I would like to give you some feedback / review on the Made in Bury Business Academy.
The first few sessions I attended at the Academy I was left questioning myself if I had made the right decision to apply as I found it didn’t fit very well with the business that I was operating.
I felt that I was the odd one out in the group because although Persona was a new start-up business we were actually a large organization that had been previously operating within the local council for many years.
I struggled to grasp where some of the Academy's first sessions - presentations and topics fit with Persona. I felt the sessions were very geared up to small start-up businesses and rightly so.
However, we are now in week 13 and I have had the opportunity to take on board some of the learning from the Academy and have made progress towards meeting my business goals.
I have reflected on some of the learning from the group and have enjoyed being part of something new with like-minded individuals - all who have a desire to succeed.
Initially we were a group of people that lacked confidence and knowledge of how to run a business but with Debi and Phil’s ongoing support, patience and experience we have been exposed to open up our minds to see opportunities to add value in relation to networking, marketing and sales.
The sessions are very interactive and the agendas stimulate conversation and ideas and challenge you to think in a new and commercial way.
I can now say I really enjoy the Academy, I look forward to the content of the sessions that helps us to have businesses built on a solid foundation.
On reflection, the value of joining the Academy has been immense and I find that I use the learning from the sessions continuously to make the right decisions to get the best outcomes. Everyone has played a role in setting the foundations for the first year of the Made in Bury Business Academy and I’m proud to have been part of it.
Debra Guider - Operations Director - Persona Care and Support
We are now well into the 2016/2017 academy year, about to attend week 13.
When we applied we had doubts as to whether we would qualify as Andrew has Dyslexic and reading disabilities. We were delighted to be included and to allow myself and Andrew to attend, so that we could get the best out of the Academy.
The structure and format of the sessions has been first class and presented in a way by Debi and Phil to be interesting, entertaining and informative as well as educational.
As a new business, learning with others in a similar position to ourselves is extremely beneficial. We do not feel alone and have the support of other group members to help us through any problems we may encounter.
I sincerely hope that funding will be available for a new group next year and that there will be a way for our present class to remain together in some format.
You can never stop learning and improving!
Once again many thanks to Bury, Debi and Phil and the Academy for allowing us to participate in this excellent venture.
Malcom Ryder & Andrew Muramaa
Pure Clean Radcliffe.
Having only left my employment in February 2016, to focus on my small business, I was delighted to be invited to the launch of the Business Academy in April and was very pleased and surprised to have my application accepted.
The last six months have been invaluable to me and my business, and I cannot believe how far I have come. I was recently reflecting on some of the goals I had set myself for the first year of business and was delighted to see that I have already met and surpassed some of them, which I know would not have been possible without the advice and support provided by Debi & Phil Fellone and the academy members.
Each session, I learn something new and thought-provoking and take away something valuable. Whilst I am confident in the service I provide, I had very little experience in the business world, but have learnt so much from the academy already.
The content of the modules is always relevant and accessible and often generates helpful discussion among the academy members. The 1:1 discussions with other members has been a source of great knowledge and support, and I know that, as well as making good business contacts, I am also making some good friends, who understand the nature of being self-employed, with all its highs and lows.
I look forward to seeing what the next six months bring!
Aislinn Marek - Relax Kids Bury
After taking on this monstrosity of a project, namely The Two Tubs, I met Phil on his rounds of Made in Bury Business Marketing sales pitches. I believe he saw the desire in my eyes to make this business work but also saw my angst and frustrations in completing projects and moving forward with goals, which is when he approached me and invited me to take part in the MIBBA open day.
There were quite a number of business people awaiting Phil & Debis' presentation on why MIBBA was born. I loved what it offered but worried I wouldn't find time to be a full part of it, as you need to commit for a year. I had to think long and hard as once I committed, I could not back out or let Phil & Debi down, or myself for that matter. The pub really takes its toll on me and one of the things I struggle with is MANAGING it as the business owner. Which is when I decided to dedicated my time to write to Phil & Debi telling them why I was the perfect candidate, whilst at the same time telling myself that this is exactly what I needed.
I was delighted when told I was accepted to be part of the MIBBA, over the moon to be exact. I knew what this meant and I needed to put to one side time for this. I was dedicated and couldn't wait to get started.
So far the journey has been inspirational. Touching on my business plan to branding, selling myself verbally to looking at what a particular colour could mean to my logo are just snippets of things to expect.
What has made a massive impact on me though, are the rest of the group. We are all very different in what we do and based on our learning curves through our businesses and where they are at the start of the course; struggles, strives, frustrations & tribulations we have grown to respect, bond and appreciate each others successes and achievements like they were our own.
This has been a huge asset to me and my business. With each project I pursue MIBBA will be in the back of my mind like a check list.
The Made in Bury Business Academy has been incredible for Shooting Stars Football Academy.
Every session is well structured, organised and thought provoking and I have learned something important every week that I have been able to successfully apply to the business. More importantly, the honest critique of Debi, Phil and my peers is extremely refreshing and forces you to address any issues that could be stifling growth and/or the long term success of the business.
The Academy has armed me with the tools to build a solid foundation for growth and longevity and I can't thank everyone enough. I sincerely hope that this group will evolve into a networking group that will see us all working together and supporting each other for many years.
Thanks again Deb and Phil and, if you are in any doubt, make sure you apply for The Academy 2017-2018!
I was delighted to be selected as one of the businesses to join the Made in Bury Business Academy. The academy has been a great support to me from day one and the guidance, knowledge and expertise received from Debi and Phil has been second to none. I feel very lucky to be part of such a fantastic group.
The modules are presented in such a way that everyone is engaged and encouraged. Being part of the academy is beneficial to me for a number of reasons, but one of the most important for me is being able to share ideas and experiences with other like minded business owners.
