Posts by gsfgadministrator


Emergency Coronavirus Grants


The Treasury has announced a £3,000 grant for businesses that do not pay business rates to help them survive the coronavirus pandemic. Around 700,000 businesses in England currently eligible for Small Business Rate Relief (SBBR) or Rural Rate Relief can apply for the emergency funding.

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International Women’s Day 2020 – Equal for All

International Women's Day 2020

Last Thursday saw the YTKO West of England team host an event with Bristol 24/7, to celebrate International Women’s Day. The venue was the beautiful Coopers Hall at the Bristol Old Vic and almost 50 business women from the city came together for coffee, cake and networking. Speakers, Sue Turner CEO of Quartet Community Foundation and Nicky Marshall and Sharon Critchlow of Discover Your Bounce, spoke at the event, providing thought provoking and inspirational content around this year’s theme ‘Equal for Each’.

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Ones to Watch 2020

Wednesday evening saw the YTKO team attend the Enterprising West of England ‘Ones to Watch 2020’ awards at the Bristol Old Vic.

Enterprising West of England ‘Ones to Watch 2020’ awards

This prestigious event celebrated the successes of the thousands of businesses from across Bristol, Bath and North East Somerset, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire, who had been supported by the EWOE programme.

GetSet for Growth and Outset clients were very well represented, with clients in every award category which included Female Founder, BAME Leader, Contribution to Community and Young Person in Business.

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Hack it!

Students from Business Challenge Day

Last Wednesday saw Get Set for Growth involved in a Business Challenge Day at University of Bristol, with clients Lucy Preston and Tom Harbour from ‘Maths With Parents’. Students from a range of disciplines including Marketing, International Business Management and Economics attended the day and worked in teams to create branding, marketing and social media concepts for the business, with the day culminating in Dragon’s Den style client pitches.

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Pitch Perfect

Pitch 2019 bootcamp

Last Friday saw the GetSet for Growth Team head to Origin Workspace in Berkerley Square, Clifton, for the Pitch 2019 bootcamp, hosted by Bristol’s Box2Media.

The team delivered workshops on ‘perfecting your pitch’ and ‘accessing finance for your business’ to 50 budding entrepreneurs, who had been shortlisted from hundreds of hopefuls. Following the workshops, each contestant gave a 90 second pitch on their game-changing product or business idea.

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Too Many T-Shirts – a story of scale up and upcycle

Too Many T-Shirts needed to make the jump from cottage industry, manufacturing products on a kitchen table, to where it now is, an upcycled products provider, recently outsourcing to a UK textiles manufacturer.

They reached out to GetSet for Growth for help with their marketing and in finding a long-term manufacturing partner. As a result of the support provided, they outgrew their studio space, have outsourced their manufacturing, and their management has been released form day-to-day operations to be able to focus on longer-term business growth (working more on the business than in the business).

Too Many T-Shirts started-up in 2017, and make custom t-shirt blankets. These ‘memory blankets’upcycle customers’ own t-shirts to create a nostalgic and unique memory of times they experienced when wearing their t-shirts, such as a runner’s blanket comprising all their race t-shirts.  As well as a very innovative idea, they are also are helping to reduce clothing waste in this clever way.  They further strengthen their sustainability credentials with a real focus on keeping things local and reducing air miles.  As such, they have a wide range of customers, from fanatical runners, keen sports team members, university graduates, football fans, and gig and band fans.

In 2018, having taken GetSet for Growth’s advice on funding sources and on their marketing, Too Many T-Shirts crowdfunded on the Crowdfunder platform.  This campaign was a success in gaining overfunding of £24k – 163% of the original target.  319 backers came onboard to make the campaign possible, donating or pledging in return for the product.

Simon Bellamy, Founder, says, “Our preparation was key to ensuring we built a large audience or ‘crowd’ in advance of going live.  To launch in the strongest way possible, it was essential to first onboard prospective customers, and warm them up to the future campaign.  As a result, we reached 50% of our target numbers within 48 hours and we were fully funded just a few days later”.

Lots of hard work immediately followed the campaign to fulfill all the backers’ orders, and they were so happy with their unique products that they have now become long-term customers.

The crowdfunding campaign was also instrumental in a manufacturing company approaching Too Many T-Shirts, who have now become a long-term partner, taking over the manufacture of the blankets. This relationship has been essential in enabling the company to scale.

The future for the business is very bright as they continue to grow, providing income to skilled machinists here in the UK.

Simon says, “I have gained invaluable advice from GetSet for Growth.  Being a solo business owner, sometimes you need that sounding board to clarify your thoughts.  GetSet for Growth have helped me to grow my business to a point where I can now concentrate on my future business strategy.  With a manufacturing partner now in place, they take care of many of the operational elements of the business. I would recommend GetSet for Growth to any other business owners out there that are looking for help or advice in scaling their businesses”.


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My Gammie’s Ltd

Rebekha Gooden, the co-founder of My Gammie’s Ltd based in Newham, holds her business close to heart. The company sells allergy friendly food, free from 14 main allergens highlighted by the Foods Standards Agency (FSA). Her main target market is anyone, including children, with food allergies and/or intolerances and the company’s ultimate mission is ‘to provide safer foods with easier access’.

