Richard Christian, BluSkills Ltd – July 2021

I cannot speak highly enough of Connect Yorkshire’s EIR mentoring programme. During the early stages of the second lockdown I reached out to CY as I wanted to take some positive action for growth when our market opened back up. Unsure of who would be the best fit for our specialist security business, Sophie recommended a number of incredibly well suited EIR’s she thought could both relate to and help our business.

Very quickly we were able to hold remote mentoring sessions and generate some positive ideas and strategies around our target market and growth with the offer of some introductions, a key outcome for a business operating in a high trust, referral industry.

Thanks for the ongoing support CY!

Kerri Sedgewick, Little Islands – June 2021

We had a great mentoring session with Connect Yorkshire Entrepreneur in Residence, Mark Hammond-a really nice, knowledgeable and helpful guy. He went into great detail about our product and came up with several great ideas which we hadn’t previously considered about how to get it into new markets. In particular he provided good information about how to get into the US market and what is involved in shipping there and the differences in both the legalities and logistics involved with selling your product in the States. He suggested we start in and around Chicago which is a market he knows well. He shared a lot of his own knowledge and experiences and came up with new marketing ideas for us which we are following through. A really helpful session-thank you Connect Yorkshire for organising it.

Sarah Blenkinsop, Golden Frog PR – June 2021

My business is going through some changes as well as a period of growth so it was an excellent time to have a mentoring session organised by Connect Yorkshire. Cheryl is hugely down to earth and we had a very frank conversation about business challenges, letting go when you’re used to doing everything, and about the challenges of working alongside your spouse. Thanks so much to Cheryl and to the team for organising it.

Richard Carr, Voltacompliance – May 2021

I have had the great good fortune to meet Entrepreneur in Residence Julie Kenny who is a great and friendly person. We met at Wentworth Woodhouse nr Rotherham now a National Trust property which Julie has spent masses of time (unpaid) helping to raise money to help restore it. Julie’s first suggestion for Volta Compliance was to go for a Queen’s Award for Innovation or perhaps a more local award to begin with, We talked about my next turnover target for the business and Julie said I must do more marketing in the form of networking e.g. join the IOD, Chamber etc. Julie is inspiring-the story of her company Pyronix is incredible. We will remain in touch. Thank you Connect Yorkshire for organising it.

Chris Morris, Shoo Social Media Ltd – March 2021

Our (Shoo Social Media) mentoring session with Connect Yorkshire’s Entrepreneur in Residence Jonathan Sands was stimulating, especially with Jonathan being in a similar business to ours and therefore understanding our issues. His advice was clear, get out there and shout more loudly about your successes. Be bolder, produce stories of the successes of your clients and get testimonials from them. So we are going to launch a PR campaign shouting about our clients successes following our help including on LinkedIn and other social media channels. Thank you Jonathan for an inspiring session.

Neil Frost, Bobs Business – February 2021

Coming from a government background into the commercial world as COO for Bob’s Business, I am always skeptical on the benefits of partnerships and subscriptions. I have been incredibly impressed with Connect Yorkshire as a whole, the events so far have exceeded my expectations. Further to these, I recently attended a mentoring session alongside my marketing executive Alec, with Jonathan Straight. The access to such a professional would usually come at great cost, but the team at Connect Yorkshire set this up for me with ease. Jonathan was first and foremost a very friendly, warm, and intriguing person and he spent time really listening to the pain points we have as a business. We came out of the session with some fresh ideas that Jonathan really considered and also confidence in some of the ideas we had already planned were along the right lines. Alec and I have already started work on some of these plans, as the mentoring was not just beneficial for idea creation but highly motivating to us personally. Many thanks to Connect Yorkshire and Jonathan …..very much appreciated

Simon Bodsworth, Daval Furniture – February 2021

My mentoring session with Mark Hammond was incredibly valuable as he got to know and understand our business very fast which meant we could get into the details quickly and discuss the challenges and opportunities available to us. We have a saying that ‘sometimes you can’t see the wood from the trees’ and being able to bounce off Mark who is not involved in the day-to-day side of the business allowed me to gain clarity about what I needed to do and some of which we implemented immediately. Thank you Mark.

Chris Brown, Aaztec Cubicles – February 2021

My mentoring session with Paul Rose was really useful, informative and inspirational, learning about Pauls experience’s, insight and knowledge in business along with its challenges and discussing issues and opportunities for Aaztec’s future in both its core activity and new markets. Thankyou Paul for your help and guidance and Nick for organising.

Sarah Blenkinsop, Golden Frog Public Relations Ltd – February 2021

I spoke to Simon as the second lockdown was looming and was feeling less than positive at the prospect. One of my team had been diagnosed with COVID and I was struggling to make the work add up. Something about Simon’s positivity rubbed off on me, and at the end of the zoom call I felt invigorated and ready to take on the world again. It was good to hear from a fellow entrepreneur that however established in business you are, we have all faced the same sort of challenges this year. It’s been full of uncertainty and sometimes as the Manager it’s been a very lonely place, having to make really difficult decisions and constantly keeping abreast of new regulations. The support from a mentor in this time is something that is hugely valuable. Being able to talk to someone when times are hard who understands and who gives of their own time to help others is something that is so unique to Connect Yorkshire, and the wealth of knowledge and experience that the mentors have is inspirational. I didn’t go into the session with a specific problem, but I did come out feeling the strength had returned to find my own answers.

Chris Morris, Shoo Social Media – January 2021

I met David Smalley via Zoom and had a really good session with him. We talked about our business plan for Shoo Social Media, and what he had done in his business. There was an interesting discussion around how to grow our business which focused on maintaining our niche in social media advertising and getting more efficient and better at it. As a result, we are building a process internally so our new recruits can do it as well as the founders. We have taken on 3 new employees since September 2020 so have grown despite Covid. I have been able to delegate much more to the new team; enabling me to concentrate on business development going forward. David is an inspiring leader. Thank you Connect Yorkshire for organising the session.