Case Studies from 2021

Lemon and Lime Interiors - D2N2 UpScaler

Lemon and Lime Interiors is a home staging business which provides professional property presentation services to clients looking to sell their homes.

With big plans to expand the offering across the UK and internationally, Lemon and Lime Interiors was looking for help in planning the right strategy to take its growth to the next level.

The business founder, Elaine, worked closely with an UpScaler business coach to focus on developing a future growth strategy, and accessed graduate talent funding via Nottingham Trent University, to help bring more expertise into the business. Elaine and her team also attended several UpScaler workshops on a wide range of topics to build skillsets within the business. The impact of this support has resulted in the business doubling in size from four to eight employees. Lemon and Lime has also created a strategy to launch into global markets.

The support we’ve received from UpScaler has helped to upskill the team and give us the confidence to continue to do what we do best. I’m so busy running the business that I sometimes find it difficult to get my head out of the weeds. UpScaler has enabled me put the structure in place so I could take a step back, focus on the bigger picture, set some more ambitious goals and develop the strategy we need to achieve them.

Elaine Penhaul, Lemon and Lime Interiors

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Devtank - D2N2 UpScaler

Devtank is an opensource hardware and software company which develops test and measurement equipment, automation systems and design solutions for a host of business sectors.

The business enrolled onto the D2N2 UpScaler Project having undergone a period of rapid growth which included launching new products and increasing their headcount. The business was looking for ways to manage this growth effectively and to implement new processes and procedures.

Devtank received a graduate talent grant which meant that they were able to employ a student placement position within the business. They also accessed UpScaler's workshop programme and received one to one mentoring.

The support we’ve received from the D2N2 UpScaler project has been really beneficial. It has enabled us to refine some of our internal processes and focus our future growth strategy, to get us ready for our next phase of expansion.

Darren Millington, Devtank

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Ignys - D2N2 UpScaler

Ignys is an electronics design and software development consultancy that helps clients from a range of sectors turn their product ideas into fully working prototypes.

Having grown steadily since inception in 2017, managing director Richard Fletcher was looking for direction to establish the structure and processes needed to enable further business growth. 

This was achieved through attending UpScaler workshops on business management, HR, finance and growth planning. Richard also received support and mentoring from his dedicated UpScaler business adviser. This enabled Richard to take a more holistic view to his business and to establish new processes in areas such as cash flow, finance and performance management.

The support we’ve received from UpScaler has been invaluable in terms of helping us to form our ideas and look at our business from a different perspective. As a small but growing company, it’s sometimes hard to press pause and take a more strategic view, but the mentoring has really helped me to focus on how I can scale the business and achieve growth in a more sustainable way.

Richard Fletcher, Ignys

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FSG Tableware - D2N2 UpScaler

FSG Tableware is the exclusive UK importer for some of the world’s leading food display and tableware manufacturers. 

Managing director of the business, Lynn Johnson, was seeking support in managing the solid organic growth that had been achieved. As head of a small team, Lynn wanted to take a step back from day to day operations to focus on the strategic elements of her business, this is where the D2N2 UpScaler project came in. 

Lynn attended several UpScaler workshops on topics such as business finance and marketing. A business diagnostic was provided which gave Lynn clear direction on the business. In addition to this, funding support was provided and connections were made to another business which resulted in new product developments. 

Joining the D2N2 UpScaler programme was a bit like opening a Pandora’s Box. The amount of support I’ve received has been overwhelming and has really helped me to focus my efforts on
the future of the business and what I need to do to get there. Thanks to the programme, I feel that we have grown as a business, but I have also grown as a person too.

Lynn Johnson, FSG Tableware

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Wellbeing at Whistlewood

Wellbeing at Whistlewood is an award-winning social enterprise for wellbeing set within a 10-acre community owned woodland which is part of the National Forest. The business offers retreats, classes, workshops, Forest Bathing, Forest Therapy and Expressive Arts experiences. 

The Covid-19 Pandemic presented particular problems for the enterprise with reduced income due to the cancellation of most of their events and affected planning wellbeing services for a changed Post Covid World. The D2N2 Growth Hub were able to support the business by creating a post Covid ‘green recovery business plan’ which included an evaluation of the development needs within the business which resulted in attending several of the Growth Hub’s webinars. The business also focussed on developing existing partnerships to help diversify its offering. The Growth Hub was also able to support Wellbeing at Whistlewood by providing guidance on access to finance in order to make Covid secure adaptions to the business. 

