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A young entrepreneur from Rotherham who has experienced sustained growth since launching her chocolate manufacturing business says it’s important that start-ups get the right support in the early stages of launching a new business.
 
Cocoa-ChicLibby Carl (29) from Wickersley in Rotherham launched Cocoa Chic two years ago with help from UK Steel Enterprise and a grant from its Kickstart Fund, as well as business planning support from Rotherham Youth Enterprise.
 
“It’s been very hard running a new business as a sole trader for the last two years but the support I had at the start was critical. The grant I got from UK Steel was very useful and the help I got from Rotherham Youth Enterprise in finding me subsidised premises was critical; without both of them I don’t think I would be here today,” says Libby.
 
Two years on from launching the business that makes artisan chocolates for special occasions Libby has expanded the business to include collaborations with Sheffield food manufacturers, chocolate making workshops in schools and colleges as well as teaming up with other businesses for special complementary events.
 
Cocoa Chic is the only chocolate manufacturer and one of only a very small number of food manufacturers to have been awarded the Made in Sheffield Mark; a standard that recognises an ongoing commitment to quality and excellence in manufacturing by companies in the Sheffield City Region.
 
“I’ve been very busy working with schools in Rotherham for the last 18 months. I run chocolate making classes for the students, where they not only get to make things that taste nice, they also learn exactly what goes into our foods and because I only use natural products they understand about the healthy options we all need to take when eating. I also make the point that I use locally sourced materials where possible, like Made in Sheffield honey and jam, so they get to understand the importance of local economics too” says Libby
 
Hayley Middlebrook, Regional Secretary for UK Steel Enterprise says that Libby is a real inspiration to anyone thinking of starting up a new business. “Libby’s passion for what she does is obvious and underpins all she does with Cocoa Chic. She’s taken the business in new directions and creates part-time jobs at peak times such as Christmas. She has vision and drive and sets a brilliant example for other aspiring entrepreneurs.”
 
Applicants to the Kickstart Fund can get support from Rotherham Investment & Development Office and Rotherham Youth Enterprise to help them with business planning and mentoring through the early stages of running the business. UK Steel Enterprise has helped over 200 people start a business in Rotherham since 2009.
 
UK Steel Enterprise is a wholly owned subsidiary of Tata Steel. Its Kickstart Fund provides grants of up to £500 to start-up businesses to purchase essential equipment and or services that can get them trading. Its main investment fund provides business finance in amounts from £25,000 up to £750,000 to companies in South Yorkshire and other areas affected by changes in the steel industry.
 
Libby’s latest venture sees her supplying chocolate creations to a Rotherham coffee shop. 
“I’m really excited about this new direction for the business. I will be supplying sunken chocolate muffins, chocolate milkshakes with edible straws and my truffles made with local honey. The people of Rotherham are in for a very special treat,” says Libby. 
 
Jackie Frost, Manager of Rotherham Youth Enterprise encouraged more people to follow Libby’s example in saying; “Libby is a great role model for what can be achieved with hard work and determination. It’s nice to hear her say how much we helped her in the early days. We are delighted she is doing so well and look forward to providing further support as her business goes from strength to strength.” 
 
Anyone wanting to make an application to the Kickstart Fund should call Rotherham Youth Enterprise on 0114 269 5053. 
 
 
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Photo caption: L-R Libby Carl, Jayne Taylor and Hayley Middlebrook sample some Cocoa Chic goodies.
 
About UK Steel Enterprise
 
UK Steel Enterprise was established in 1975 by the then British Steel Corporation and today is a subsidiary of Tata Steel. The aim of the company is to help the economic development of those areas of the UK most affected by changes in the steel industry.  UK Steel Enterprise provides loan and equity finance of up to £750,000 to growing companies based in such areas as well as business premises at its Business & Innovation Centres.  The company also provides support to local communities in times of change in the industry by helping to fund local projects and initiatives which contribute towards job creation and regeneration. 
 
South Yorkshire Community Foundation helps philanthropists, local businesses and trusts to achieve their charitable goals by setting up charitable funds that support community groups at a grass roots level. Over the last three years the South Yorkshire Community Foundation has awarded more than £4.6 million in community grants. www.sycf.org.uk
 
Editors Notes 
 
For more information about UK Steel Enterprise Ltd please call Graham Parker at Parker PR on 07977 448 306.
 
All comments and information contained above have been approved by the quoted people and those referenced in the release. Any comments are not the responsibility of Parker PR or anyone associated with the company.
 

When Sally Corns (29) moved back to Wath upon Dearne she wanted to use her catering skills to start working for herself, baking and selling cakes. Now, thanks to financial support from UK Steel Enterprise and its Kickstart Fund she has gone one step further and opened her own coffee shop selling all homemade fare.

 sally-shortcake-coffee-shop-web

Sally is now the proud owner of Sally Shortcake, a warm and welcoming coffee shop that also sells fresh homemade cakes, sandwiches, Panini and soup. Ideally located on the Church Street in Wath, it is already proving a hit with the locals on the six days a week it is open.

