DiscoverBusiness Live: for curious entrepreneurs and social entrepreneurs
Business Live: for curious entrepreneurs and social entrepreneurs
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Business Live: for curious entrepreneurs and social entrepreneurs

Author: Jamie Veitch

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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.
194 Episodes
"I ended up being offered a permanent role as a junior programmer which is a dream come true – and I worked on an awesome game which is actually my favourite of all the current projects at Sumo."Many people would love to work in the games industry but don't know where to start. Today's guests Eva Kioseoglou and Ruth Dickens have both secured full-time roles as junior programmers, having graduated from a games industry apprenticeship programme on which previous game programming experience is not required.Ruth and Eva have some brilliant advice for aspiring programmers in today's episode.They discuss their experiences in  the Sumo Digital Academy, a talent development programme that "creates new pathways into the games industry," offering opportunities to graduates aged 18 or above looking to make their first career move, those skilled in different industries, and those seeking a career change.Eva and Ruth are the first two people to graduate from the Academy's Game Programming Apprenticeship Programme. It gave them C++ training, practical application through project work, Unreal Engine training and then placement experience.They discuss why they applied to the programme. Applicants must demonstrate "their learning potential as game programmers" – Ruth and Eva explain how they did so.We cover the programme content, the products and projects they worked on, the mist challenging and most valuable parts of the apprenticeship programme too – and Eva and Ruth both give their top tips for anyone thinking of applying this year.Also on the show today: a new retail opening in Sheffield, some events and some funding opportunities.Timings and further details:0 - 1:41 Introduction1:41 Interview with Eva Kioseoglou and Ruth Dickens. Applications for the 2024-25 Game Programmer Apprenticeship Programme will open on 4th September 2023 (and will close on the 29th September). Details will be available via the interview we mentioned the Sumo Digital Academy's Diversity Internship Training Programme, which gives people from under-represented groups the opportunity to receive training and mentoring in game programming to see what it would be like as a career. Details: A new opening in Sheffield city centre: Atelier Japan, the brainchild of Johnny Pawlik (who's been on the show a few times) brings traditional and hand-made arts and crafts to Sheffield. It sounds wonderful.22:42 Events including an International Youth Day celebration in Sheffield today (11 August); Sheffield By The Seaside until 29 August; Jurassic Week at Graves Park Animal Farm. See the Welcome to Sheffield website.23:27 Sheffield City Council has re-opened its books for the Electric Van Trial. 15 vans are available to book – register your interest here: Grants of £10,000 to £75,000 are available to  community organisations tackling the cost of living crisis. Find out more at for listening to the programme and to Sheffield Live! for broadcasting us on DAB and FM radio.
Naomi Hulston has experienced "pretty much every role" in her 21 years working for Catch22.The social business has been around for 200 years. It delivers more than 120 public services that meet local needs and support individuals within our communities. "We consider ourselves a business with the heart of a charity and a business' mindset." Those services include justice, education services, support for vulnerable children and families and many more.Naomi started her career at Catch22 as a volunteer before progressing in many different roles across the organisation, so when Naomi became chief executive she  brought valuable insights and understanding as a leader..And in this interview she gives candid, thoughtful and powerful tips about how to foster an "intentional" culture; accountability, transparency and communication.Anyone running a social enterprise, purpose-led business or charity should listen to Naomi's advice.She also covers changing ways of working, making the "impossible" possible and collaboration.And we learn about the positive impact of a "people-centred" culture – with practical and implementable tips about how to galvanize this. "People feel included, engaged, enabled, able to express their wishes."Plus there's even a remarkable story about the Rolling Stones.What next? Visit the Catch22 website: Rachel has written a chapter for the new book, Vitalising Purpose – The Power of the Social Enterprise Difference in Public Services,  published this week by E3M, which I have co-written. A 'must-read for chief executives, heads of transformation, commissioners and procurement officers, and social entrepreneurs,' the book, which I have written is available in paperback and ebook formats here: And from Amazon here ( )
