Flourishing firms praise Menter a Busnes for starting them off

23 March 2018

Four flourishing north west Wales businesses has praised economic development specialist Menter a Busnes for getting their enterprises off the ground.

They include a personal trainer who has expanded to running multiple weekly fitness classes locally; a photographer who has now relocated to London thanks to demand there; a florist who began at 13, and is now, aged 19, going to university to study business; and a former HR consultant who runs sell-out classes for children, ‘Sŵn a Sbri’ (Noise & Fun) at four locations.

Each of the entrepreneurs says their success wouldn’t have happened without the advice and support from Menter a Busnes Advisors, who aided them through the process of applying for start-up bursaries through both the Llwyddo yng Ngwynedd – Mentro and Llwyddo’n Lleol projects. Each individual had to complete a business plan, cashflow forecast and undertake market research on their idea before it was presented to a panel who decided if they were successful or not.

Menter a Busnes is an independent company that helps individuals, companies and organisations in Wales to contribute towards developing the economy.

Its services range from provision of human resources, tendering support and business growth services to private businesses, through its Mabis division; to delivery of public-funded enterprise schemes, including projects such as Farming Connect and Cywain.

The Llwyddo yng Ngwynedd and Llwyddo’n Lleol programmes were set up to develop enterprise skills among young people.  

Arron Pritchard, 32, of Llanrug, turned to Menter a Busnes in 2007 to start a business as a personal trainer. His business has grown year on year ever since, and now operates from additional premises in Caernarfon and Menai Bridge.

Arron said: “I would highly recommend any new or existing local small business to contact Menter a Busnes as the service was fantastic and has helped my business become what it is today.”

Luciie Biskin, from Penygroes, met Menter a Busnes project development officer at a careers fair at Coleg Menai aged 17. They helped her to access a Llwyddo yng Ngwynedd bursary to invest in essential equipment required to start a photography business. She found a niche photographing products for a popular food blogger, resulting in relocation to London, where, in her spare time, Luciie also fits in studying for a degree in commercial photography at the University of West London. 

She said: “None of this would have happened without Menter a Busnes. I suffer from social anxiety and having a start from them gave me the confidence to start something I believed in.”

Claire Lynch discovered Menter a Busnes in 2011 when she decided, as a new mum, to give up her career as a HR consultant in Manchester and Liverpool, to work flexibly around school terms.

Today, Claire’s business, Sŵn a Sbri, which gives babies and toddlers the chance to learn through singing and music, runs seven classes a week, each with up to 20 families, in Menai Bridge, Bethel, Bangor and Mynydd Llandegai.

Claire, 40, said: “I had an idea and Menter a Busnes helped me focus. It was a pipe dream and they forced me to think about what I wanted and write the business plan. They helped me apply to Llwyddo yng Ngwynedd for a bursary of 75 per cent of my start-up costs. Without Menter a Busnes I would not have achieved all of this.”

Cara Pritchard-Evans of Llangefni turned to Menter a Busnes after winning a flower arranging competition at a Anglesey Young Farmers’ rally aged 13. 

They helped her write a business plan and conduct market research into demand for flower arrangements. She launched Blodau Cara in 2012. A Llwyddo’n Lleol bursary was used to purchase essential items needed to set-up the business quickly and efficiently. Now aged 19, Cara is applying to university in Cardiff to study business management (transport & operations). She already has plans to modify her business to operate in Cardiff also while studying.

Cara said: “Without Menter a Busnes I would not have a business. They helped with the personal statement and business plan and I gained a wider range of knowledge about business.”

Menter a Busnes development officer Gwenno Humphreys said: “Menter a Busnes is here to help businesses of all sizes, whether a start-up or micro-business or an established employer seeking help to grow, or with a particular management issue. 

When we went back to these four start-ups, we were really pleased to find out that they had not only continued with their business ventures, but they had succeeded to grow and diversify. They took the plunge and started on a small scale. It is great to see that with the right support businesses can flourish and grow in rural communities across Gwynedd and Anglesey.”

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