Start-up specialist eyes a hat-trick

Adrian Ashton wins second award
Adrian Ashton wins second award

A Todmorden-based start up specialist has been named as one of the top 10 businesses advisers in the UK, his second such award this year.

Adrian Ashton was shortlisted from hundreds of applicants in the Top 50 Business Advisers Awards, just weeks after being named ‘Best in Sector - Social Enterprise Support Services’ in the 2014 Sector Success Awards.

This second prestigious award recognises business advisers, who work behind the scenes with new companies to create action plans and learn how to run their business in the most effective way possible.

Enterprise Nation, the company behind the national shortlist, asked start-ups across the UK to nominate an adviser who has helped them build and grow a sustainable business.

The entries were judged by a distinguished panel of representatives from professional bodies such as the ICAEW; the Department for Business, Industry and Skills; StartUp Loans and James Layfield, founder of Central Working.

Adrian, who was shortlisted by The Egg-Factory, a co-working space based in Hebden Bridge, runs his operation from his Burnley Road office.

The company nominated him for his work with start-ups, social enterprises and disadvantaged people across the UK, including ex-offenders.

Adrian said: “Good advice can help you put simple systems and practices in place to make sure that the business stays on track and does what you wanted it to,”

“The Egg factory is a new co-working space for entrepreneurs in the creative industries. Through a nationally funded programme I was able to spend a few days with them, bolstering their confidence as a group of designers, who’d never done anything like this before that have meant that they’ve secured premises, partners, and initial investment.”

Adrian, who has over ten years experience as a freelance consultant, started out with one of the top 100 PR consultancies in the UK and has since worked in a number of management roles across various social enterprises and community organisations. He is now eyeing a ‘hat-trick’, having recently been shortlisted in the Corporate Liverwire Innovation and Excellence Awards 2015.

He said: “It’s all too easy for an early stage business to get distracted and lose sight of what’s important to its founders and what they’re trying to achieve - there’s a strong risk that without good strategic advice you can wake up one day with a business that doesn’t bring you pleasure and you resent.”

Emma Jones, Founder of Enterprise Nation said: “Research shows that firms that take advice do better than those that don’t – and it stands to reason that good advice can help avoid some of the damaging, early mistakes entrepreneurs can make that can often force them to give up.

“These business advisers are the unsung heroes behind Britain’s booming small business culture.”

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