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Blog Post

Wakefield Business Support, Grants and Networking

Statement News

Updated for November 2014

Wakefield is full of businesses doing some fantastic things. But running a company can be tough...

There's often a seemingly endless list of tasks which need to be done every day, week and month just to keep things moving. Then when you add in all the ideas and new projects that most businesses have, it's unsurprising that most managers and business owners don't have enough hours in the day. If you have ever asked any of these questions then this blog post is for you...

  • Where do I go for business advice? 
  • Who can offer me support? 
  • What financial assistance, funding or grants are available? 
  • Which networking groups are around?

Thankfully there is a lot of support out there, you just have to look in the right places. I've put together this list of groups and organisations that may be able to help if you're looking for advice, support or funding. I hope you find it useful.


Growing your business

Mid Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce
Established for 160 years, the Chamber provides member companies with business support and networking opportunities across Wakefield, Kirklees and Calderdale.

Wakefield Business Support Programme
Led by Wakefield Council, this programme provides a range of support to help businesses to start up, grow and create jobs.

GrowthAccelerator

This national programme allows growth focused businesses to apply and access mentoring and strategic support.

10,000 Small Businesses
Run by the University of Leeds in partnership with Goldman Sachs, this is an intensive business development programme for ambitious companies.


Recruitment and skills

Apprenticeships Hub
The Apprenticeships Hub is designed to provide a single point of contact for Wakefield businesses who are looking to hire an apprentice.

Leeds City Region Skills Network
The network provides a single point of contact for employers across the Leeds City Region who are looking to access skills and training for their staff.


Networking and support

Mid Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce
The Chamber run great networking events in Wakefield which are open to members and, often, non-members.

MYNetwork
This free, friendly and informal networking group meets at The Hop in Wakefield on the 2nd Friday of each month between 12.30pm and 1.30pm. Plus your first drink is free!

FirstFriday
Wakefield Council's flagship business event. Always worth a visit due to the excellent speakers and the opportunity to keep up to date with business and economic developments across the district.

Wakefield Enterprise Partnership Professionals' Group
Open to business professionals across the district, if your business operates in the professional services field then you should certainly consider joining WEPPG.

Cognitiv
Launched in April 2014, Cognitiv is the new industry group for digital and creative professionals in the Wakefield district. Follow them on Twitter @CognitivWF for news and updates.

4Networking Wakefield
4N is a national networking organisation. The Wakefield group is friendly, busy and lively. Plus you get a good breakfast. You can make one visit as a guest but any subsequent visits require a 4N membership to attend though.

Wakefield First Bondholder Scheme
A new initiative to connect Wakefield businesses and promote the district


Finance

Wakefield Business Support Programme
This programme encompasses some financial support for eligible businesses.

Leeds City Region Business Growth Programme
Grants (yes, grants!) of between £10,000 and £1,000,000 are available for eligible companies, providing up to 20% funding.

GrowthAccelerator
This programme can offer match funding for training but also assistance in accessing finance.

Yorkshire Innovation Fund
Led by universities across Yorkshire, this programme provides financial support of up to £31,000 for projects for companies in specific sectors.


I'll review this post every few months to try and keep it up to date as a reference for you as and when things change. Also, if you know of any useful links that I've missed then please let me know by dropping me an email or sending me a tweet @StatementDan.