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East Midlands business experts offer helping hand to entrepreneurs

An experienced group of East Midlands business experts are combining to give developing companies the chance to draw on their wealth of knowledge.

Entrepreneurs often have the belief that they can go it alone, that they can scale every step of the ladder on the way to success. However, unless you’re Richard Branson, that’s very rarely the case.

Everyone needs help, even entrepreneurs, who are the lifeblood of wealth creation. They need that specialist support to successfully grow their businesses and raise money.

That’s where the Access to Finance Surgeries step in, where selected companies seeking growth capital have a free one-hour meeting with the experts on hand.

Two free surgeries are being held in the East Midlands in the coming weeks, and there are still places available for applicants. They are taking place on:

  • Monday, February 5, at East Midlands Chamber Offices at Commerce House, Millennium Way, Dunston Road, Chesterfield, S41 8ND
  • Wednesday, April 25, at Beacon Innovation & Enterprise Centre, Beacon Hill Office Park, Cafferata Way, Newark, NG24 2TN

Jason Kluver, founding director and COO of Loughborough-based Shadow Foundr, will be on hand to offer advice along with Jo Derbyshire, CEO of Cresco Innovation, who are also situated at the Advanced Technology Innovation Centre at Loughborough University Science & Enterprise Park.

Leicestershire business angel investor and mentor Paul Jenkinson will also be in attendance, along with Neil Taylor, director of Nottingham firm Edwards Chartered Accountants, and John O’Donnell, the business finance manager at the Nottingham-based D2N2 Growth Hub, who are funding the surgeries.

Between them, they bring a wealth of experience and credibility to the table.

Derbyshire said: “The surgeries will involve a series of one-to-one meetings with the applicants. We’ll sit down with them to get a flavour of who they are and what they’re trying to do in terms of developing their business.

“Some will need debt funding, some equity, some grants, or some will even need to know how much to raise, and what that means in terms of valuation to the business.

“From just one hour with us, they will have a good understanding of whether there are appropriate grants for them or not. They can then just disappear with that knowledge or, if they wish, Cresco could sign them up and help them get their grant.”

Derbyshire added: “Getting funding is a long journey, and these surgeries will help get people on the right path. Raising money can take six months of focused effort, and you really do want to get it right from the very start.

“The surgeries can unlock huge amounts of potential. Applicant companies will come to us with great ideas, but they are limited by lack of funds.

“We can help them on their path to funding, help get them get going and create jobs and revenue. Rather than a ‘failure to launch’ scenario, we can help untap their potential and ideas, and help them with the investment they need to convince potential customers and get to that stage where they are able to sell something.”

To reserve a meeting at either of the surgeries, please contact Paul Jenkinson at paul@shadowfoundr.com