Start case studies

Gordons’ pioneering legal apprentices

It all started with a TV programme about social mobility. Upon watching it, Paul Ayre, managing partner of the 170 year-old Yorkshire law firm Gordons, was spurred into action. He himself had been raised on a council estate and had worked his way to the… Read more »

When part-time is the answer, not a concession

It was a classic kitchen table idea. In 2004, as two mothers with years of professional experience behind them, Emma Stewart and Karen Mattison wanted to find quality part time employment. But no joy. So they launched a social enterprise, Women Like Us, to support women back… Read more »

Financing growth: the Enterprise Finance Guarantee

Short-term working capital can be a source of strain for many businesses. Yet while many innovative short-term working capital platforms – such as peer-to-business lending – are emerging, some business owners still prefer to keep their lending relationship with one bank. But if you can’t… Read more »

From Royal Navy to startup business

Allen Martin left the Royal Navy after 22 years’ service. With support from X-Forces (itself an inspiring small business) Allen has since set up his own property company - and last year became the 10,000th company to be established with the help of the Start… Read more »

So, just how good is your business plan?

Next week is National Business Planning Week, so it’s an opportune time to assess the quality of your business plan. Or to set about writing one - because no business will succeed without a plan. “Very few business owners step back and plan; they spend all their… Read more »