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April 20, 2023

Photograph from left to right. Back Row - Phil Fellone, Liam Gately, Wayne Coleman, Oscar Majid, Ross Allen, Lee Sugden, Warren Court, Debi Fellone. Front Row - Liz Cronshaw, Oliver Caunt, Sara Beaumont, Luke Millington, Sonja Butterworth.

Made in Bury and are very proud to unveil The Made in Bury Business Academy Patrons Club.

Eleven outstanding local businesses joined Debi & Phil from Made in Bury for the first Patrons Club meeting at the Red Hall Hotel this week with the shared vision of helping the next generation of business owners and nurture and develop successful entrepreneurship in Bury. Thank you to Photography sponsor, Joe Hague Photography who came along to capture the moment.

In association with Headline Partners, Connect Comms and Consilium Wealth Management, the Patrons will help take the Made in Bury Business Academy to the next level, providing a mentoring resource to the Academy start-ups and also sitting on the loan panel providing interest free loans (a first in the UK) to Bury start-up businesses via the Made in Bury Weekly £2000 Draw, reaffirming their commitment to ‘Helping tomorrow’s businesses today’.

In the UK, 6 out of 10 new startup businesses fail within 2 years!

Made in Bury and the Patrons are focused on challenging these statistics by helping new start-up businesses. After speaking to many new start-ups, they quickly determined that coaching, mentoring, a support network and access to funding were needed to survive in the early years.

Where can you find all these things under one roof? Unfortunately, extensive research concluded that for a start up with limited funds the answer was nowhere, so in early 2016 the Made in Bury Business Academy was born.

Debi and Phil created 18 business modules based on their real-life business experiences. The modules cover everything from Vision, Mission, and Values through to Marketing, Networking, and Building a Brand and over 11 months a cohort of 20 startup businesses came together for a couple of hours twice a month in a relaxed but structured board room environment at our sponsors venue, BusinessLodge Bury. These modules were delivered with the assistance of several fantastic local businesses in Bury, sharing their expertise and learnings.

Fast forward almost 7 years and 125 startups have come through the Academy with a clear cohesive Business Plan for the future. With over 70% of them still trading today, that’s over double the national statistics!

Here are a few testimonials from Academy members:

I highly recommend to anyone thinking of starting a business to join the academy. It is well and truly an eye opener and the support you get from Phil and Debi and other companies starting out like yourselves is absolutely amazing, I love being part of it and thank all the other new start-up businesses for their support too. Brent - Action Media Hire - Class of 2022

The Made in Bury Business Academy has been one of the best decisions I made for my business. The course has been fabulous and has really made me stretch myself to think about what I want from my business in terms of development and expansion, but also around the whole ethos behind the services I provide. Debbie - Pad Foot & Paws - Class of 2020

Managing Partner Phil Fellone said, “I’m really excited about the future, our Patrons will add a new dimension to the Business Academy, giving their time and expertise to help develop Bury’s fledgling businesses. Our Patrons are Oscar Majid from Connect Comms, Wayne Coleman from Consilium Wealth Management, Warren Court from Aspin FM, Sonja Butterworth from Dream Big Little One, Liz Cronshaw from Grow Your Mindset, Lee Sugden from Horsfield & Smith, Ross Allen from ISM Waste & Recycling, Oliver Caunt from JCS Nuclear Solutions, Liam Gately from Platinum Care, Luke Millington from Stay N Play Doggy Daycare and Sara Beaumont from WHN Solicitors.”

So how did it all begin?

Debi started her career as a fashion designer, moving into the Sports Industry in the late 90’s and became Global Product Director at Umbro International.

Phil’s passion was always sport and after 12 years with brands such as Adidas and Diadora he joined Umbro UK as Sales Director, then 3 years later became Managing Director, and held this position for 7 years, the last 2 years employed by Nike after their acquisition of Umbro in 2008.

From the dizzy heights of working with multibillion pound global brands Debi founded thebestofbury in 2006 and Phil joined the business in 2011. In 2013 they started their 2nd business, Made in Bury Limited. In December 2022 they sold thebestofbury and are now 100% focused on Made in Bury, with particular focus on the Business Academy and the weekly £2000 Draw which helps fund it.

So, how does the Made in Bury Weekly Draw help the Academy?

The Made in Bury Weekly £2000 Draw is a not-for-profit initiative, licenced by Bury Council which helps fund the Academy and will soon be providing interest free loans to startup businesses, helping retain and create jobs here in Bury.

Every Wednesday, someone in Bury wins £2000, a ticket costs just £2 and with only 2400 tickets available, the odds of winning are high.

The support for the Draw has been phenomenal with over 100 ‘Official Supporters’ from across both public sector organisations and private sector businesses in the borough and over 1850 tickets already sold. Winners are promoted weekly in the Bury Times, who have been supporters of the draw from the very beginning.

If you are a local business owner and would like to help support the next generation of business owners via the weekly £2000 draw or if you are a new start-up business wanting more information about the Business Academy, please email