Meet the Start and Grow Enterprise Team!

Chances are that you’ve been in contact with most of us at some point if you’ve been to one of our events, but you may not necessarily know who is who or what we do. So here we are in all our glory!

We would like to wish you all a Happy New Year. It does feel as though there is light at the end of the tunnel, but it also feels like there is still a long way to go before life can go “back to normal”, whatever that might look like.

Although we are keen to get back to face-to-face events this year, after all, there is nothing quite like that human contact, we will continue to provide support virtually. There are perks to virtual events: you don’t have to find somewhere to park, it gives you more time as you don’t need to allow for travelling, you can take part in your pyjamas, nobody needs to arrange childcare, and there are no problems in being able to see the presentation clearly.

As we will be continuing virtual events for a while yet, here at Start and Grow Enterprise we thought we would take the opportunity to introduce the team.

The chances are that you’ve been in contact with most of us at some point if you’ve been to one of our events, but you may not necessarily know who is who or what we do. So here we are in all our glory!

 

Charles Dodwell

What do you do at Start and Grow?

I am the Project Manager. I oversee the project and its strategic development and manage the (amazing) team.

How long have you been with Start and Grow?

18 Months

What did you do before?

Managed my family business, and then held a number of roles within the business support and microfinance sector – most recently with the Prince’s Trust.

The best thing about Start and Grow?

Seeing people gain the confidence and knowledge to realise their dream of starting their own business.

Fun fact about you…

I can recite most of the Monty Python sketches verbatim!

 

 

Natalie Ferrari

What do you do at Start and Grow?

As Client & Marketing Officer I lead the marketing for the programme and get to know our clients through 1-2-1 business diagnostics. In these diagnostics, I signpost businesses to the support they need at their stage of their business journey.

How long have you been with Start and Grow?

I have been with Start and Grow since the beginning of the first phase of the programme in July 2017. I have seen it succeed through the first phase and contributed to the project winning further funding to continue into phase 2, which is now running until March 2023. It is fantastic to have been able to extend this programme which has been of such help to new business owners in Gloucestershire.

What did you do before?

Before Start and Grow, I worked on funded projects at the University of Liverpool. I have also worked in Merchandising in fashion retail.

The best thing about Start and Grow?

The best thing about Start and Grow Enterprise is being able to give free help to people who may not otherwise have been able to access it. We can see the impact that the support has had on businesses, from increased confidence in themselves and their decisions to growing and taking on employees, which is a massive step for a small business.

Fun fact about you…

I’ve been hiking the Dolomites since I was 10! (that’s where I am in the picture). I also have a cousin called Enzo Ferrari!

 

 

Jess MacDonald

What do you do at Start and Grow?

I ensure Start and Grow Enterprise remains a well-oiled machine in short. Behind the scenes, we work hard to meet our funders needs so that we can continue to provide our valuable start-up support and benefits free of charge to our clients. With so many joining our start-up community, you keep me busy!

How long have you been with Start and Grow?

I’ve been with Start and Grow since day 1 and it’s been a pleasure to see the progress we’ve made, the start-ups that have emerged, and their success.

What did you do before?

I’ve been working with Start-ups and Gloucestershire businesses since 2015. Prior to this, I ran a retail business of my own. Going through the process of starting a business at a young age with very little knowledge and the entrepreneurial experience was definitely a great journey of discovery. No one can fully prepare you for the roller-coaster that entrepreneurship brings, I only wish I had access to the great support available now!

In previous work life, I was an interior designer, and this remains a passion of mine; I still love designing and problem-solving.

The best thing about Start and Grow?

Everyone has a different story and passion behind their business, which I love to learn, but the best thing about Start and Grow Enterprise truly has to be that we can remove barriers to the support that start-ups really need. Our objective is to provide as many people as possible with ideas, and new businesses in the county with tools and knowledge to get them started in the right way at no cost to them. This is important to me as Start-ups often have few resources and often have to play many roles which can be difficult to navigate.

By removing this barrier to support we see such a variety of entrepreneurs with great business ideas coming forward to join a community and receive peer support as well as insight from our experts.

Fun fact about you…

They say when you turn 30 you have a favourite supermarket and finally understand gardening… it really is true. It’s Sainsbury’s if you’re interested… and this year I grew lockdown courgettes and peas!

 

 

Catherine Briggs

What do you do at Start and Grow?

I am the Business Start-Up and Student Project Coordinator, I look after our events, our pre-start clients, and I engage students with the programme.

How long have you been with Start and Grow?

Since April 2020, I joined the team when Phase 2 of the programme started.

What did you do before?

I was Project Coordinator for the GRIP and GAINS Projects at the University of Gloucestershire.

The best thing about Start and Grow?

The amazing team and our commitment to helping our clients in every way we can.

Fun fact about you…

I have a motorbike licence and have been riding motorbikes off and on for the last 10 years.

 

We already have a packed calendar of events lined for 2021, why not head to our events section to find out what is on offer. If you need to get in touch with us, then fill in the contact form and we will get back to you.

We look forward to meeting you at an event this year and hopefully welcoming you to a face-to-face event in the not-too-distant future!

 

 

 

Written by Nikki Knight. Nikki is the “writing for small business lady”. She offers proof reading, copy editing, transcription and copywriting for small businesses. You can get in contact with her at www.nikkiknightcopyediting.co.uk or nikki@nikkiknightcopyediting.co.uk

To take part in the Start and Grow Enterprise project, you will need to complete a short joining form.