new technologies and products are created, and the factory responsible for making more than one billion Kit Kats and 200 million Aero Bars each year.

City of York Council apprentice Kyle Bacon said: “The Nestlé open day was a real eye-opening experience. The marketing and innovation process was really interesting for me as a marking and communications apprentice.”

For the full story please see the York Press website.