A branding and marketing specialist who took the plunge to set up her own business is setting her sights on growth – after receiving specialist support from Lancashire’s business growth hub.
Emma Lees launched branding and design business, Wolf, in Lytham six months ago and is building a portfolio of satisfied clients which she is developing branded design solutions for.
The University of Bolton graduate decided to set up on her own because she wanted to be more challenged, but with little business knowledge behind her she needed support to get on the right track.
Emma has been supported by Boost Business Lancashire’s Growth Support Programme, which helps entrepreneurs develop business plans and launch their new enterprises.
The fully funded programme, delivered by Winning Pitch and Enterprise4all, provides help to develop a personal action plan, Lean Launchpad sessions outlining key principles for developing a new business and one-to-one coaching support for business owners.
Boost Business Lancashire (Boost) is the name for the Lancashire Business Growth Hub. It is led by the Lancashire LEP (Local Enterprise Partnership) and Lancashire County Council, and supported by funding from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).
Emma said: “I had always said I wanted to set up my own business but I wasn’t sure I ever really would. It got to the stage where I just decided to take the plunge – I thought if I don’t do it now I never will.
“This first six months has been difficult but exciting at the same time and setting up on my own has brought various challenges with it. I didn’t have much of a plan in place or any financial backing and I spent a few months trying to work it all out on my own and it has been very intense.
“But the support I’ve had from Boost has helped me to validate and develop my business idea and plan for the future. I wish I had gone to one of the sessions straight away. Boost provided invaluable insight and knowledge regarding future business planning and market research and gave me the inspiration to drive my business forward.
“In two or three years’ time I would like to have a small number of staff under me and move into a generous office space.”
Earlier this year Wolf was nominated as a finalist for 'Best Social Media Presence' at the Lancashire Business Awards, and made an ongoing creative partner and supporter of Launch Events North West's Media City Expo and Business Expo Blackpool.
Rona McFall, head of entrepreneurial solutions at Winning Pitch, said: “Wolf is a great example of an ambitious young business with the potential to grow with the right support. Emma has the skillset to deliver the services she offers but needed guiding in some other aspects of running a business. Having now broadened her horizons, her business has a very promising future.
“The Growth Support Programme is designed to support entrepreneurs like her by providing credible, tailored and expert support and we are pleased to have been able to help.”
Boost Business Lancashire has received £3.8m of funding from the England European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020.
The Department for Communities and Local Government is the Managing Authority for ERDF. Established by the European Union ERDF funds help local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support innovation, businesses, create jobs and local community regenerations. For more information visit https://www.gov.uk/european-growth-funding.
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