Sally, who lives in Brampton near Barnsley, moved back to South Yorkshire after spending time working in various catering jobs, including at the Bolton Castle Tea Rooms in Wensleydale. Time spent in call centres did not satisfy her so she set about looking at becoming self-employed. Sally received support from Rotherham Youth Enterprise with her business planning and then applied for a grant from UK Steel Enterprise to convert the former chip shop into her new dream business.

"When we stripped the old fryers out it took most of the tiling up, so the floor had to be re-laid. I also needed good quality signage outside. I've not done much in the way of advertising and as I'm relying on word of mouth the shop has to look good from outside so as to entice people inside. I used all the grant from UKSE to do the floor and the sign as well as topping the budget up with some of my own funds, but if it had not been for the grant I could not have opened up – the new floor was just so important to get sorted," says Sally.

Not satisfied with opening the new shop Sally has already begun extending the business by providing external catering for lunches and parties.

Applicants to the Kickstart Fund can get support from Rotherham Investment & Development Office and Rotherham Youth Enterprise to help them with business planning and mentoring through the early stages of running the business. UK Steel Enterprise has helped over 200 people start a business in Rotherham since 2009.

UK Steel Enterprise is a wholly owned subsidiary of Tata Steel. Its Kickstart Fund provides grants of up to £500 to start-up businesses to purchase essential equipment and or services that can get them trading. Its main investment fund provides business finance in amounts from £25,000 up to £750,000 to companies in South Yorkshire and other areas affected by changes in the steel industry.

Allan Wood, Regional Secretary for UK Steel Enterprise says that Sally has a key factor needed in running a successful business. "Sally's passion for cooking really good food is obvious to anyone who has tasted one of her cakes. The Kickstart Fund is there to help people with new business ideas that have potential to grow and create jobs in the area. The fact that Sally is already planning on being open for special occasions like Mother's Day when she will be serving special cakes and biscuits shows she knows how to spot a market opening and go for it. It's great to be able to welcome back and support entrepreneurs that want to build businesses in South Yorkshire and we hope to be doing the same for even more in 2014."

Jackie Frost, Manager of Rotherham Youth Enterprise encouraged more people to follow Sally's example in saying; "Sally is a great example of what can be achieved with hard work and determination. We are happy to have helped her in the grant application process and look forward to providing further support as her business goes from strength to strength."

Anyone wanting to make an application to the Kickstart Fund should call Rotherham Youth Enterprise on 0114 269 5053.

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About UK Steel Enterprise

UK Steel Enterprise was established in 1975 by the then British Steel Corporation and today is a subsidiary of Tata Steel. The aim of the company is to help the economic development of those areas of the UK most affected by changes in the steel industry. UK Steel Enterprise provides loan and equity finance of up to £750,000 to growing companies based in such areas as well as business premises at its Business & Innovation Centres. The company also provides support to local communities in times of change in the industry by helping to fund local projects and initiatives which contribute towards job creation and regeneration.

The support acts to Status Quo when they headline the Friday night of the Clumber Park music festival have been announced and bring together former Super Bike champion James Toseland fronting his eponymously named guitar rock band and classsic progressive glam rockers, The Strawbs.

Toseland, who hails from just up the road from Clumber Park in Doncaster is set to release his debut album "Renegade" later this month. Toseland will also be appearing as special guests with Status Quo this April. Toseland's appearance at the Clumber Park Festival follows a successful debut with an accoustic set at the Download festival last year.

The band's two singles Renegade and Life is Beautiful have both been critically acclaimed by the power rock and ballad music press.

The Strawbs make a welcome return to Clumber Park, having played at the three day event in 2012. The band was formed in 1964 and went on to become a firm favourite with folk, glam and progressive rock fans. Their best known hit was Part of the Union but they were also admired for several albums including Hero and Heroine. After several changes in line ups and reformations the band has maintained a solid global fan base. For its 50th anniversary performances the band is gigging with a line-up of Cousins, Lambert, Cronk, Adam Wakeman and Tony Fernandez.

Neil Butkeratis from UK Events, which is organising the festival says the line-up has something to offer every rock fan; "With the addition of the classic sound of The Strawbs and Toseland's full-on power rock we have two great bands to warm everyone up in anticipation of Status Quo taking the stage. It will be really rocking at Clumber Park and the way tickets are going it looks like being a bumper crowd in August."

Status Quo will make their first appearance at Clumber Park on Friday 15th August. Founder members Francis Rossi and Rick Parfitt will be joined on stage with keyboard player Andrew Brown, bassist John 'Rhino' Edwards and drummer Leon Cave.

