A Bristol-based food producer has found the recipe for success with the help of the West of England Combined Authority’s Growth Hub.
Tiffins produces frozen curries and chutneys from its takeaway premises on St Michael’s Hill, Kingsdown. When the impact of Covid-19 hit, business owner Jay Jethwa got in touch with the Growth Hub for support.
Jay is now in the process of forming a new company to manufacture Tiffins vegan and allergen-free curries, using products made from pea and broad bean protein, to be sold in supermarkets and other local and online shops. There will also be a social enterprise arm to the business as it will use surplus vegetables and fruits to create new food products – helping to tackle food poverty and reduce food waste – as well as creating new jobs.
Jay said: “Covid-19 meant I had to rethink my business future – either to close in the near future or expand and scale up.
“Even though I have vast experience in owning and running different types of successful small businesses, the scale up I am looking for is totally new business territory and as such puts many challenges along the way. It’s very easy to feel overwhelmed and give up. But thanks to WECA and the Growth Hub’s help, I am that much closer to my goals and I am learning so much and meeting and making so many new contacts.”
Jay was given an experienced mentor through the Be the Business Rose Review mentoring programme, and was also linked up with Food WorksSW, which has provided support in the areas of product development, legalities, contacts and more.
“Without the Growth Hub’s expert help every step of the way I would not have come this far with my business plans. I truly cannot thank WECA and the Growth Hub enough. My plans are gathering speed and I am very much looking forward to scaling up my business.”
Through the West of England Growth Hub businesses of any size in the West of England can access free information and guidance on a variety of issues including online trading, accounting, workforce planning, employability support, training, skills development and coaching.
Jay added: “I have been spreading the word to many of my friends in businesses, who either just need to survive these current difficult times or need to change and grow.
“Small independent businesses work hard to not only to survive but also to make a positive difference in the community they serve. They very often face many challenges at the best of times, but Covid-19 has brought unprecedented challenges which none of us have ever experienced and therefore had to rethink how to carry on and survive. Now is the time when all businesses need all the help and support they can get more than ever.”
The wide range of business support available through the Growth hub is a key part of the West of England’s recovery plan, which is led by the West of England Combined Authority and the Local Enterprise Partnership, to protect and secure jobs, creating opportunities for all residents to share in the recovery. As part of this, WECA is connecting businesses with the support and guidance they need to adapt, build resilience and prepare for the future, as well as helping residents to access new skills, training and employment opportunities.
To help navigate the wide range of support on offer through the West of England Growth Hub, the Combined Authority has released a new Business Support Guide. The guide, which is being shared with small and medium-sized enterprises across the region, contains guidance on everything from business grants to the extensive range of support programmes now available.