The Enterprise Network - Case Studies
The Enterprise Network Swindon and Wiltshire has attracted a diverse and inspirational range of businesses as tenants at the Enerprise Centres - you can read some ot their stories here.
There aren't many advantages to being stuck in traffic - but when Nick Wilmhurst from start-up recruitment agency Niche Recruitment got caught on Royal Wootton Bassett High Street, it turned out to be a blessing in disguise.
"I was on my way to a client meeting and had plenty on my mind," he said. "But looking around while I waited in the traffic jam, I noticed a sign for affordable office spaces ...exactly what my business partner and I were looking for."
Nick had discovered Manor House Enterprise Centre, part of The Enterprise Network (TEN), a Wiltshire Council initiative to support start-up and growing businesses, offering affordable offices, meeting rooms, hot-desks and virtual office facilities.
"The centre is perfect for us," he said. "As well as a smart office, we can use the training centre for staff training and meeting clients. The lease is very flexible, which is really important for a new and fast-growing business."
Niche Recruitment is the brainchild of long-time business associates Nick Wilmhurst and Michelle Harris. After many years working in recruitment they decided to take the plunge in summer 2015, setting up Niche, an agency that specialises in digital, marketing, project management and
"It's been a rollercoaster," said Michelle Harris. "The work has been coming in non-stop since we launched, and we are already planning to expand."
"We love our new base in Manor House Enterprise Centre," she added.
Check them out at www.niche-rec.co.uk
Ludgershall couple's double celebration – in love and in business!
Ludgershall couple Zoe and Guy Tucker are having a double celebration – not only have they just got married, but they've moved their software design business out of their home and into their first office.
Guy, a software engineer specialising in creating bespoke IT data solutions for businesses, set up Clearly Software last year, and initially used the virtual office facilities at the Castledown Enterprise Centre in Ludgershall.
"As a new business, I wanted to create the right impression, and originally we thought we would not be able to afford an office, so we started using the Enterprise Centre's virtual office and business address service," he said.
"But we soon realised the down-side to working from home is that you don't really ever stop. We took some business advice about renting an office – just a small one, perfect for just the two of us – but we were surprised how difficult it is to find small offices, and how expensive.
"Then we realised the solution was right under our noses!"
Now the couple have moved in to their own two-desk office at Castledown Enterprise Centre and are enjoying a better work-life balance.
"At the end of the working day, we can now lock the office and go home," said Zoe. "It means Guy actually stops work at a reasonable time and we can enjoy time at home rather than constantly working late into the evenings. We've only just moved in, and it already has changed our mindset. I think it will be much more productive working in an office than at home!"
The Enterprise Network (TEN) is using EU and Government funds to offer free, impartial, business start-up support and advice and grants as well as launching four Enterprise Centres including one just two miles from Tidworth in the Salisbury Plain.
The Enterprise Centres offer new, affordable office space (just £50 per desk/week, all inclusive) alongside hot desks, meeting and training rooms and 'virtual office' services - perfect for start-up businesses, or enterprises ready to grow.
Funders include Wiltshire Council, the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), the Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), the Government Equalities Office and the Rural Development Programme for England (RDPE).
Home care with heart
In July 2015 Louisa McNeil took the brave decision to become her own boss, setting up Louisa Homecare, a domiciliary care company.
Despite the challenges of running a business, Louisa has never looked back and just loves being her own boss. "It's ideal - a great mixture of freedom and challenge" said Louisa.
Louisa has been able to grow her business within the White Horse Enterprise Centre in Trowbridge, one of several incubation hubs set up in Wiltshire by the Enterprise Network.
Taking on more offices as her business grows, the centre has allowed her to expand her workforce without stress. " The easy-in, easy-out, one month at a time rental agreement is perfect for me - I'm not tied down to years of rent, which is so good for a new business".
"Flexible meeting room space has enabled me to run training courses for my staff and the use of the communal networking area enables me to meet other business users within the centre".
Louisa is busy taking on more clients and ensuring her staff is trained to the highest standard, always delivering a first class service. "Thank you cards and flowers arrive all the time from appreciative clients" she boasts. "I am proud to have such a dedicated, hard working team".
"All in all the decision to start my business at the White Horse Enterprise Centre was a very good one".
Relocating a really good move
His firm Corporate LinX Ltd was founded five years ago and uses specially-developed software to help big corporate clients like Airbus, large retail chains, and others to reduce costs and optimise working capital in the way their supply chains operate.
Until July 2013, Dean ran the UK side of the Anglo-French company from home in Appleshaw, near Ludgershall, until the firm's growth forced him to find new business premises. Corporate LinX Ltd now employs four people at Castledown Enterprise Centre and aims to extend its services to small and medium-sized businesses locally.
His was the first business to move into the new Enterprise Centre. "I really like the design of it, particularly the large communal area which encourages you to meet other people working here," said Dean. "One of the things I really missed when working from home were those water-cooler moments; the chance to have discussions and network."
He says the overheads at Castledown are reasonable and he likes the fact that there were no hidden extra costs, unlike other business premises.
"It's also great that there's free business support available as part of the package."
View a full Tenant list here