Business Live: for curious entrepreneurs and social entrepreneurs

Jamie Veitch

Leaders of impact-creating businesses and social enterprises share their practical tips and stories. Be inspired, intrigued and amazed, get advice to help your values-driven business thrive and benefit from candid conversations about how other leaders overcame challenges and built their businesses and social enterprises. New episode every Friday here and on Sheffield Live FM radio. read less

Super Sheffield Independent and Social Enterprise Gift Guide PLUS New Funding
Dec 2 2022
Super Sheffield Independent and Social Enterprise Gift Guide PLUS New Funding
In today's show: cost of living support and new funding opportunities for businesses and social enterprises. And it's the 'season of goodwill' – can't we have goodwill all year round? – but a time when many love to give presents.It's a horrifyingly difficult and challenging time for many. But it's also a crucial time for small businesses and social enterprises. If you are on the hunt for presents, I've rounded up a few ideas, many from businesses previously featured on this show.I wanted to highlight thoughtful, high quality, great value gifts, which could bring joy to recipients and ideally make a positive impact in the world. This Positive Gift Guide has plenty of ideas starting from well below £5.Timings and links:0 - 3:20 Introduction3:20 Positive Gift Guide featuring Vertebrate Publishing (recent interview), And Other Stories (interview here), Iain Broome's A for Angelica, Maria Popova's Figuring, Bullion Chocolate, Harry Specters Chocolate, Positive News magazine, Sheffield Tribune,  The Foundry, The Climbing Works,  Alpkit (listen to this interview with CEO David Hanney),  Rapanui Clothing, Naked Ape, Gifted Sheffield, Record Collector (check out this interview with Mark), Printed By Us (check out this interview), The Treehouse Board Game Cafe, (check out this interview with Ruth) and Independent Sheffield.13:50 The rising cost of living is challenging for businesses and Sheffield City Council has published new, free resource guides, and is offering free, one-to-one support. Details.15:54 Funding: The DCMS Create Growth Fund, grants for feasibility studies that develop new approaches to improve resource efficiency, and the UKRI circular fashion programme: recycling and sorting demonstrator. Details here. These are all via Innovate UK, check out last week's show for some tips on applying.Thanks for listening and to SheffieldLIve! for broadcasting the show.
A hotbed for tech startups: boosting investment, talent and ecosystem with Darren Balcombe, Team SY
Nov 25 2022
A hotbed for tech startups: boosting investment, talent and ecosystem with Darren Balcombe, Team SY
Can you feel it? Can you hear it? Yes, it's the blistering, crackling heat from the South Yorkshire Tech 100 – the "hottest" startups and scaleups in the region, published today in a new ecosystem report.It lists the most successful tech companies born since the start of 2000 with headquarters in South Yorkshire and emerging startups with tremendous growth potential. Between them they employ 4,000 people.And it shows tech startup equity funding into South Yorkshire’s early-stage tech companies has doubled in the last four years to more than £52m.Darren Balcombe, Deputy CEO at Capital Enterprise and Team SY lead, tells us what's changed to enable such a growth in investment, why now is a critical time for the region, and how we will nurture more entrepreneurs.He also covers why South Yorkshire is a brilliant place for a tech startup, the importance of social-purpose driven firms in the Tech 100, and has must-listen advice on applying for grants from organisations like Innovate UK.South Yorkshire is now home to more than 3,000 tech startups; Darren wants to "turn its emerging startup scene into a strong, self-sustaining engine of innovation and growth,  so that South Yorkshire can be home to many more global leaders" – he tells me how.What next?Team SY’s South Yorkshire Tech 100 reportThanks for listening, to interviewee Darren of Team SY: weareteamsy.org and Capital Enterprise: capitalenterprise.org and to SheffieldLIve! for broadcasting the show.