The academy has encouraged me to think differently about aspects of my business and develop it in a way that will assist me into the future.
As a new start-up business (June 2015) I was excited to hear about the new mentoring initiative being run through Bury. From day one this has proved to be invaluable to my business. With the help of Debi and Phil we’ve had a brand re-gig, I’ve learned to put figures on paper that actually mean something, and my business is genuinely thriving. I can’t thank Debi & Phil enough for the encouragement and guidance I received to put together my MIBBA entry for new start-up business. Hearing that I was a top 6 finalist was the icing on the cake.
I would highly recommend this to any new business. Well designed and presented, by people that genuinely care about you and your business success
I feel really lucky to have been selected for a place on The Academy as in a sense it's you and Phil saying that you believe in my vision and more importantly, you believe in me. This in turn is making me believe in myself more so it really is win-win.
Group dynamic is key to the success of The Academy and you've both focused on this from day one. Everyone is made to feel as if they have a contribution and no one is made to feel that their lack of experience in any field is a problem. Instead we are all there to offer the skills that we excel in individually which makes for a really strong workforce!
The peer support is wonderful and I really liked the addition of "Group Therapy" this week. Our experiences are so vast and wide reaching but i'm sure everyone in the group would agree that we've all got something to learn, even if we've not realised that yet!
I feel more empowered to embrace the idea of Networking since starting the academy as this is something that I have shied away from up to press.
I'm also starting to speak like a business woman!!!! For example, yesterday I was at a jeans fitting event doing mini make-up taster sessions and I approached the jeans fitter and asked "tell me more about your brand?" I think this will be hugely beneficial for me moving forwards as the language I use will make me more credible.
I'm loving the sessions and feel as if i'm getting real quality out of them with lots of "food for thought" when I leave each one.
A big thank you to you both for giving me a huge steer in the right direction! Jill Clark - Styled in Colour
After my initial disappointment that the news from Best of Bury was NOT the start up, grant based funding I was so keen to identify, I was very intrigued by the notion of a training course that could help shape and futureproof 20 new start up businesses. I was ecstatic that my facepainting business Dollypops was selected as one of the lucky twenty to form the first @cademy.
Since starting the bi-monthly sessions earlier in the year I have experienced an enormous amount of positive personal and professional growth and development directly as a result of the course.
One of the primary and possibly hitherto unexpected gains has been the immediate, organic network building within the group and extending to friends, family and close contacts of the group members.
I think it's safe to say that every business in the group has gained a referral at least and at most some have totally changed how they're working , where they're working, set up new partnerships and joined new external networking groups.
Some of my happiest times and lightbulb moments this year have been in the @cademy sessions, learning and working within a sympathetic yet motivated group of people in the same position as I am.
The sessions are very well written and delivered with confidence and bucketloads of experience. Debi & Phil make an excellent team and manage the group and the learning experience with a touch of comedy when appropriate,but without straying from the core aims and realities of managing our own businesses.
Having lived through my Dad's entrepreneurial business start up in the 90's plus my own current experience I can say that the @cademy is definitely one of the best initiatives that Bury Council has been involved in - a great example of partnership work and thank goodness some people aren't scared to try new ways of achieving sustainable new businesses in the borough. Alexandra
"As someone starting out with a lot of passion, but not a lot of business "know how" the Made In Bury Business Academy is more than I could have hoped for!
Debi & Phil have a wealth of knowledge and expertise to offer and work wonderfully as a team to support the academy members. The modules are broken up into bitesize chunks that make them easy to access and reflect on, and each week there is something new to think about and help develop my business.
I can genuinely see my business going from strength to strength with their support. The members of the academy have bonded incredibly quickly, and the networking has been invaluable. The support and passion within the group is amazing!"
Aislinn Marek - Relax Kids Coach
I started GEM just over a year ago and it’s been a great year. After 4 sessions with Phil & Debi at The Made in Bury Business Academy I’ve already gained invaluable advice, and topics for thought and consideration on how I can take my business onto the next level.
The other members / new businesses are a great inspriation to me, and have been supportive and encouraging within the group dynamic.
It’s going to be a great year and I can’t wait to see what my future holds now I have the help, support and advice from the team at The Academy. Gill Arnott - GEM Business Support Ltd
Being a part of the Made in Bury Business Academy has already had a positive impact on myself and my business. It has sharpened my thinking around current and future plans and has provided excellent connections with other Bury businesses. I'm really pleased to be a part of it! Natalie Qureshi - Natal Hypnotherapy
I started Studio17 Architecture in March 2015. While knowing what I was doing in the architecture sector starting a new business is a different prospect altogether. When I heard about the Made in Bury Business Academy I was very keen to get involved and was delighted to hear that my application had been successful as there are a lot of good businesses around.
Each and every module has been important as I previously knew very little about topics such as marketing, Pricing, PR etc. As well as the valuable information received, the way the classes are structured means they are always interesting and interactive and I feel that the knowledge gained has set me up to give my business the very best chance of succeeding the test of time.
It is also a great social group, it’s been fantastic to hear about all the other emerging businesses and has been a great forum to get others point of view on your ideas.
I look forward to my remaining months with the Academy and hope the group stay together in some form in the future.
Thank you for the opportunity.
Stephen Hunt - Studio17 Architecture
I feel very lucky to be a member of the Made in Bury Business Academy.
Each module is fun, engaging and thought provoking.
Debi & Phil share their invaluable business insights, providing support, encouragement and business skills.
Everyone is made to feel welcome, we give each other supportive peer feedback and I find the group very inspiring.
My colleagues are always eager for me to share my newly gleamed business acumen and drive.