We provide expert advice about working for yourself, covering topics including
- business development
- understanding market opportunities
- identifying business models
- writing business plans
- legal structures
Contact us to book an appointment.
You can also speak to our resident entrepreneur, Kevin Smith, for advice and support – just drop into the Careers and Employability Centre any Tuesday from 2–4pm.
Business and social enterprise – Morgan Killick , every Tuesday afternoon 1–5pm
Morgan was the founder and entrepreneur behind ESP Projects Ltd, one of the most successful IT services companies in the third sector in the UK. He is also a former social entrepreneur of the year for the Yorkshire and Humber region and director of social enterprise Yorkshire and Humber.
Morgan recently sold his stake in ESP and formed a new company – Level Up Solutions Ltd – to provide consultancy services to local businesses and third sector organisations. This new venture builds on his significant experience of advising and supporting other entrepreneurs and managers as they start and grow their companies.
Morgan is a SFEDI qualified enterprise mentor and a serial entrepreneur with excellent business planning skills, and has a wide range of contacts within the local economy. He is delighted to become one of the general business advisers for the students and graduates of Sheffield Hallam University and also has some specialist knowledge in social enterprise and of course IT.
Business – Jill White, Every Wednesday afternoon 1–5pm
Jill White joined the Research and Innovation Office team in 2010 having been involved in coaching, mentoring and advising start ups and existing businesses for a number of years.
Jill has been self employed since September 1994 and has a real passion for young entrepreneurs and women in business. She is a board member of Inspiring Women, Common Purpose and Whirlow Hall Farm Trust and has strong networks across the business community.
Meeting the right people at the right time is critical to any new business venture and Jill is able to utilise the many contacts she has made over the years on behalf of Hatchery students to provide speedy introductions and ensure start up businesses make the right connections from day one.
Jill is inspired by the talent, creativity, passion and persistence of start up entrepreneurs and looks to promote Hatchery businesses at every opportunity as well as introducing young entrepreneurs to relevant networks and encouraging them to be active members of the thriving business community.
Business – Darren McDool, Every Thursday morning 9am–1pm
Working with small, new start businesses in the South Yorkshire area since 2000, Darren is a business coach at Rotherham Youth Enterprise, providing a broad range of support to the under 30s looking for help with running or starting a business. As one of our business advisers, he sees his role as challenging clients and working with them on the fine detail of their business ideas to develop a workable business plan.
Business – Kevin Smith, Fortnightly on Tuesday 9am–1pm
Kevin's journey started after his third redundancy in six years. He scraped together about £500 to attend government-funded business start-up workshops covering many aspects of starting a business. He also picked up a business partner.
From this inauspicious start, the duo grew the business, achieving annual sales in excess of £1m. Their customer base included leading companies in aerospace, food and utilities and they became an established SME.
Such rapid and significant growth presented many challenges and in that period he made some good decisions that enhanced that growth.
He's been working with people going through start up and early stage trading for 11 years, drawing on his own experiences.
Product development – Gripple, Every Wednesday morning 9.30am – by appointment
If you are thinking about starting a new business or have invented a product then the Engineers at Gripple are here to help. We are able to give you advice on a range of subjects from manufacturing processes to market research. Coming from an internationally successful and share-holder owned business we can help by passing on the ideas behind the ethos that makes Gripple work so well.
No idea is a bad Idea and we will work through the process with you in order to get your product to market or business up and running.
Marketing – Faye Smith, First Tuesday of the month 9am–1pm
Alongside one-to-one marketing advice, Faye conducts pitching and presentation skills training and coaches our Enterprise Challenge finalists.
Faye became fully self-employed six years ago and now runs a marketing, PR and training consultancy. She specialises in supporting and training the charity, social enterprise and small business sector. She is SFEDI-IOEE accredited for business mentoring, a qualified trainer, business counsellor and Investors in People adviser.
Over the past year, Faye has been shortlisted for seven national and regional awards including Sheffield Hallam Student Employer of the Year, Yorkshire Businesswoman of the Year finalist and Red magazine's Red Hot Woman of the Year community champion finalist.
Faye is a regular guest on BBC Radio Sheffield and Sheffield Live radio and her story and business has been featured on the major TV channels and throughout the press.
Accountancy – Julie Robinson, Last Wednesday of the month 9am–1pm
Footprints Accountancy is proud to continue to support Sheffield Hallam University.
Whilst some generalisation can be made about starting up a business, it is always necessary to tailor the strategy to fit your situation. Any plan must take account of your circumstances and aspirations. Whilst business success can never be guaranteed, professional advice can help to avoid some of the problems which befall new businesses.
Julie welcomes the opportunity to help you formulate a strategy suitable for your own requirements. She can also provide key services such as bookkeeping, management accounts, VAT return and payroll preparation at an early stage.
Legal – Nabarro Solicitors: Last Thursday of the month 1–5pm
Elliot Jackson, Misbah Imtiaz, Richard Lee for Nabarro Solicitors has its own group dedicated to entrepreneurs and entirely focused on the specialised needs of early stage businesses. It has been closely involved with young growing companies for many years and can offer advice on how best to meet your business needs.
Associates from their corporate team can offer clear legal advice for entrepreneurs on a wide range of areas including
- raising equity or bank finance
- commercial contracts
- protecting intellectual property rights
- real estate contracts
- dispute resolution
- employment advice
- share incentive plans
- terms of business
They are renowned for their positive, practical approach and for providing a friendly, accessible, business-savvy service.
IP (Intellectual Property) – Graham Hulse, By appointment
Graham Hulse, intellectual property and commercial contracts manager with the Technology Transfer and Commercial Contracts teams. He offers intellectual property advice on areas including
- registered and unregistered design rights
- trade marks
Web and IT – Jessica Zeun, second Monday of the month, 1–5pm
Jessica is the managing direct of Zeun Digital Limited, supporting businesses to exploit new and existing technologies to help increase efficiency and productivity while saving time and money.
She has worked with over 200 businesses from sole-traders to international organisations, helping them to maximise the potential of the technologies available to them through business process improvement, systems development, online marketing, e-commerce and user training.
Jessica is able to advise on range of topics including website development, search engine optimisation (SEO), digital marketing and brand promotion, social media and cloud computing.
Intellectual property - how to protect your ideas
Have you come up with a new product, design or innovation you want to protect? Complete our Bright Ideas form (Word 226kb) to see how our intellectual property service could help.
Intellectual property (IP) is an umbrella term which covers all creative outputs generated by an individual or organisation, including everything from new ideas to new products.
We understand it's important to protect your outputs, which is why our specialist advisers can help you copyright or patent your idea or product to ensure the best possible protection.
For more information about intellectual property please download our guide (PDF 338kb).
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