How to reduce e-waste, address digital divides, be a better boss and adapt to new technology with Helen Milner and Stefan Stern
Nov 11 2022
How to reduce e-waste, address digital divides, be a better boss and adapt to new technology with Helen Milner and Stefan Stern
Today's guests won't just make you make you think, I hope they'll help you to act since both offer practical and immediate action points to build a better world and better businesses.The UK generates some of the highest amounts of e-waste (electrical waste including headphones, remotes, computer equipment and devices) in the world. Why do we hoard such devices and how can we put them to better use?And how can we become better bosses, adapt for a hybrid-working world and plan so businesses and people can thrive amidst the digital and societal transformation underway?Helen Milner is the Group Chief Executive of Good Things Foundation and has been named one of the most influential people in IT in the UK. Well-known for its work in digital inclusion, Good Things Foundation is building the UK's first National Device Bank. Devices will be provided to people and organisations. Helen tells us more.She also covers social tariffs for broadband, why digital exclusion is becoming narrower but more pronounced for people affected, and her commitment to financial inclusion with MaPS (the UK’s Money and Pension Service). Listeners can put their default device to good use in the future, she tell us how.Stefan Stern is a journalist, author and Visiting Professor of management practice at Bayes Business School, City, University of London. He is the author (with Prof Cary Cooper) of "Myths of Management - what people get wrong about being the boss" and "How To Be A Better Leader".Stefan tells me the biggest and most surprising things people get wrong about being the boss, what we can do to be better, and how organisations and leaders can work more effectively (and supportively of their people) in a hybrid world and the future. Stern is speaking at  Zoom’s annual conference, Zoomtopia EMEA, about how the new world of work will change business and society and how to deal with it? Register for this free event here.Timings:0 - 2:57 introduction2:57 Helen Milner  – find Helen on twitter at @helenmilner21:15 Stefan Stern – find Stefan on twitter at @stefanstern38:17 Funding for businesses and social enterprises, including Innovate UK's Circular Economy for SMEs and Net zero living: Pioneer places funding competitions,  the Youth Music Incubator Fund, the Time After Time E-waste Fund.42:48 Upcoming events, including Zoomtopia EMEA virtual user conference on 17 November (details),  the Social Enterprise Exchange conference on 17 November, Unlocking the Labour Market Crisis – Talent across the generations on 21 November (details), Business Sheffield's Entrepreneurs Conference.Thanks for listening, to guests Helen and Stefan, and to SheffieldLIve! for broadcasting the show.
Printed By Us, Sheffield Credit Union and Fair Finance – social enterprise, high quality retail, job creation and financial inclusion
Nov 4 2022
Printed By Us, Sheffield Credit Union and Fair Finance – social enterprise, high quality retail, job creation and financial inclusion
Terry Murphy runs Printed By Us, a social enterprise which sells t-shirts, prints, mugs, hoodies and other products, all featuring amazing designs by notable and up-and-coming artists.Terry was last on the show five years ago with colleague James whose candid story moved many listeners. The business works with vulnerable people and people who are or were at risk of homelessness, teaching them screen printing and other skills, and supporting them into employment. It has grown since then to 25 employees.Now Printed By Us has opened a shop in Orchard Square in Sheffield, is in Meadowhall, and sells online. But their product is not a "pity purchase" – Terry describes why quality and excellence is at the heart of it (and what that means for example about how their t-shirts are produced).Terry is also involved with the Sheffield Social Enterprise Network and the forthcoming Social Enterprise Exchange Conference. He's excited about both. Listen to find out why.Also on the show: new data from Fair4All Finance shows over 180,000 people in Sheffield are in financially vulnerable circumstances. Even before the cost of living really started escalating, a report in March demonstrated that over a million people might already be borrowing from loan sharks, illegal money lenders. The consequences are horrific.So a new campaign has been launched to help people, warn them to steer clear of loan sharks and high cost lenders, and  make people aware of sources of support: community lenders, community development finance institutions and credit unions.Jackie Hallewell, CEO at Sheffield Credit Union and Faisel Rahman, CEO at Fair Finance, join me to explain what their organisations do and why.Both have important comments and advice about credit, saving, debt and finances, and their advice could be directly relevant to listeners or could help people you work with. Timings and links:0 - 3:00 Introduction2:59 Terry Murphy, Printed By Us, www.printedbyus.org and Sheffield Social Enterprise Network, www.ssen.org.uk  Terry also flagged up the Social Enterprise Exchange conference on 17 November, www.socentxchange.net20:06 Jackie Hallewell, Sheffield Credit Union, www.sheffieldcreditunion.com36:42 Faisel Rahman, Fair Finance, www.fairfinance.org.uk – Fair Finance is a member of Responsible Finance, an organisation I work with www.responsiblefinance.org.uk49:14 Wrapping up, check out a recent episode with Helen Barnard, and last week's show with funding opportunities for businesses and social enterprises.Upcoming events: The Wheelchair Rugby League World Cup starts today in Sheffield. The Sheffield Adventure Film Festival has lots going on.Prospect Magazine's "What Sheffield can teach us about true levelling up" is worth a read. It mentioned several folk we have interviewed including Deborah Bullivant and " rel="nofollow">
