I am passionate about starting up and growing new businesses and have done so for the last 30 years in Cumbria, Liverpool, Leeds, Nottingham and London. I am particularly passionate about ‘keeping it real’ when it comes to working with students, start ups and learners of all ages and avoiding cliché, uncritical thinking and stereotyped practice when working with people to re-vision the world they want for themselves, their businesses and their communities.
Between 2014 and 2016, I worked as Business Start Up Advisor for the Cumbria Chamber of Commerce and supported many entrepreneurs who went onto establish successful businesses in the Barrow in Furness and wider Morecambe Bay Region. These include Barrow Bird and Pet Shop, Aerial Artwork, Bardsea Bed and Breakfast and Lee Holmes Photography.
Feedback from benefitting businesses includes:
I believe I was very lucky to have Nick support me in starting my business last year. In our meetings he was always friendly and welcoming and I was confident of his experience in the mentoring role. The sessions were always well matched to the stages of my business development, and Nick alternated effectively between giving me encouragement, challenges, advice and information. He listened carefully and his relevant questions and suggestions always got me thinking deeply, and helped me move on towards my goals with increasing confidence. (Colin Aldred, Aerial Artwork)
I met Nick after I’d completed a business course in 2015 and the support from him was part of the course benefits to advise and give guidance to help progress my business. I found our meetings to be invaluable as he helped me with changes to my photography website and advised on how to put some of my paperwork together and write a business plan. I have now progressed to do photography on a part time basis around my full time job and have some weddings booked in this year. I’d definitely recommend anyone to utilise his knowledge, skills and experience in anyway they can. Thanks for everything! ( Lee Holmes Photography)
In 2013, I was offered the role of Programme Director for the Spark Up Business Incubator Pilot Programme established by the Liverpool Chambers of Commerce. Spark Up aimed to involve the highest quality regional, national and international expertise, knowledge and skills in developing entrepreneurs and businesses from across the Liverpool City Region.
I designed and led the pilot programme which involved 15 new and young businesses from the Liverpool City Region. Feedback from participating businesses includes:
Amy and I would like to thank you for all your help and support over the past few months, we wouldn’t be anywhere near as far into our journey as we would have been without your support and being part of Spark Up…. it’s been a brilliant experience and we really appreciate all you’ve put into the programme so far and respect your dedication to helping new starters in business like ourselves. (Russell and Brown, Vintage Hair)
I’d personally like to thank you for helping me progress; your explanations of issues and providing me with clarity to make decisions has been a huge benefit to my business skill set… you’ve been a massive help to me and I really appreciate the support & time you’ve given me and I’m sure it will pay dividends in my future in business… (Bliss Juices)
“Nick Owen has been an amazing friend and mentor during our time together at Liverpool Vision and Spark Up. Whether it was setting up business seminars or giving us 1:1 support on our business plan his help and advice has been invaluable to us especially as a tiny start up company. Thanks Nick!” (Kevin Tsang, Mechabit)
Between 2012 and 2013 I worked as Business Start Up Manager for Liverpool Vision and was instrumental in establishing a number of new businesses in the city by specifically working with them on their business planning processes. I provided a range of business advice, coaching and support; referral to sources of information and knowledge; and involvement in business events designed to accelerate business start-up rates, through more people becoming interested in enterprise, and beginning and sustaining the business start-up ‘journey’.
As well as providing coaching and mentoring support to new businesses on a 1:1 basis to over 100 clients I also designed and developed a range of group based small business programmes ranging from expert workshops on finance, marketing and export.