Who we work with

Our work with Family Operated Businesses and Food & Drink Entrepreneurs has led to some really great partnerships.  We partner with organisations like Enterprise Answers and the Family Business Network to help support the growth of family businesses and food businesses in the area.

We have also worked on two collaborative projects that we are extremely proud of.  The first is This is Cumbria that will be repeating its successful showcase at the  Farm Shop & Deli show in 2020 (follow the links if you are a food and drink business and want to exhibit with us in 2020).  The second is the Be the Business programme designed to help increase productivity in your family business (in partnership with local chambers and the family Business network) follow the links if you want to know more.

The Family Business Network
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The Family Business Network is a valuable connection for family businesses looking for a safe environment to learn from each other, find relevant news, events and access innovative additional support when needed. Founded by Sue Howorth in 2014 the network originally started via support from the Cumbria Growth Hub. The network has since developed and as of June 2016 the network became its own company, so Sue could continue her role as Family Business Ambassador and be the voice for family businesses across the region. Through Sue’s award winning work in Cumbria, The Family Business Network has now evolved to include Lancashire, Yorkshire and surrounding areas. They, like us, love signposting family businesses to relevant assistance, advice, or investment channels but equally thrive on their family business orientated events. Their Insight days, workshops and flagship Family Business Conference are all designed with family businesses’ needs at their heart. They also work in collaborative partnerships with family business specialists and other national family business associations and networks.
Enterprise Answers
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Enterprise Answers provides a range of funding to businesses across the North, predominantly in Cumbria, North Lancashire and the Yorkshire Dales. Funding is available from £10,000 up to £100,000 for a variety of business needs including start-ups, expansions, equipment and premises.
Established in 2004, we are a local, independent organisation which is not bound by national policy with all lending decisions being made at our Penrith office. Our experience and knowledge of the unique characteristics of the regions we cover, means we understand the business community here and don’t conform to a “one size fits all” approach.
Enterprise Answers is a not-for-profit organisation; all returns on investment go back into the fund to be re-invested in local businesses.
We work closely with banks and other lenders. Sometimes this is because their customers don’t fit their criteria and they are referred to us to see if we can help, or to put together joint funding packages where one or both parties can’t commit the full amount. We also work with corporate finance advisors, accountants and other professionals to put together investments for their clients.
Please get in touch to see how we can be of help.
This is Cumbria
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The seed was sown at the Farm and Deli Show in 2018 when a small number of Cumbrian based food & drink businesses exhibited their produce to an audience of 30,000 trade buyers over 3 days. Despite their independent business successes, they noticed the gathering crowds at the large regional stands and the idea ‘This is Cumbria’ was born.
Over the following months, the concept was developed and brought to life by Thomas Jardine & Co and The Family Business Network and with wonderful support and sponsorship from Cartmell Shepherd and Enterprise Answers, branding from We are Eclectic and print from Printing Plus our first show made it’s presence felt in April 2019.
Thomas Jardine & Co and The Family Business Network are partnering to take ‘This is Cumbria’ back to the Farmshop & Deli Show in 2020, so if you are interested to know more, get in touch. Places are limited and we already have 3 confirmed bookings for the showcase stand. Watch out for the This is Cumbria Website coming soon.
Be The Business
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Innovation is a key challenge for many family businesses. If you’re among their number, we’re here to help. The North West Family Business Programme offers new ways for family firms around our region to collaborate, learn, share, build on their strengths and perform at their peak.
We want to galvanise North West family businesses to become some of Britain’s best-run firms. To do that, we’re piloting a range of new ways to help these kinds of businesses improve.
Family firms are the backbone of the economy, making up two-thirds of all UK businesses, employing more than 12m people and contributing over a quarter of GDP. Yet the pressures of running a family business are unique and very different from corporate management.
The North West Family Business Programme has been created to address precisely these challenges. Be the Business has brought together a range of powerful initiatives to unlock all of the energy and potential held in family SMEs.
Some activities can be dipped in and out of, others are more involved. All of them are designed to get family firms talking, sharing, learning and thriving.
Our offering includes business placements, open business days, peer learning opportunities, advisory boards and other Be the Business programmes such as Mentoring for Growth and Productivity through People.
Want to know more about what each of these entails? Have a look at our North West Family Business Programme brochure to find out which might be the best fit for your business.
Don’t just take it from us though. We’ve already spoken to a number of family businesses which have explained the power of collaborating.
“I love learning from other people, visiting other companies. Some things will never work for us but some you can adapt and change,” said Roger Smith from Thomas Graham & Sons. “One thing we have definitely done right is to ask for help. There is so much support available for small businesses in our region,” added Carrs Pasties’ Matt Carr.