Today's guests have bumped off nearly 300 people through their business.But they're not career criminals. Adrian Hobart and Rebecca Collins run Hobeck Books, a leading family-run independent publisher of award-winning crime, thriller, mystery and suspense books.What better business to get on air in National Crime Reading Month?Rebecca and Adrian launched Hobeck Books in the middle of the pandemic. Rebecca brought expertise from over two decades working in the publishing industry, with clients such as Bloomsbury, Oxford University Press and Cambridge University Press. She is also a published non-fiction author and poet. Adrian has been a broadcaster and journalist with the BBC for twenty-five years, and is an audiobook narrator, filmmaker and a writer.This episode is a super business case study in itself, giving an insight into how Rebecca and Adrian launched the business, choose which books to publish, what works best to promote their authors, and the ever evolving world of the publishing industry.We talk plot, character, what makes for a riveting read – and I couldn't resist asking Adrian and Rebecca for their favourite ways in which their authors have knocked off characters. It's chock-full of tips anyone can use in their businesses too, with practical advice about branding, building an email list, giving radio interviews, and writing your own business book. And Rebecca and Adrian discuss their own work as editor and audiobook narrator too.Today's show also includes upcoming events for entrepreneurs and some new funding opportunities after the interview.What next?Visit Hobeck Books: https://www.hobeck.netAdrian and Rebecca's Hobcast Book Show has been nominated as one of twenty of the best UK Mystery Podcasts. Listen here: worked with me and co-author Jonathan Bland on our new book, Vitalising Purpose – The Power of the Social Enterprise Difference in Public Services,  published this week by E3M. It's available in paperback and ebook formats here: and from Amazon here ( )Events mentioned on the show: Bagging Your First Investment, Wednesday, June 28, Electric Works, Sheffield: Details. And Fundraising for impact startups - Unrest, Friday, June 30, webinar. Details.Plus the Welcoming Cultures Celebration in Sheffield and Alternate Realities: Sheffield DocFest at Site.Funding; go to and for details of funding mentioned in the show.
PossAbilities CIC provides services for people with learning disabilities, people with dementia and young people leaving care.Formed in 2014, PossAbilities has increased staff from 220 to more than 600, had eight consecutive years of growth and surplus, and grown its capital and reserves from zero to £6 million.It was formerly the Adult Social Care Provider within Rochdale Metropolitan Borough Council (MBC) and was one of the first 100 social enterprises to be formed by ‘spinning-out’ services which had formerly been run by public sector bodies. It has become a regional rather than local provider – and much of this, says CEO Rachel Law, is through doing ‘the opposite of what we were used to doing as part of a local authority’.Its organisational achievements are matched by its outcomes: PossAbilities CIC has used its own surpluses to build high-quality accommodation and to run numerous community initiatives and events, becoming a catalyst in the neighbourhoods it works.Rachel gives us an honest description of how she and her team overcame barriers and challenges to ‘push the boundaries of what is possible’ as a social entrepreneur and former local authority officer leading a successful public service spin-out.What next? Visit the PossAbilities CIC website: Rachel has written a chapter for the new book, Vitalising Purpose – The Power of the Social Enterprise Difference in Public Services,  published this week by E3M, which I have co-written. A 'must-read for chief executives, heads of transformation, commissioners and procurement officers, and social entrepreneurs,' the book, which I have written is available in paperback and ebook formats here: And from Amazon here ( )
Do we want to live in places full of thriving businesses and social enterprises, and where people don't get trapped by exploitative lenders and loan sharks? Sounds good to me.Eleanor Russell is policy and programmes lead at Responsible Finance, which represents the UK's social purpose lenders (community development finance institutions, CDFIs). Their work has been covered extensively by media including the Guardian, Financial Times, BBC, Mail Online and elsewhere. I work with Responsible Finance and invited Eleanor on to discuss new figures about the social, economic and environmental impact unlocked by CDFIs, through increasing access to finance for people, businesses and social enterprises otherwise excluded from finance for a variety of reasons.This £248m sector worked with nearly 95,000 customers in 2022 – a 22% leap on the year before – creating and supporting thousands of businesses and jobs, and helping households avoid millions in interest compared with higher-cost lenders. Eleanor gives us more details.Also in this episode:Events:  Games Careers Week, from 19-25 June, which celebrates diverse pathways into a career in games for young people of all backgrounds; StartUp Meetup Sheffield on 30 May, and a "lunch with Claire Rimmer" event at Theatre Deli,  Arley Street, Sheffield, via the Social Enterprise Exchange programme. Claire is head of Operations at Sheffield-based creative arts organisation, CADS.Funding and support, including:Accelerating