New Funding for Businesses and Social Enterprises and a High Street Hero's Evergreen Advice
Oct 28 2022
New Funding for Businesses and Social Enterprises and a High Street Hero's Evergreen Advice
Every week on this show we try to highlight new grant and funding opportunities for businesses and social enterprises.Today (28 October 2022) we have details of 10 x £40,000 grants; funding streams with  £8,000 and £18,000 awards; and a new games and tech accelerator programme.Those come after news of the shortlist announcement for the Sheffield Business Awards 2022. Several of the finalists have appeared on previous episodes of this radio show.One is The Treehouse Board Game Café, shortlisted for the High Street Hero Award which recognises "an independent retail, hospitality or leisure business that is playing a vital role in supporting the high street experience in Sheffield."So today you can hear an interview with Ruth Haigh of Treehouse Board Game Café which we recorded in 2019. It has aged well: Ruth described how she left a career in data analysis for the civil service to launch the business and her advice on:testing the market and market-research when launching a new businessone critical success factorher most useful sources of advice as a startuphow to secure business premisesAfter the interview with Ruth it's back to 2022 for some new funding opportunities. Timings and details:0:00 Introduction and news – from this weekend the programme (and Sheffield Live! radio) will be available on DAB+ as well as FM radio2:58 Interview with Ruth Haigh, first broadcast in 201928:12 Recap29:40 Power to Change Community Tech: Makers & Maintainers two year programme will offer 10 x £40,000 grants for community businesses working on existing community tech solutions, not new projects. Deadline 4 Novemer 2022. See www.powertochange.org.uk30:23 The Indielab South Yorks Games Accelerator South Yorks Investment Readiness Programme 2022 is designed for games developers, and for games technology and service providers. Indielab Games is looking for South Yorkshire’s "innovative, up-and-coming games companies to take part in this full funded programme, commencing in November 2022." Registration is open until 1pm on Monday 31 October. See www.indielabgames.co.uk30:50 UnLtd, The foundation for social entrepreneurs, has funding streams with grants of up to £18,000 to grow existing social enterprises (1-4 years old) and up to £8,000 for new (pre-trading, and up to one year old) social enterprises. Details: https://www.unltd.org.uk/awards/31:23 EVENTS: The Social Enterprise Exchange Conference 2022. Business Sheffield webinars. Business and IP Centre Sheffield events. And the Sheffield Forum meet-up 33:01 Recap of last week's show with Helen Barnard about creating and environment in which good businesses can thrive, and what businesses can do to address poverty and inequality; and of our recent interview with writer Akeem Balogun (I've since been along to the event he curated as part of Off the Shelf, it was excellent).Thanks for listening and to SheffieldLIve! for broadcasting the show.
What businesses and a new Government can do about poverty and how to boost "good" business - Helen Barnard
Oct 21 2022
What businesses and a new Government can do about poverty and how to boost "good" business - Helen Barnard
Most people in poverty in the UK are in working families. Four million workers live in poverty: their resources are well below their minimum needs.That means 'not being able to heat your home, pay your rent, or buy the essentials for your children. It means waking up every day facing insecurity, uncertainty, and impossible decisions about money.'And seven in ten children growing up in poverty live in a working family. How have we come to this? And what can we do about it?Helen Barnard has spent her career researching poverty. She is the author of new book Want, part of Five Giants, a series published eighty years on from the original Beveridge Report in 1942 which identified five barriers to social progress and led to the creation of the modern welfare state (and NHS).Today mass unemployment is no longer the issue it was:  big factors behind poverty and insecurity are low pay, lack of progression, insecurity and underemployment as Helen explains.She tells me about a business which trusts, empowers, and supports its workforce – as a result it has happy and engaged employees, and they and the business prosper. She contrasts this with an exploitative approach and gives a three-pronged approach to how we can support more "good" businesses and address the bad ones.We also discuss supporting people in under-invested communities to support and grow businesses and social enterprises; unleashing the power of civil society and how to create a more level playing field for corporate taxation.The book involves powerful and heart-rending stories about modern poverty and new,, fit-for-purpose ideas and solutions.Listen to this interview with Helen Barnard for practical, fit-for-purpose ideas about the power of good business to address modern poverty and inequality today.Timings and links:0 - 3:00 introduction3:00 interview with Helen Barnard of Pro Bono Economics and The Joseph Rowntree Foundation. Find Helen on twitter and get a copy of her book here, or there are lots of non-Amazon options to buy it here.32:20 wrapping up and upcoming events including Off the Shelf and Celluloid Screams.Thanks Helen for such comprehensive and thoughtful interview and thanks as ever to Sheffield Live for broadcasting the show on FM radio today, 21 October 2022  https://web.sheffieldlive.org . Thank-you for listening – please go and buy Helen's book if you can!