We have survived as a social enterprise during the most difficult of times and are thriving with the expert support and development opportunities within the D2N2 Growth Hub. The lives and needs of our customers and partners are different in 2021 so we have adapted our services to be responsive to a changing World. In moving forward confidently as restrictions lift, we look forward to providing wellbeing and Nature connection opportunities to our customers in the knowledge that our services are needed and appreciated more than ever. Our community wellbeing programmes are now being funded through charity partnerships, corporate support including from Toyota and NHS Green Social Prescriptions to ensure that people in the most need have access to our wellbeing services.

Anne Bramley and Helen Saunders, Wellbeing at Whistlewood

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Tom Hodgson Photography

Tom Hodgson Photography is a small business ran by sole trader Tom Hodgson. Tom’s busines specialises in photography and design to help clients to achieve their full potential through powerful imagery and strong design. Tom also covers wedding photography and has brought the big day to life for many couples behind the beautiful backdrop of the Peak District.

Tom contacted the Growth Hub as he was looking for support to help with investing in his business as he wanted to expand to offer photography with digital design services to support businesses changing their business models due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The Growth Hub was able to support Tom by introducing him to resources where he could apply for grants to support his purchase of new IT equipment and software which enabled him to keep the business ahead of the game and therefore deliver high quality results. Tom also attended Growth Hub workshops on marketing and received information, diagnostic and brokerage support from a dedicated business adviser. 

Without the support of D2N2 and my business advisor Sarah I don’t know what I would have done. Navigating a pandemic as a business owner is difficult but knowing there is an extension to the business in the form of a trusted partner such as D2N2 is invaluable. Thank you for your fantastic support which I continue to receive.

Tom Hodgson, Tom Hodgson Photography

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Stevie Davies Glass

Stevie Davies Glass is a Derby based contemporary glass business specialising in warm glass processes to create distinctive art, sculptures, home décor and jewellery. Stevie’s devotion to the material, experimental approach to kiln fusing techniques, love of colour and texture gives her signature style an alluring aesthetic which is sure to start a conversation.

Stevie contacted the Growth Hub for opportunities to support her in thinking about a more broad range of business needs, such as branding and marketing. She wanted to learn skills outside of her own expertise in her art that would help to make the business more resilient and sustainable. This support was delivered by the Growth Hub in the form of our comprehensive webinar programme, with which Stevie attended several sessions on digital marketing, wellbeing and other areas. Support was also provided on a one to one basis by a dedicated Growth Hub business adviser.

I find the creative development side of my arts practice has naturally grown but it can be rather isolating. Finding the opportunities that D2N2 offer has enabled me to look at a broad range of business needs, spend time learning about aspects of social media, marketing and branding which I previously haven’t considered. Learning new skills or, often, where I need to seek to hire others to make my business more resilient and sustainable moving forward.

Stevie Davies, Stevie Davies Glass

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Blue Stamp Travel

Blue Stamp Travel provide personal and tailored language experiences abroad for students looking to make a breakthrough with their language skills. Specialising in French, German and Spanish and working with individuals or schools they provide Work Experience programmes, Intensive Language Courses, Host Family Accommodation, Internships, Summer Camps, Au Pair and Study and Online Tuition.

Blue Stamp Travel applied for the D2N2 Growth Hub’s Business Investment Fund to support them with the substantial costs of becoming an independent company as they had previously been a division of Halsbury Travel. This included investing in a brand new e-commerce website and a multi-function printer. 

There is no doubt that we have benefited from the grant and support offered by D2N2. We look forward to continuing this relationship and hope that other businesses too will also be able to benefit in the future. Our new site www.bluestamptravel.com is now live and we are delighted with the look and functionality!

Steve Manderson, Managing Director at Blue Stamp Travel

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Infused Learning

Infused Learning is a Nottingham based not for profit training company, offering a range of bespoke and tailored accredited and non-accredited qualifications and training courses to schools, and groups across the UK.

Tara and Natalie, the Infused Learning founders, contacted the Growth Hub as they needed further support in areas such as marketing, as they were lacking expertise internally. They were also looking for financial support to aid their business in expansion. The Growth Hub was able to support them via a dedicated business adviser who notified the Infused Learning team of grant funding opportunities. The team were also able to upskill by taking full advantage of the Growth Hub’s webinar programme.

Receiving funds to help automate processes will give us the capacity to increase our offering and reach more business and individuals not only throughout Nottinghamshire but UK wide.

Tara Askham, Director of Finance and Business Development

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