Businesses in Kirklees are being encouraged to sign up for free support to kickstart 2022.

The call comes at the end of another successful year for AD:VENTURE, which is part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and supports businesses across the Leeds City Region that are pre-start or less than three years old.

AD:VENTURE was launched in 2017 and since then has helped nearly 3,000 businesses and 2,000 individuals with free support including one-to-one mentoring, workshops, webinars and grants, and has helped create 619 jobs.

Programme manager Stuart Ross said: “It’s gratifying to look back over another year where AD:VENTURE has made a real difference. We know that running a business is rewarding, but tough, and many do not survive through the first few years.

“But we also know that start-ups given a helping hand with the fundamentals at the beginning, like creating a business plan, managing cash flow and understanding their market, have a much greater chance of surviving and growing. And that’s why our support is so important.”

One of those companies supported by AD:VENTURE is Torchbearer, set up by Huddersfield University graduates  Pete Waugh and Jon Langley.

The company was given a business adviser, access to workshops and two grants. They were able to move into new premises in the town and take on staff.

Pete said: “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.”

Funding and delivery partners for AD:VENTURE include the city region’s nine local authorities, Leeds Trinity University, Leeds Beckett University, the Prince’s Trust, West Yorkshire Combined Authority, and West and North Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce.

Sir Roger Marsh OBE, DL, chair of the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership and NPII, said: “It’s fantastic to see AD:VENTURE supporting new and exciting businesses like Torchbearer especially during these challenging times. 

“As part of our economic recovery plan, we want to unlock entrepreneurs from diverse communities and programmes like AD:VENTURE make a real difference. 

“We have seen a lot of success stories over the last year, and I’d encourage start-ups to get in touch to learn more about the support available to start or grow a business.” 

West Yorkshire mayor Tracy Brabin said: “We want to encourage more entrepreneurs to come forward for support in 2022 and help create jobs and wealth and help the local economy grow. We know that small businesses are the engine room of this region and we will do everything we can to help them. 

“I am really glad that AD:VENTURE is supporting a range of businesses and a range of people. For many, entrepreneurship is an important route to overcoming disadvantage and that is one reason we are so keen to support our entrepreneurs.” 

For more information about AD:VENTURE go to