Writer Akeem Balogun on Words, Vision and Sound, Okapi Books and the realm of the imagination
Oct 14 2022
Writer Akeem Balogun on Words, Vision and Sound, Okapi Books and the realm of the imagination
It can  be unfair to quote a line from a writer's work out of context.  But the words 'Truths are unpopular. Lies are famous' capture the weird maelstrom of social media posturing, fake news, politicians who'll promise whatever it takes to get elected, and over-friendly corporate messaging we're bombarded by today. The lines come from Akeem Balogun's 'Nothing too Serious,'  published at Written Gallery, and written in a different context. But imaginative fiction can show us future possibilities as well as risks. Akeem's debut short story collection, The Storm, won the Somerset Maugham Award and "shows us the often questionable ways that people deal with extreme crisis and how ordinary human relationships can become distorted in severe conditions."I met Akeem three years ago at the Hallam Enterprise Awards where his reading of a piece from The Storm met with a standing ovation, and the small press he co-founded, Okapi Books, secured a £1000 award for 'best pitch' voted by the audience.So I was delighted to interview him and hear about an exciting event he's curated as part of Sheffield's Off The Shelf Festival – Words, Vision and Sound – on 22 October at Event Central, Fargate, Sheffield."Delight" and the joy of immersion in words, music and visuals will underpin the event, Akeem explains in this interview, which also covers the near-future imaginative writing he specialises in, two new, recently published stories about social care and some of Akeem's thoughts on Sheffield as a writing hub.Enjoy the interview and get yourself tickets for Words, Vision and Sound.0 -3:17 introduction3:17 Akeem Balogun interview31:26 Funding for entrepreneurs, social entrepreneurs and freelancers, including the Power to Change Community Tech programme for community businesses and the PPL Momentum Music Fund (£5k to £15k grants from the PRS Foundation in partnership with PPL; deadline 26 October), and the Social Enterprise Exchange grant scheme (act fast, deadline 17 October).  And events including a free Social Enterprise Exchange HR masterclassFind Akeem at https://www.writtengallery.com/stories/ and get tickets for Words, Vision and Sound here https://offtheshelf.org.uk/event/words-vision-sound/ This show was broadcast  on 14 October 2022 on Sheffield Live FM radio https://web.sheffieldlive.org
A Rant about (De)Regulation, New Funding and Events, and Air Quality Entrepreneur Kate Barnard
Oct 7 2022
A Rant about (De)Regulation, New Funding and Events, and Air Quality Entrepreneur Kate Barnard
All this talk about "slashing red tape" and a sudden zeal for deregulation as a magic bullet for growth made me climb aboard my soapbox.This episode starts with a rant and a reminder: regulation per se is no barrier to inclusive growth, and careless deregulation risks encouraging a race to the bottom in business and life. Do we want crappy, rubbish businesses exploiting people and planet for ever-diminishing returns on investment? I don't. Glad I've got that off my chest (and let me know what you think).Then an interview with engineer-turned-air-quality entrepreneur, Kate Barnard, whose business helps cities and governments achieve air quality standards and show they've done so.Air pollution contributes to around 40,000 deaths a year in the UK and more in many other parts of the world. Enjoy The Air sees cities as engineering systems. Kate explains how it catalyses behaviour and policy changes and the importance of "WIIFM" or "What's in it for me?"Also on the show today: lots of exciting events, funding for businesses and social enterprises, and more.Timings:0 - 1:30 Introduction1:30 I have a rant about de-regulation snd why fit-for-purpose regulation is a tool for sustainable growth, not a barrier6:12 Interview with Kate Barnard, Enjoy The Air32:32 Quick recap of last week's episode with Jon Barton, Vertebrate Publishing34:28 Upcoming events including an exhibition at the National Videogame Museum, the Off the Shelf and No Bounds Festivals, Peddler Market,  Black History Month events in partnership with the African Heritage Forum36:30 Reminder of the Fair and Sustainable Economies Fund and Digital Innovation Grant programme (more details here)37:06 More events including Business Sheffield's Networking event and series of free virtual business workshops38:52 Reflections on this week's SCCCC "Winter Pressures Service" launch event – I went along and their work supporting elderly, isolated and vulnerable people and relieving pressure on the NHS is so important – CEO Mark Storey was on the show 6 years ago40:11 How to get in touch (email jamie@sheffieldlive.org ) and wrapping upThanks for listening!
The Business of Beautiful Outdoor Books with Jon Barton, Vertebrate Publishing
Sep 30 2022
The Business of Beautiful Outdoor Books with Jon Barton, Vertebrate Publishing
Nearly 20 years ago Jon Barton created a mountain biking guide to the trails he loved to ride in the Peak District. Since then his firm Vertebrate Publishing has grown with its authors and the business scooping multiple accolades and awards, including Small Press of the Year at the 2022 British Book Awards.It publishes beautiful and inspiring outdoor adventure books and guides. Jon joins me for a thoughtful conversation about:how the publishing industry and his business has evolved over nearly two decadeswhat the business did to double turnover without diluting the quality of its bookscollaborating with other independent publishers in Sheffield and the UKthe impact of massive increases in the cost of printingpublishing carbon neutral and carbon negative bookstaking a more robust approach to commissioning and what that meansselling direct vs selling on Amazon and elsewherewhat Sheffield's "Outdoor City" campaign means for the business and Jonnew titles: "We Can't Run Away From This" by Damian Hall,  "Where There's a Hill" by Sabrina Verjee and "Retirement Rebel" which comes out in Octoberwhy he loves being harangued at the crag or in the pub about his booksVertebrate Publishing is a great Sheffield success story. What's the next chapter?  Jon gives open and candid answers about the highs and lows of running a business built on passion for adventure in many forms.Also in the show: new funding and events for businesses and social enterprises.Timings:0-2:45 Introduction2:45 Jon Barton interview (Vertebrate Publishing's website: www.adventurebooks.com)45:49 Funding for businesses and social enterprises – grants of up to £200,000 from the Friends Provident Foundation Fair and Sustainable Economy Fund; the Digital Innovation Grant (DIG) programme in South Yorkshire; the Energy Bill Relief Scheme49:57 An upcoming event: Sheffield Forum Live #4: 12 October 202251:30 Wrapping up with reflections on interest rates, the power of regional radio, the late author Hilary Mantel and how to get in touchThanks for listening.
