99% of digital, media & creative companies want face-to-face business support

A new service to support Creative companies launched by Orchard's founder Nancy Dykins. Real business support for smaller creative businesses.

This news comes at a time when the cutbacks are having a direct impact on the levels of support on offer. The current offering across the region is undergoing drastic cuts. In addition, Business Link North West will close in November 2011. There are currently no plans to replace this face to face support element. There are plans for an information based website and a national call centre but as our survey illustrates this will not go far enough to give businesses the support they want.

“Although it is good to have a central location to access general business information, this doesn’t account for regional and sector specific issues and demonstrates a lack of communication with the business owners themselves” says Michele Bentham, one of the founding partners of The Launchpad.

Nancy Dykins goes on to say “We both spent some time at Business Link building the Digital and Creative support team there and were disappointed when the news came to scrap the sector focused support as we felt that this was starting to address the needs of the industry” said Nancy Dykins “We hope to pick up where the likes of Business Link left off but without the constraints of being a large publicly owned body”.

“We understand that creative businesses emerge from talented and passionate individuals who love what they do. At some point they recognise the need to develop the necessary skills to grow their business and this doesn’t always come naturally! We at The Launchpad not only understand this but have first hand experience of setting up and running successful businesses” continues Michele.

The pair have extensive commercial backgrounds, Michele having worked for the likes of ITV and the BBC alongside a career in theatre, media and having developed her own successful business. Nancy has worked within the creative sector for nearly 20 years including establishing and running successful businesses such as MacPeople (Digital Training, now The Peach Partnership) and Orchard (Creative & Digital recruitment agency).

“We have developed a range of affordable, relevant and bespoke packages to suit different budgets and needs” says Nancy “but we also want to encourage a move away from expecting free support as this is simply not going to happen in the way it has done before. We are driven by improving the bottom line and expect our clients to view working with us as a short term investment in order to achieve overall long term success.”

One new package is the The Launchpad Board which has already had a great reception with 93% of companies surveyed expressing an interest in being involved. This is an exciting new opportunity to be part of something bigger. The aim is to enable SME's a platform to access support and advice from other likeminded business owners through a structured and facilitated board style meeting. Board meetings will include guest speakers, sharing of best practice, exploring new methods of working, sharing and solving problems and personal business development. In addition there will be ongoing access to a Launchpad Mentor through email and telephone support. This is expected to roll out in March.

It is the flexibility of all the services on offer which makes the Launchpad unique. Their products have been designed to support businesses to grow and gain access to well thought-out solutions which are appropriate to company needs.

For more information please see the website or contact Nancy or Michele:





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