FemTech, an initiative aiming to support innovators to boost the development of technology solutions to address current challenges in women’s health. Learn more and apply here.The Power to Change Community Business Trade Up programme (open now, deadline 26 June, details here) and the Discovery Fund (which opens for applications on 1 June and closes on 21 July 2023, details here).UK SMEs can apply to Innovate UK's Future Economy investor partnerships, (deadline 5 July 2023,, guidance and details here).An interview originally broadcast in March with David Hanney, CEO of Alpkit, a business which has thrived after CDFI finance.Timings:0- 2:55 Introduction2:55 New interview with Eleanor Russell15:29 Interview with David Hanney, CEO, Alpkit (recorded in March 2023)34:02 Events37:03 Support and funding for SMEs and social and community businesses40:42 Wrapping up
For a long time Claer Barrett vowed never to write a book about money. Now the award-winning financial journalist and broadcaster, who frequently answers the public's money questions on ITV's Lorraine, LBC radio and the Financial Times' Money Clinic podcast, has published 'What They Don't Teach You about Money.'It's a brilliant read – like having a chat with a friendly expert who wants to help you avoid pitfalls without confusing or judging you; Claer is honest about her own financial mistakes, clear and helpful.  Barrett is the FT's consumer editor and a trustee of FT-backed charity, FLIC (Financial Literacy and Inclusion Campaign). She joins me in this episode to discuss why she's written the book, some of the biggest emotional reactions to money, what we can all do to build better financial habits, what business leaders and social entrepreneurs can do to support employees during the cost of living crisis, her passion for financial education and literacy, the phenomenon of 'FOBSAG' (fear of being seen as greedy) and lots more.It's a comprehensive conversation and a call for more openness, better communication and less embarrassment and shame when it comes to discussing our finances.Also in the show: events and funding opportunities for businesses and social enterprises.Timings:0 - 40:23 interview with Claer Barrett. Get Claer's book from Amazon here and Penguin here and find her on Instagram at and Twitter at Events including Sheffield Business School's Intercultural Innovation Programme for SMEs, a two-day introduction to social enterprise workshop, and Business Sheffield events44:11 Funding opportunities including Future Economy Investor Partnerships SME round one (46:33 Wrapping upThis is episode 382 of Business Live, broadcast on FM and DAB radio and online on Sheffield Live! and available as a podcast. Thanks to Sheffield Live for putting us out on the airwaves and thank-you for listening.
We can do it if we really want to: Alpkit is a business success story which has doubled employee numbers since last appearing on this programme while dramatically reducing its absolute emissions and carbon intensity."It's really positive and something ALL businesses can do, from small to big" says CEO David Hanney.The measures it is taking, Hanney adds, align with Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change recommendations and processes which would enable the global economy to achieve  the 1.5 degree limit on global warming – if everybody does them.I last interviewed David in 2020 when he talked about how businesses must take responsibility for driving positive changes and Alpkit's environmental sustainability reporting. Since then the firm, which makes and sells outdoor equipment and bikes, has:halved its total greenhouse gas emissions eight years ahead of a 2030 deadline set by the Science Based Targets Initiative (SBTi)reduced carbon intensity by more than 36% in three yearsset a path with its decarbonisation to achieve true net zero in line with SBTi deadlinesachieved B Corp Certification and grown from 100 to 200 employeesHow has Alpkit done this, and what's next on its  journey to Net Zero? What can we all do to minimise our impact? Why should we use outdoor gear as long as possible? And how does Alpkit measure and verify its Full Value Chain Carbon Footprint?The word "inspirational" can be cheapened by over-use. But this story really shows that businesses can develop, create jobs and opportunities and do so while achieving measurable and transparent milestones on the path to decarbonisation.Also on the programme: data about B Corporations (B Corps) in the UK; details of funding and events for businesses and social enterprises. Timings:0 - 2:40 introduction2:40 Interview with David Hanney, CEO, Alpkit (more about Alpkit's work on sustainability )21:14 Gripple and Mina have recently been certified as B Corporations (B Corps) and March is 'B Corp' month –information and data about B Corps in the UK24:00 Events: Doing business in the USA; The Business and IP Centre South Yorkshire; Business Planning for Social Enterprise; other Social Enterprise Exchange events and workshops. 27:09 The Economic Recovery Fund; Sheffield Clean Air Zone Funding. Plus Innovate UK.This is episode 382 of Business Live, broadcast on FM and DAB radio and online on Sheffield Live! and available as a podcast. Thanks to Sheffield Live for putting us out on the airwaves and thank-you for listening.