How to be a digital nomad and scale-up social enterprises with Malcolm McClean
Sep 16 2022
How to be a digital nomad and scale-up social enterprises with Malcolm McClean
Today's guest says he's the "world's oldest" digital nomad – until proven otherwise. Malcolm McClean has always loved the work he does, and when he hit 65 years of age he sold everything he owns to embark on a new adventure.Malcolm is an author and consultant to a remarkable social enterprise, PossAbilities Community Interest Company, which has grown from 200 to 600 employees during the time he's been involved. It works with people with learning disabilities and vulnerable people so they can "live the life they choose," providing accommodation, short breaks and many other life-enhancing initiatives.How did Malcolm's friends and family react when he announced his plans? Is it difficult or expensive to be a digital nomad? How does his lifestyle work? What can we learn about scaling-up social enterprises and purpose-driven businesses from PossAbilities? And what tips can Malcolm – who has written five books which have been published worldwide – give us about writing?Listen to find out. Malcolm recorded this interview with me from Stockholm on Tuesday 6th September.Also in this episode: £12,500 Business Productivity Grants, comments on energy price support for businesses and social enterprises, and research into  preferences around salary and work-life balance.Timings and links:0 - 36:36 introduction and interview with Malcolm McClean, Bearhunt, PossAbilities, and School of Curiosity.36:36 businesses eagerly awaiting more details of energy bill support scheme40:36 Business Productivity Grant Programme from Sheffield City Council – up to £12,500 available – how to apply (it's easy to do so but you need to act soon).42:20 new research into employee preferences around salary, benefits and work-life balance.43:28 wrapping up – please get in touch!
How to outperform big high street chains and avoid a race to the bottom - Stephen Tighe, Allegro Optical
Jul 8 2022
How to outperform big high street chains and avoid a race to the bottom - Stephen Tighe, Allegro Optical
Always treat the customer as though they're your mum, says Stephen Tighe, CEO and co-founder of Allegro Opticians.Launched just a few years ago, Allegro now has customers from  America, France, Germany, Japan, New Zealand and many other parts of the world, after identifying and addressing a profound need for specialist optical care for musicians and performing artists.Stephen, who worked in financial series for 35 years, and wife and business partner Sheryl Doe are both accomplished musicians – optician Sheryl is a cornet, cello and double bass player; Stephen a conductor and brass band player.In this episode Stephen describes how when he and Sheryl first met, at a concert, it not only led to their becoming husband and wife but immediately demonstrated the problems their business solves.Since launching Allegro has gone from two to twenty employees. It has three branches, works with the Royal Society of Musicians of Great Britain and the Royal College of Music and has been recognised with awards from the Federation of Small Businesses, as well as being named Dispensing Optician of the year in 2019 and 2021 and Arts and Entertainment Business of the Year in 2019.Stephen covers financing the business, its customer service ethos, the value of mentoring (as mentor and meet) and the importance of giving back. He's a thoughtful guest and it's a masterclass in running a business based on thoroughly understanding your customers and giving them an exemplary experience.Also in the show (after the interview with Stephen) – funding opportunities for businesses and social enterprises.Links:Allegro Optical
From 'you'll never work again' to her own business despite finance roadblock – Sarah Beaumont Inspires
Jun 30 2022
From 'you'll never work again' to her own business despite finance roadblock – Sarah Beaumont Inspires
Sarah Beaumont had held high-level management roles and worked all over the world. But when a chronic condition left her in constant pain she was told she'd never work again. Now she's launched and runs her own business helping other people, and tells her story in today's episode.Diagnosed with Ehlers Danlos syndrome and Fibromyalgia – both long term chronic illnesses – Sarah became bed-bound, saying "there were times I would crawl on my hands and knees just to get to the bathroom.”Heartbreakingly, Sarah then went through a difficult divorce and says she "gained a huge amount of weight because I was so sedentary and I couldn’t cook healthy, fresh meals so I ate a lot of junk. I lost my career and I lost my life before illness, I grieved for them for a long time.”But told she would never work again, Sarah could not accept that as her future: “I’m not a quitter and very slowly I have rebuilt my life, one piece at a time. I have lost 100 lbs in weight and I went back to work as a weight loss consultant.”Having fought and won her battle with her chronic illness and weight loss, Sarah felt empowered to use her own experiences to help others. She dreamed of launching her own business to encourage and support people, both with weight loss and in living with a chronic illness. And despite a roadblock on the way, which Sarah explains in this interview, she's done just that.Also in the show today: funding opportunities and events for businesses and social enterprise.Timings:0 - 28:25 interview with Sarah of Sarah Beaumont Inspires.28:25 recap; Sarah is also now volunteering for Samaritans.Fibromyalgia Action UK,  a registered charity, operates as a signpost to information and resources for people who are affected by fibromyalgia, including helplines and support groups. Ehlers-Danlos Support UK is a UK charity that represents and supports people with EDS.30:30 Grants of up to £50,000 for micro and small businesses from Innovate UK. Details.32:10 The Enterprise Development Programme from the Social Investment Business offers grants of up to £30k to relevant organisations. Details.33:05 Grants for startup and growing social enterprises through the Social Enterprise Exchange programme.34:16 Events from the Business and IP Centre South Yorkshire and from Business Sheffield. 35:30 Wrapping up.
