Mentoring through GetSet for Growth helped festival organiser Julie Sheppard to find clarity and see her business from a fresh perspective.
Julie, is the founder of Jazz Jurassica in Lyme Regis. This year’s event was the first music festival in front of a live audience to be put on in the UK following Covid. An incredible feat that Julie puts down to not having big financial investments to pay. Even as she had to cancel 2020’s festival, Julie was thinking about how to make 2021 socially distanced and Covid secure.
Julie worked with mentor Sarah Veakins from the GetSet for Growth East Dorset programme, which offers businesses looking to grow, 12 hours of free 1:1 mentoring and advice, as well as workshops and events. The programme is part of the Dorset Growth Partnership and is funded by the European Regional Development Fund. Julie said: “I work on my own, and I work well on my own, but actually as the festival got bigger and with Covid to deal with I thought; ‘It is a lot of responsibility for one unpaid volunteer to take on – I could do with a bit of support.’ I think it’s important to have someone to bounce ideas off and provide perspective. Mentoring helped me see through the other end of the telescope – it gave me another perspective.”
This is just one example of over 22,500 businesses that have been assisted by YTKO’s services since 2006. According to an independent impact assessment commissioned in 2020, YTKO’s support has enabled the creation of 6,574 businesses, over 10,500 sustainable new jobs and an estimated £2.61bn in sales income.
The businesses that have received support in that time, have also been proved to be fitter and better funded with over 76% of new firms surviving more than three years and having raised around £71.3m of growth finance.