Dr Kirsty Smitten has gone from PhD Student to founder and CEO of MetalloBio Ltd: "I was writing my thesis while forming a company." Her firm is developing new compounds to address antimicrobial resistance (AMR) and is a spin-out from the University of Sheffield, incorporated in 2021. Already the cause of 1.2 million fatalities every year, antimicrobial resistant infections are predicted to cause 10 million by 2050, more than cancer.In the first week of a PhD in Chemistry and Microbiology, Kirsty adapted compounds to be more readily taken-up by bacteria "and they worked." That's not a typical PhD, she adds, "it was a real shock and surprise." Kirsty describes the whirlwind progression from filing a patent in 2019, joining a market validation programme, establishing the need for the compounds, and then getting onto the Innovate UK ICURe programme – "I don't think we'd have a company if we hadn't got onto that."She gives valuable tips about getting onto incubation and acceleration programmes, securing support from Innovate UK, raising funding and demonstrating impact. Kirsty's comments aren't only relevant to biotech firms and spin-outs: they will be useful to listeners across many sectors.MetalloBio is developing its two lead antimicrobial compounds for two areas: to be used in drugs and treatments to combat multi-drug resistant Gram-negative bacteria; and to be used in medical devices, and material coatings and additives.The firm has received multiple awards and accolades: Kirsty was listed in the Forbes 30 Under 30 in Science and Healthcare Europe, and named "Young Entrepreneur of the Year" by The FSB Yorkshire and the Humber. But winning The Royal Society of Chemistry Emerging Technologies Competition 2022 - Health is probably her favourite, and she tells us why.She also covers:How she secured nearly £2 million in non-diluted funding,MetalloBio's routes to market, its new raise, and its revenue potential,The need for appropriate laboratory space in Sheffield,Why she used to dread pitching but now loves it – with a top tip,Why universities should introduce modules on commercialisation and entrepreneurship for their PhD students."I always thought I wanted to be an academic but now I wouldn't do anything else – I love my job," says Kirsty, and finishes with more valuable advice.What next?MetalloBio Ltd website https://www.metallobio.comThanks for listening and to SheffieldLIve! for broadcasting the show.
It's three years since Louis Speight, a former men’s European record holder, was last on the programme.His social enterprise Omnis Circumvado CIC is a specialist sports coaching company which works with children, young people and adults who have complex needs. "We are games-based" says Louis, and "our approach is to make sure everybody is having fun and they engage."Omnis runs inclusive activities in SEN (Special Educational Needs) schools and with people in day centres. How did this social enterprise make it through the pandemic? And what are the biggest challenges in 2023?What are the widely-held misperceptions of disability sport and how is Louis addressing these?Is it right or wrong to think its activities can be paid for by people who use them?What does Louis think about typical contract lengths for social enterprises? What does he have to say about social investment?And what does he mean by "jumpers for goalposts"?It's a comprehensive conversation with many learning points about resilience, funding, social investment, storytelling and commissioning.What next?Visit the Omnis Circumvado CiC website here: to my last conversation with Louis Speight: from zero-hours frustration to super social entrepreneurship for record-breaking athlete, here.Thanks for listening and to SheffieldLIve! for broadcasting the show.
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.
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: and Capital Enterprise: and to SheffieldLIve! for broadcasting the show.
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.
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, and Sheffield Social Enterprise Network,  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, – Fair Finance is a member of Responsible Finance, an organisation I work with 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
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 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 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: 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.
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 . Thank-you for listening – please go and buy Helen's book if you can!
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 and get tickets for Words, Vision and Sound here This show was broadcast  on 14 October 2022 on Sheffield Live FM radio 
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 ) and wrapping upThanks for listening!
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: 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.
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!
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
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