A catering business formed in Spring 2020 by best friends from Wallasey is just one of over 1,200 local companies that have benefitted from free support from Wirral Business Support Service.
Graze Upon Us, the brainchild of Kate Satam and Megan Lear-Roach, received support on marketing and funding, as well as networking opportunities that helped them gain new clients.
Following a recommendation Kate and Megan, who met at Weatherhead High School 20 years ago, contacted Wirral Chamber where they discovered the Business Support Service. Funded by Wirral Council and UK Shared Prosperity Fund, it offers up to 12 hours of free support to all Wirral-based businesses.
Kate said: “We started delivering small graze boxes during lockdown, but momentum quickly gained once people could start socialising again and began holding parties. We now cater for corporate events, weddings and other special occasions. The aim with our graze platters is to produce a colourful abundance of food that will be a talking point for any occasion.”
After a one-to-one session with a professional business advisor, they identified areas the business could grow.
“The service helped us increase our brand awareness and we gained great knowledge about the corporate market, which allowed us accelerate that side of the business. We now go to Wirral Chamber networking events which has seen us make further connections which then turn into orders.”
After just three years of business Graze Upon Us now cater for regular clients like Peel and Causeway Technologies.
Cllr Tony Jones, chair of Wirral Council’s Economy, Regeneration and Housing Committee, said: “A thriving business sector is a boost for our communities, so it’s wonderful to hear success stories like Graze Upon Us. Since 2022 the Business Support Service has given expert advice and support to more than 1,200 businesses, helping them reach their potential. Not only is it great to see businesses flourish, but it has directly helped deliver more than 200 new jobs in Wirral, giving greater options for young people coming into the jobs market.”
Starting a business is daunting, however the help and support out there is immense. Contacting the Business Support Service has been a game-changer for us, as well as understanding that there are other businesses in the same boat, who can help eachother.
“In 2024 we hope to build the wedding side of the business and beyond that we would love to open up our own bistro or café, serving delicious home-cooked foods and host events.”
How the Business Support Service can help your business
As well as offering up to 12 hours of free business support to all Wirral businesses, the Business Support Service works with entrepreneurs through ‘Start-Up Wirral’, a programme aimed at pre-revenue businesses and businesses operating for less than 12 months.
- pre-start ‘taster’ sessions for interested individuals
- pre-start ‘business builder’ advice and guidance sessions
- business planning workshops
- access to finance brokerage
- business finance, sales, service, and product workshops
- 1-2-1 business mentoring by experienced businesses
- introductions to professional services providers
- signposting to other business support services
- start-up peer groups for mutual support.
To find out more, contact Wirral Chamber: email@example.com
Image: Kate and Megan from Graze Upon Us