Better onboarding for higher-performing teams plus identifying 'unfair advantages' with Ash Ali
Apr 29 2022
Better onboarding for higher-performing teams plus identifying 'unfair advantages' with Ash Ali
What is 'ever-boarding' and why should you use it in your business?Why do over half of sales people not hit their targets, and what can you do to support them better, giving you a huge return on investment if you do it right?And what does Ash Ali mean when he talks about unfair advantages which people can identify and apply?Imagine you spent a long time and invested a lot of money to get the best talent into your company, then gave your new starters a poor experience. In those first few weeks and days, new employees decide whether or not to stay. Their decisions and successes in their roles depend on your process when they join your business, and your ongoing support.Ash is the co-founder of Uhubs, seeking to help sales leaders in B2B tech companies grow faster. If you recruit and employ sales people, he has lots of important advice in this episode – in fact it will be useful to most business leaders.Uhubs itself has pivoted and Ash explains why. And it has secured investment in a couple of funding founds, including from TwinklHive in Sheffield.Ash was the first UK marketing director of Just Eat and is author, with Hasan Kubba, of The Unfair Advantage, winner of Business Book of the Year 2021.He is an enormous advocate of bootstrapping and launching minimum viable products and used the same process to get his book in front of initial readers then an agent and publisher.So lots of practical advice today from Ash, including three essential elements for successful recruitment, retention and ongoing support for salespeople, the best time to seek investment and how to go about it, working with complementary co-founders and more.Also on the programme (after the interview) – two business funding opportunities, including the ReNew Sheffield Call for Projects, and reflections on a lovely article about dry stone walling in the Peak District published by The Sheffield Tribune.Thanks for listening today. Please rate / review / follow / subscribe to the show on your favourite podcast app and get in touch to suggest guests or topics.
Proving naysayers wrong by doing the right thing – ethical business and the Better Business Act with Hellen Stirling-Baker, Small Stuff
Apr 22 2022
Proving naysayers wrong by doing the right thing – ethical business and the Better Business Act with Hellen Stirling-Baker, Small Stuff
When Hellen Stirling-Baker launched Small Stuff in 2016, a mentor told her it would fail because she was so focussed on ethical business. Six years later she runs a thriving online and physical shop, has opened and expanded into larger retail premises, and survived the challenges of the pandemic. Turnover and profits are increasing, says Hellen – and she has not compromised her ethics and values.Hellen is one of over 1,000 leaders of businesses large and small calling for a "Better Business Act." They want the Government to amend legislation to ensure businesses are legally responsible for benefiting workers, customers, communities and the environment while delivering shareholder and stakeholder returns. We cover what that means and this week's Better Business Day, and discuss Hellen's multiple-award-winning, eco-conscious children's store in Crookes, Sheffield. Hellen has tips for entrepreneurs who hope to launch other sustainable (in all senses) businesses. A healthy dose of inspiration and practical advice in this, episode #366 of Business Live.Timings and links:0:00 - 25:48 Introduction and interview with Hellen Stirling-Baker, Small Stuff. Hellen also presents This Sustainable Business podcast.25:48 More about The Better Business Act, the four principles and how to learn more.29:53 Quick recap of some previous episodes with guests who demonstrate ethical business is great business, including Kresse Wesling (Elvis & Kresse), Yasin El Ashrafi (HQ Recording Studios), Jen O'Brien (Music Broth), David Hanney (Alpkit), Louisa Ziane (Toast Ale).32:13 Funding: 15-20 projects can secure up to £1m each through The Energy Entrepreneurs Fund. Power to Change seeks partners for Community Improvement Districts.34:38 Reflections on Positive News magazine, and a good article from economist and Times columnist Ryan Bourne about why we should allow asylum speakers to work (The Entrepreneurs Network has ling called for this too).37:16 Upcoming events, including Record Store Day 2022 (so why not listen to last week's interview with Mark Elliott of Record Collector), Opportunity Sheffield job fairs, Sheffield Digital Festival, Sheffield Forum Live #3, The Festival of Debate.Thanks for listening to the show! Get in touch here and please leave a rating or review so more folk can find it.
