Launch of Start-Up West Yorkshire, Wakefield

08 September 2022

Budding entrepreneurs and new business owners in Wakefield are invited to the launch of Start-Up West Yorkshire, Wakefield on Wednesday 21 September, Farmer Copleys, 10:30am until 1pm.

The new, free business support programme, led by the Mayor of West Yorkshire and supported by Wakefield Council, covers everything needed to get started or to take a fledgling business to the next level.

The programme provides free advice delivered through workshops, seminars and one-to-one specialist support on a range of topics, including finance, marketing, growth and profitability.

Start-Up West Yorkshire is part of the Mayor’s £6m region-wide Enterprise West Yorkshire programme, delivered by West Yorkshire Combined Authority. The programme encourages entrepreneurship and helps people get the support that they need to build successful businesses, which is key to driving West Yorkshire’s economic recovery.

The programme is available to businesses less than three years old and covers Leeds, Bradford, Kirklees, Calderdale and Wakefield, with similar launch events taking place in each of these areas.

Places for the Wakefield launch event can be booked at: Eventbrite Start-Up West Yorkshire Wakefield tickets Anyone can drop-in at this free event and meet expert advisors who can support and guide you through your business journey. There’s also the opportunity to hear from local start-up businesses, who will share their experience and business journey.  

To further support local start-ups, there’s also the chance to have a free, professional profile picture taken at the event which could be used on social media or business website. 

Lee Rose, owner of tree work specialist company Rose Tree Forestry, will be among guest speakers at the Wakefield launch.  A local retired crown servant, Lee launched his business last year to enable a better work-life balance, while also working outside. One year on and his passion for arborology has transformed Lee’s life and career.

Lee said:

“I was terrified of going self-employed. I’ve served in the army and police force, but the prospect of launching my own business was scarier than anything I’d experienced on the front line. The business support I’ve had from the outset has helped to set me on the right path. Now I’m doing a job I love, I have a plan for the future, and I get to spend time with my family. I couldn’t ask for more.”

Alexandra Forrest is another entrepreneurial success story who will share her journey at the event. Founder of Your Fitness Network (YFN), Alexandra’s business idea stems from connection between physical wellbeing and mental health. Having experienced personal trauma, including the loss of her dad to suicide, Alexandra set up YFN to help companies support their employees’ mental wellbeing through tailored programmes with services included such as on-site/online group workouts, Health MOTs and healthy eating workshops.  

Alexandra said:

“I’d encourage anyone with a great business idea and ambition to work for themselves to go for it. There will always be something holding you back if you’re waiting for the right time. If you’re a solopreneur, it can be lonely developing a business on your own, but there’s loads of business advice and support available if you look for it. Having a support network and experts to talk to can make all the difference.”    

Cllr Darren Byford, Wakefield Council, said:

“We’ve got an exceptional track record for entrepreneurialism in Wakefield. It’s crucial that we support existing businesses to grow and flourish.

“Start-Up West Yorkshire, Wakefield, will help those with new ideas or who are just starting out in business to access expert support and tailored guidance to turn ambitions into reality.

“We’re delighted to be working with the Mayor and alongside our West Yorkshire partners to bring this programme to Wakefield. I encourage anyone interested in the initiative to go along to the launch event to find out more.”

Tracy Brabin,  Mayor of West Yorkshire said:

“Small businesses are the life blood of any community.  

“I’m delighted that as your Mayor,  I have launched Enterprise West Yorkshire and the support it unlocks for the brilliant people and businesses in West Yorkshire.

“Our region is a brilliant place to live, learn and set up a business and I can’t wait to hear about the fantastic new businesses that will call West Yorkshire home.” 

Start-Up West Yorkshire is delivered by the West Yorkshire Local Authorities through Start-Up Manager support, and webinars and one to one specialist support delivered by People Plus on behalf of the West Yorkshire Combined Authority.

For more information about the initiative, visit the Start-Up West Yorkshire website- Wakefield First | Business Support and Economic Inward Investment