When Melanie Oldham decided to leave her employer and set up a company of her own, she had a clear vision for what the marketplace was missing.
Having worked in cyber security for several years, Melanie knew there was an appetite for jargon-free, uncomplicated training that would help clients protect their data.
But what she didn’t yet know was how her newly found firm would grow from a home-run sole-trader operation to one that now employs as many as 29 people.
For help with business support for her growing business, Melanie turned to Enterprising Barnsley, a partner of the Sheffield City Region Growth Hub Enhancement Project, to help.
The Enhancement Project offers a range of support aimed at high growth companies and is financed by the England European Regional Development Fund as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020.
“I decided to push for business growth in 2011 and the results we have had since then have been fantastic”, Melanie said.
“All the hard work and ambition has paid off and today Bob’s Business is a real success story.”
Initially, Bob’s Business worked with Enterprising Barnsley on securing new premises at the Digital Media Centre, close to Barnsley’s public transport network.
Enterprising Barnsley also provided support from a Key Account Manager.
Melanie said: “They took the time to research us, to get to know me and to understand the business and what we wanted to achieve.
“It has helped us improve our branding and SEO, and our marketing has improved significantly as a result.”
Since first approaching Enterprising Barnsley, Bob’s Business has grown from strength to strength.
It now employs 29 people and has worked with clients including government departments, the Co-Op, MoneySupermarket.com, The Law Society and Huddersfield Town AFC.
In 2017 the business received an OSPA (Outstanding Security Performance Award) for it’s ‘Think Before You Click’ phishing simulation service. Bob’s Business has also recently been shortlisted in this year’s CSS Skills Development category of the Barnsley and Rotherham Business Awards, along with Best Security Product-SMB in the Computing Technology Product Awards 2018. Melanie has also been shortlisted for numerous personal awards including Security Leader of the Year 2018 and Security Champion of the Year.
Staff from Bob’s Business have already attended 12 Masterclasses run by the Enhancement Project, covering topics like management, marketing and legal.
Melanie added: “The Masterclasses have provided us with practical information and plenty of extra expertise that will benefit both us and our clients.
“I would recommend that any local business wanting to grow should get in touch with Enterprising Barnsley and see how it can help.”
The Sheffield City Region Growth Hub Enhancement Project is receiving up to £2.7m of funding from the England European Regional Development Fund as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020. The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (and in London the intermediate body Greater London Authority) is the Managing Authority for the European Regional Development Fund. Established by the European Union, the European Regional Development Fund helps local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support innovation, businesses, create jobs and local community regenerations. For more information visit https://www.gov.uk/european-growth-funding.