Vinyl revival and indie retail with Mark Elliott, Record Collector
Apr 15 2022
Vinyl revival and indie retail with Mark Elliott, Record Collector
It's a Sheffield institution, a fixture in the firmament of music-lovers. Record Collector opened in 1978 and sells vinyl albums and CDs from its double-fronted shop in Broomhill and worldwide from its online store.Vinyl is "back with a bang" says Mark Elliott. He's worked at the store since 1988 give or take a couple of breaks including a stint in New Zealand. UK  vinyl sales have jumped for the 14th consecutive year, according to BPI figures, and nearly a quarter of albums sold are purchased on vinyl.That must be good news for independent record shops? What does it mean for the second-hand trade? And how did Record Collector make it through the last couple of years, an extraordinary tough time to operate any independent retail business?Mark also discusses the phenomenon of Record Store Day,  the legendary story of a Public Enemy signing at the store, and independent businesses competing with internet behemoths.Timings:0 - 2:34 Introduction – this is episode #365 of Business Live.2:34 Interview with Mark Elliott, Record Collector. Its website is here and Discogs listings here.30:08 News from former show guest, Blend Kitchen.32:12 Upcoming events including Sheffield Forum Live #3 in May, The eBay Business Roadshow in April, two new Best of ShAFF events and an extension to ShAFF 2022 Online, Peddler Market, The Festival of Debate, Pollen Inner City Flower Market.Enjoy the show? Follow/subscribe/rate or review it on your favourite podcast platform. We broadcast most Friday mornings at 9am on Sheffield Live 93.2FM and online, with podcasts here and on most podcast outlets. Thanks for listening!
Helping Ukrainian people and refugees and tracing her own family near Lviv with Diane Evans
Apr 1 2022
Helping Ukrainian people and refugees and tracing her own family near Lviv with Diane Evans
Diane Evans, whose father was Ukrainian, tracked down her relatives near Lviv in Western Ukraine just two-and-a-half years ago.  Since then she's met them for the first time and been in frequent contact.When Russian forces invaded Ukraine she wanted to help the Ukrainian people and refugees fleeing the war. Over just two days her business, Evans Lee, collected over £100,000-worth of donations of medicines and bandages, bottled water, canned food, toiletries, baby milk and food, and good quality clothing.Then with the help of volunteers and businesses which gave the use of warehouses, vehicles, staff time and more, Diane organised, boxed and packed the donations. The goods have been transported to the Polish border and distributed to Ukrainian refugees.Diane joins me to discuss how she searched for and found her family members in Ukraine; the donation drive and being overwhelmed by the generosity of people and businesses; other ways to support the Ukrainian people, including by  offering accommodation; and the Help Ukraine Emergency Appeal and The Association of Ukrainians in Great Britain, which is working with accredited and registered Ukrainian charities to provide medicines, food and critical services.We also talk a little about housing and running a family business – Evans Lee has been established for 9 years – with Diane's top tips about the "small little bits that make a difference."Also in this, episode 364 of Business Live: if you're an extraordinary business leader, creating social change, then a £10,000 award from the Cambridge Social Innovation Prize could be a game-changer for you. We have details about how to apply (deadline 8 April).Timings and links:0 - 29:45 Interview with Diane Evans, Evans Lee. 30:45 Good news from former Business Live show guest, Natterhub31:35 Employment law changes from April, in brief. Frequent guest Jay Bhayani of Bhayani Law has a blog with more details.33:08 Details of the Cambridge Social Innovation Prize. Plus a shout-out for an interview with Nicole Helwig of Cambridge Social Ventures on Heidi Fisher's Make an Impact podcast (which I edit).35:54 Wrapping up, including a signpost for Sheffield Live's interviews with journalists and people in Ukraine, and its list of ways to support Ukraine. Plus congratulations to The Sheffield Tribune as it celebrates its first anniversary of "a different kind of local journalism." And how to get in touch if you want to suggest a topic or put yourself forward to be on this radio show and podcast.
