New business owners in Kirklees are being offered advice by academics at the University of Huddersfield as part of a new business support programme.

The fully funded Elevate programme is open to Kirklees businesses that are less than three years old, who have growth potential, and is backed by Kirklees Council.

The scheme, being delivered by the university’s Business School, offers eligible businesses the chance to attend masterclasses; receive intensive one-to-one support from university academics and business mentors; access grants and finance, and take part in peer to peer learning.

Cllr Peter McBride, deputy leader of Kirklees Council and the portfolio holder for business, said: “This programme will form an important part of the local ecosystem of business advice and the council is delighted to be providing support.

“At Kirklees Council we are passionate about supporting new and early stage businesses in their growth journey, as they play a critical role within the local economy. This is even more important now in light of the pandemic.”

Professor Jill Johnes, Dean of Huddersfield Business School, said: “Elevate is targeted at the leaders of young businesses with clear growth ambitions who are looking for some time and space outside of the business to think strategically.

“The programme introduces the concept of asking crucial questions of your business and the need to look at the opportunities for growth, the unforeseen challenges and obstacles, and their role in driving the business forward.”

Elevate will include four masterclasses, run by Business School academics, covering:

  • Strategic contrariness - Explore the underlying strategic assumptions about your business.
  • Leading through infinite possibility – Reflect on the dynamic capabilities of leadership and understanding the role of the leader in changing and uncertain times.
  • The curious mind-set – Understand the value of open innovation, curiosity and creativity in unlocking growth.
  • New economy and customers – Challenge your marketing assumptions, harness the power of your networks and segment your market for the 21st Century.

These sessions are supported by a programme of intensive one-to-one support, delivered by experienced business coaches, with the whole programme due to start late February to early March 2021.

The programme is run by AD:VENTURE, which is part- funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), and supports pre-start and new businesses which have ambitions for growth. Since AD:VENTURE started at the end of 2016 it has helped more than 3,500 businesses and individuals in the Leeds City Region, and approved more than 330 grants.

Among those who have received help from AD:VENTURE is Huddersfield-based Torchbearer Interactive, which has seen its turnover more than treble in the past year and moved to a larger office.

Co-founder Pete Waugh said: “AD:VENTURE are always pointing us in the direction of schemes we can join and grants we can apply for. To anyone who’s looking for business support, I’d say be willing to engage with people who have advice and expertise, look at all the opportunities available to you through the programme and take advantage of them.”

AD:VENTURE’s other partners include the region’s other eight local authorities; the Business Enterprise Fund; the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership and the Chambers of Commerce.

For more information about the Elevate programme go to: