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NewsCreativeHuckletree launches ‘Entrepreneur in Residence’ programme to support North West fashion and...

Huckletree launches ‘Entrepreneur in Residence’ programme to support North West fashion and creative startups

Creative workspace and accelerator Huckletree is launching a new initiative to help support local fashion entrepreneurs and businesses recover and thrive through work space and mentoring at its co-working space in the iconic Express Building in Ancoats, after one year of opening.

The ‘Entrepreneur in Residence’ programme will see a chosen entrepreneur handed a full year of office space through a Huckletree membership, alongside regular mentoring sessions with in-house experts on marketing, commercial growth and leadership skills, as well as access to Huckletree’s extensive range of digital programming including investor office hours and pitch deck clinics.

Huckletree Ancoats is already home to exciting fashion and retail businesses like Depop and Stand4Socks. The space is also home to related creative businesses including Programmatic marketing specialist Regital, who work with Gymshark and prolific local design and branding team JBH.

Huckletree offers members unrivalled access to a carefully curated ecosystem of innovative entrepreneurs, and its commitment to supporting members throughout the pandemic has seen members JBH (digital SEO agency) triple in size,while Stand4Socks attribute a 300% e-commerce growth in 2020 to having access to Huckletree’s team and facilities throughout lockdown. The space’s General Manager Imani Chimo is also well versed in the fashion world, having run a successful lingerie startup.

Huckletree founders Gaby Hersham and Andrew Lynch decided to set up the Entrepreneur in Residence initiative after witnessing the cutting-edge approach entrepreneurs in the fashion and creative industries have taken when faced with the huge challenges Covid-19 has thrown up.

In 2019, Huckletree invited one entrepreneur to join their Soho London space, which supports challenger brands and investors. Erase All Kittens, a gaming platform to educate kids 8-14 about coding, was awarded a space and after 12 months of their residency have grown their business in size, won awards including European Digital Woman of the Year and have been introduced to investors through the Huckletree network. The business has since seen a 500% increase in traction during lockdown, making five new hires and securing a $100,000 grant from Grant From The Web.

Founders can apply by visiting huckletree.com. The successful candidate will be selected in January by a panel of judges, and they’ll have access to Huckletree and its facilities almost immediately.

Gaby Hersham, Huckletree Co-founder and CEO stated:
‘We realised the pandemic has been an equaliser for business. New businesses were being founded from bedrooms, but those new founders were finding themselves in a foreign world of entrepreneurship without the safety net or the bond of community. We know from the past 6 years of our own business that having a network – a community of minds and being connected to people in a similar field or sector – goes a long way in helping entrepreneurs achieve their goals. We’re passionate about supporting innovative founders in everything they do, which is why we’re inviting one entrepreneur to build their business with us. This goes beyond desks, and will give a game-changing entrepreneur the space,and mentoring they need to match their ideas and talent.

It’s been inspiring to see our members innovate their way through the pandemic and continue to blaze a trail across their industries, but we know that innovation doesn’t happen at home. We remained safely open throughout the pandemic to help foster collaboration and creativity, and will continue to do so in order to protect the startup and scale-up ecosystem that we know is vital for the UK’s economy, especially at such a turbulent time. We’re especially excited about the fashion and creative scene in the North, where fashion brands like Pretty Little Thing, The Manchester Bee Company and creative marketing businesses like Regital and JBH are tackling the pandemic with a combination of inspiring resilience and the creative approach that brought them their initial success.

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