Beating dating app scammers with Jessica Zeun, Fluttr
Feb 25 2022
Beating dating app scammers with Jessica Zeun, Fluttr
Who are we talking with when we meet someone on a dating app or social media platform? A real person or a fantasy construct? How do we know a person's profile is genuine and what they're telling us is true?With romance fraud rocketing, scammers and criminals are using dating apps and social media platforms to reel in their victims. But a new, British dating app uses robust ID verification to ensure users are who they say they are, and Jessica Zeun joined me today to explain how Fluttr works.It's based on three pillars, "safety, authenticity and efficiency" and Jessica tells us the app's founders saw "so much terrible stuff happening in dating apps" which they sought to fix – but at the same time it needs to be fun.She covers the user experience, how the founders raised their startup-costs and plans to roll-out the app beyond the UK. And as a long-term expert on social media Jessica gave her perspective on platforms – plus tips for anyone moving, like she has, from building products for other people to building their own.Also on the show: funding opportunities and events for businesses and social enterprises. This is episode 362 of Business Live – hope you enjoy it!0 - 25:53 Jessica Zeun, Fluttr25:53 Funding! Act fast if you want to apply to the Digital Innovation Grant (DIG) programme which supports Small and Medium sized enterprises (SMEs) in South Yorkshire to develop their use of digital technology. Plus travel sector and hospitality, accommodation and leisure grants (Sheffield), details here. 29:41 Events: The Sheffield Universities Managing Directors Club on 10 March covers funding to innovate and grow your business. Details and booking.The SME Business Breakfast event on 29 March: details and booking.Thanks for listening!
Seed funding for startups and effective altruism with Sean Donnelly, Ripples
Feb 4 2022
Seed funding for startups and effective altruism with Sean Donnelly, Ripples
Remember going to shops and popping your change into a charity collection box next to the till? The problem for charities is this has become a memory, not a habit, as we move to a cashless society.And it means an £80m shortfall in fundraising every year for charities which used to collect spare change.But Sean Donnelly's business Ripples, a social enterprise, wants to fix this and help small acts of generosity ripple outward to make a huge impact. Ripples uses Open Banking and its own clever, flexible and secure design to make a positive difference. It seeks to enable small penny donations and ultimately raise millions for charities, schools and important causes around the world. Sean  had to "kiss a lot of frogs" on the journey to secure seed funding for Ripples (which launched as Roundups and has just refreshed its branding). So he's got lots to say which will help other entrepreneurs prepare for seed investment rounds and finding angel investors.We also cover effective altruism, seeking to maximise the impact of money donated or invested into doing good, plus the value of networks and ecosystems for startups in tech, finding a co-founder and the lessons Sean learned from earlier businesses he launched.Timings:0 - 3:17 Introduction.3:17 Interview with Sean Donnelly, co-founder, Ripples (which has secured investment from Sheffield-based business accelerator, TwinklHive).33:30 What books have informed, inspired or challenged you, or given you tools you've found useful? Let me know. Sean and I talked a little about William MacAskill's "Doing Good Better – Effective Altruism and a Radical New Way to Make a Difference." Worth reading. Do you have book recommendations? Get in touch.35:28 Upcoming events including Tramlines, the Sheffield Adventure Film Festival and the Outdoor City.36:29 Funding! Travel sector and hospitality, accommodation and leisure grants (Sheffield), details here. And the Digital Innovation Grant (DIG) programme supports Small and Medium sized enterprises (SMEs) in South Yorkshire to develop their use of digital technology.38:09 Wrapping up.
Breaking barriers to employment with education and training - Natalie Doherty, Aneeka Zarar, Laura Else
Jan 21 2022
Breaking barriers to employment with education and training - Natalie Doherty, Aneeka Zarar, Laura Else
There's a game Natalie Doherty likes to play when she meets young people on one of the Source Skills Academy's programmes.They have this image indoctrinated into them about the type of person who is a Director of Quality, Curriculum and Innovation, she says. And they're often shocked by her career journey from dance to director – but hearing it makes the idea of a senior job more accessible to them.Doherty, whose father wanted her to be an accountant, "wasn't the conventional student" at school, she says. After studying dance and sport she began a career as a dancer which took her all over the world. Her career developed into running major sport and cultural events before she "broke into education" and she's worked in both a formal and community context in the education sector for 15 years. Today we discuss:Does education prepare people adequately for the workplace?Confounding the expectations that society, schools, families often make of people.Transferable skills from dance and sport which helped Natalie overcome brick walls and be resilient in the face of knocks on her career journey.What those brick walls and knocks were.How the Source's traineeship programmes help young people develop and, crucially, apply their skills.Also on today's show: Aneeka Zarar says she has transformed her life thanks to The Source Skills Academy’s Traineeship programme. Aneeka, 18, now has a full-time job she loves at Yorkshire Accommodation Bureau Ltd in Rotherham. She and her manager Laura Else talk about how the experience worked for Aneeka and the business.Timings and links:0 - 3:18 introduction,3:18 interview with Natalie Doherty, Director of Quality, Curriculum and Innovation, the Source Skills Academy,30:40 Aneeka Zarar and Laura Else, Yorkshire Accommodation Bureau,43:27 If you run a business in Yorkshire and the Humber which sells online, the ten free of charge Digitise Your Exports (DYE) events could help you to increase their online sales. Details.46:01 Wrapping up.