Having enrolled to be a part of a business start-up competition at the University of East London (UEL), Rebekha and her business partner Marie-Anne were pointed towards GetSet for Growth London by the UEL Innovation Enterprise team based in the Knowledge Dock. Although she had a solid business idea in place, the main challenges Rebekha was facing were mainly related to marketing, sales forecasting and getting more funding support.

They initially worked with Tahir Rahman, the business finance advisor at GetSet for Growth East London, who helped Rebekha to better understand and complete her sales forecast to go along side the sales pitch for the UEL competition. Tahir also discussed the various funding options that were available to them, allowing her to make informed decisions on which route to pursue.

They also took advantage of the marketing support on offer, when Robyn Sinclair, the UK marketing director at YTKO Ltd, helped Rebekha break down her planned marketing activities and create a more structured and manageable marketing plan for her future.

In the future My Gammie’s Ltd plans to expand not only in the wholesale/ retail sector but also aims to target educational institutions to build awareness, helping allergy prone adults and children. Rebekha says that with the foundation of support received from GetSet for Growth, reaching the next stage now seems easier and more achievable and that she and her business partner are more confident in their actions and tasks. This ultimately had enabled them to be more knowledgeable, more realistic and more determined to build their business.

Our experience with GetSet for Growth has been 10/10. All off the staff are friendly, passionate, knowledgeable and prompt and I would definitely recommend GetSet for Growth to other business owners.

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We spoke to the mother and daughter entrepreneurs, Juliet Lynn and Hayley Guerrier, behind the new exciting venture The Eco Collective. Based in Christchurch, Dorset, The Eco Collective is on a mission to become the go-to-place for vegans and ethical shoppers for all their groceries, household and personal care products. They told us about the journey in setting up their new business, and the help that they received from Outset Finance and GetSet.

Juliet, having taught IT previously, came up with the idea behind The Eco Collective. She says that she wanted to create this business because she did not think that anyone else would. She felt that it was something that was needed in the area where she lives – Christchurch/New Forest and there would be a demand for it. She said “I felt that if I didn’t do it nobody else would!”.

Hayley had always been inspired to run her own business, but had previously had difficulty coming up with an idea what would be commercially viable. She has a background working in supermarkets and restaurants, but when her Mum came to her with the idea, she thought that this was the right venture to join her in.

A business selling sustainable and ethical products that are 100% vegan

The Eco-Collective is about making it easier and more affordable for the people to purchase products that have been ethically produced. The product range is 100% vegan and largely organic, including many fair trade and sustainably produced products. Customers can obtain food products, household products and personal care products.

In summary – everything that they could get in a supermarket, with the big difference that the Eco Collective products have a basis in sustainability and ethics.

The Eco Collective has an innovative business model. Since the products tend to be more expensive than those in a supermarket, the Eco Collective uses the concept of a membership club, where customers pay a small contribution (membership fee) towards the overheads of the club. As a result of that they gain a considerable discount from the retail price on all the products they buy. Juliet says, “Think vegan Costco!”

A large proportion of the products are made in UK. In fact, their brand new website ( even has a filter so you can select UK businesses along with other filters such as organic, gluten free and FairTrade products. The Eco Collective is also helping start-up and independent companies in providing a distribution outlet for their products.

A key market for The Eco Collective is the general public – specifically those people who will be concerned about what they purchase, where it comes from/ contains and impact on the environment as well as on their own health and well-being. Another customer segment are local cafes and restaurants. Juliet explained that this segment are becoming aware that the vegan population is growing, and therefore the demand for vegan options on their menus is also growing. Many do not know how to cater for vegans, and so the Eco Collective is advising them on building their menus and also with sourcing relevant products.

Outset Finance and GetSet helped their business planning and funding

Hayley explained how a friend recommended GetSet and Outset Finance to them. When they found their new warehouse in Christchurch (and fell in love with it), they made contact with Outset Finance who helped them obtain a Start-Up Loan, which enabled them to secure their new premises. They told us that if they had not received this help, they would have had to run the business from their garden shed. This would have seriously limited them in the size of their operation. They also had help from GetSet, where via a series of 1-2-1 meetings, they obtained help to refine their business plan. The GetSet advisor gave them ideas that they had not thought of. They plan to attend some of the free GetSet Marketing Workshops in the future also.

Building the go-to-hub for Vegans

Hayley and Juliet want The Eco Collective to become a well know brand and the go-to-place for vegan products.

They also have a vision for their Christchurch warehouse location to become a local hub, where people can come to pick up their orders, use it as a social space, and come to get a coffee. They are also planning to rent out some of the space for talks and events. They want to be a local hub at the same time as servicing customers up and down the UK.

Finally, we asked The Eco Collective founders any advice that they would give to someone embarking on their own start-up journey. This is what they told us:

“Be prepared to change what you think you are going to do. Have your idea, have your goals, have how you think it is going to be – BUT be prepared that once you actually start, you may have to think on your feet and change things”.

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