Enterprise trust distributes its millionth pound with grant for mum’s catering business

Tayler Keogh-Wroe has been helped by Oldham Enterprise Trust ti develop her catering business
Tayler Keogh-Wroe has received funding from the Oldham enterprise Trust vFund to buy kitchen equipment for her catering business. PIC shows Tayler with her children Harry Noble and Esmai Noble. **(ALL SPELLINGS CORRECT)**

Tayler Keogh-Wroe, aged 23, has received a £3,000 grant for cooking and kitchen equipment from the enterprise trust to build her catering business, called Hey Puddin’, inspired by a tea-time call to her children.

Through providing the financial grant to Tayler, the enterprise trust has now reached a landmark point where it has distributed a total of £1million from the Sir Norman Stoller-backed Oldham Enterprise Fund to numerous local start-up businesses and projects to help people into employment.

The fund was established by Sir Norman to support both start-up and growing small businesses in the borough. Oldham Enterprise Trust manages the allocation of grants and loans from the fund, and also provides a range of other business and skills services including free business advice.

Grants are available for successful applicants aged under 25 while low-cost loans are offered to older people aged over 25. Support is available for both start-up businesses and established business with good growth potential.

Tayler, who lives in Littlemoor, Oldham, grew up in Chadderton and attended Oldham’s Blue Coat School as a youngster. She then studied a bakery diploma course at Tameside College and worked in a few different jobs before having her children, Esmai and Harry, who are now aged three and one.

Tayler said: “I heard about Oldham Enterprise Trust in two different ways. Firstly, through my mum, Lisa, who is part of the Doing Biz For Yourself networking group in Oldham run by Dawn Torrington. Through that network, I attended an event last year sponsored by the enterprise trust with Eric Bishyika and other young people who’d been supported by the enterprise trust to set up businesses.

“I also heard about the enterprise trust through Oldham College, where I’m now studying a part-time level-three business enterprise course.

“Last autumn, I attended an event linked to the enterprise trust’s BIG programme. I received an enterprise trust newsletter and met Graham McKendrick, who works at Oldham Council and helps manage the enterprise fund.

“The BIG programme was a three-month course of weekly sessions to develop people’s mind-set, skills and confidence. This is important because it can be hard to keep focused when starting your own business. I found it really valuable.

“Meanwhile at Oldham College, my business course tutor, Mike Jackson-Leafield, helped me develop a business plan and prepare for an application pitch to the enterprise trust panel, which makes decisions on grants and loans. Once I’d completed some collage exams earlier this year, I submitted my funding application to the enterprise fund panel.

“I found the pitching process quite challenging because it was a new experience. However, if you’re passionate about what you want to do, I think pitching comes fairly naturally.

“I provided the trust with information about my short-term and longer-term plans, financial details and cash-flow forecasts, and talked about the viability of my plans. I also completed the BIG programme through the weekly sessions held at the Wayra offices at Oldham Digital Hub on Yorkshire Street.”

Tayler wanted to be able to supply larger catering orders for businesses and events such as weddings. So, she has used the £3,000 grant to buy better and larger kitchen equipment including baking trays, mixers and shelving. She will also be buying a better oven and use some funding for marketing activities, business cards and a website.

To highlight the £1 million landmark, Sir Norman Stoller and enterprise trust representatives recently met Tayler at an Oldham Civic Centre reception. Tayler baked a special cake and guests included Oldham Council leader Cllr Sean Fielding. Oldham College tutor Mike Jackson-Leafield and Oldham Enterprise Trust chairman Dave Benstead.

Tayler said: “It was a real honour to meet Sir Norman. I couldn’t have got my business to this level without the enterprise trust’s help and grant. The support is amazing I’d recommend other people to use the enterprise trust’s advice and see if there’s a grant or loan they can use to grow their business.”

Tayler is also backing a programme linked to the trust called Enterprising Women. She said: “I go to meet young women who might be interested in setting-up their own business.  It’s a good opportunity to share my experiences and advice with them. Again, it’ another way that the enterprise trust helps people of all ages to start or grow their businesses.”

Dave Benstead, chairman of Oldham Enterprise Trust, said: “Entrepreneurship has propelled Oldham’s economy since the 19th century and it hasn’t gone away. Is it a learnable skill which should be taught early or could it be as a result of some innate talent or inbred skill? It’s not up for debate. We’re not going to let young people fall behind in today’s entrepreneurial landscape which is why it’s important to support people like Tayler, helping them to follow their own instincts and gut feelings, encouraging and using success to breed success.

“We know that many start-ups fail within their first few years. However, support from our growing network of mentors and advisors, and leveraging the wisdom of our leading entrepreneurs. like Sir Norman. is helping to develop self-confidence and tenacity amongst Oldham’s younger population.”

In addition to its advice, skills and employment activities, Oldham Enterprise Trust can help with funding sources including:

  • Grants for people aged 16-25 and low-cost loans to those up to 35 years, funded by the Sir Norman Stoller-backed fund.
  • Access to the government’s Start Up Loan Scheme for people over 35.
  • Access to a range of other funding facilitated by Business Finance Solutions, which is part of the Manchester Growth Company.

For further details, visit oldhamenterprisetrust.org.uk or call Graham McKendrick, enterprise trust manager based at Oldham Council, on 0161 770 3356 or 07515 188 974. Email: graham.mckendrick@oldham.gov.uk

PHOTOGRAPHY by Darren Robinson

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