To book tickets for Status Quo call 0845 075 6101 or visit the website

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This news release was brought to you by Parker PR, for further information about the content or to arrange interviews with anyone quoted or referenced please call Graham Parker on 01623 638023 or 07977 448 306

Haven House in Sheffield has received a grant of £3,000, of which UK Steel Enterprise provided £810, which will help it run a variety of events throughout the year for women and children living in refuges in Sheffield. The activities include fun workshops that help the women and children build self-confidence by developing new skills or building on existing ones. Other funders were the Cllr Jackie Drayton Grassroots fund and the Sir Hugh and Lady Sykes Charitable Trust fund.

Haven-House-drumming-workshop-web
Haven House is one of three refuges within Sheffield that house women and children, the refuges are due to merge as one organisation in 2014. They provide safe, temporary, emergency accommodation and support to women and children who have fled physical, emotional and sexual abuse. Haven House is often the first step to a better way of life for these women as they are helped to move on, find a safe home and begin their new lives.

Jo Rudd from Haven House said, "We are so grateful for the money from UK Steel Enterprise. We are using the grant to fund a variety of events over the year for women and children from all three refuges. We try to arrange one event per month such as a fire sculpture event and outdoor cooking on bonfire night and a Christmas party with an entertainer who had all the children and mothers laughing for a couple of hours - so far all of them have been great successes. "
The latest event to be organised was an African drumming session held at Pitsmoor Adventure Playground.

Allan Wood, Regional Executive for UK Steel Enterprise said, "Haven House is a great organisation that we are glad to help. It is providing women and children with workshops, events and activities which will play a big part in their personal development, which in turn will allow them to learn new skills and hopefully go on to play an active part within the community."

UK Steel Enterprise Ltd is a subsidiary of Tata Steel that invests in growing businesses within the South Yorkshire area. It also supports community based organisations and helps them to make a positive difference within communities that have been affected by the changes to the UK's steel industry. UK Steel Enterprise has strong links with projects that are helping to regenerate local communities through its funding that is managed by South Yorkshire Community Foundation.

Haven House was established in 1978 and has since helped thousands of women and children get their lives back on track, in the past year alone they have helped almost 60 women and over 100 children. It provides specialist support and advice as well as therapeutic opportunities, activities and family based work. The projects and services aim to form strong trusting relationships with the residents in order to help them build secure and confident lives." South Yorkshire Community Foundation has been working with UK Steel Enterprise for over six years to deliver much needed funding to our local communities. With its help we are able to make progress in regenerating local communities and fulfilling the needs of the area." – Sue Wragg, Fund Manager

Editors Notes:

Photo Caption - Allan Wood (centre) joins in the fun at the African drumming session.

For more information about UK Steel Enterprise Ltd please call Graham Parker at Parker PR on 07977 448 306

South Yorkshire Community Foundation helps philanthropists, local businesses and trusts to achieve their charitable goals by setting up charitable funds that support community groups at a grass roots level. Over the last three years the South Yorkshire Community Foundation has awarded more than £4.6 million in community grants. www.sycf.org.uk

Shannon Roberts, Communications Officer, South Yorkshire Community Foundation on 0114 242 9004, or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

A recent survey has revealed that the UK manufacturing industry could be losing up to £166 million on any given day, due to the late delivery of essential raw materials. A key finding was that 11% of respondents believe that just one late delivery could cost them between £1,000 and £10,000; a figure that has stunned a leading manufacturers association.

The British Engineering Manufacturers' Association Limited (BEMA) s a trade association set up to promote the interests of the engineering and manufacturing companies in the UK.

“We were surprised at the potential cost to industry that late delivery could be making. Many of our members work themselves to “just in time” principles to be efficient in today’s market place so having a trusted supplier of raw materials is of great importance,” said Ian Mynett, Director of Training at BEMA.

The survey asked firms how much they estimated they would lose if a key raw material was not delivered to the agreed time when ordered. The respondents were given a sliding scale to choose from of £0 to over £10,000 per late delivery.

The respondents came from all business sectors but the figures have been extrapolated to obtain a picture of the cost to UK manufacturers.

The survey was carried out by B2B research specialist TLF on behalf of international metals stockist Broder Metals Group (BMG). TLF count Nationwide, Barclaycard and the Cooperative Bank as clients. The survey was sent out to around 50’000 UK businesses on TLF’s database. Just over 2,000 responses were received to give the insight into how much late delivery is costing British industry.

The survey revealed that 8.1% of UK manufacturing companies estimate they could lose between £1,000 to £5,000 a day if a delivery of raw materials is late, whilst 3.5% may lose between £5,000 and £10,000. These figures have also revealed the cost these late deliveries can have on the UK’s manufacturing industry each day. If every manufacturer in the UK were to experience at least one late delivery of a key raw material it could cost the economy£166,038,750.