Communications graduate Sarah first approached Spark with a view to offering social media training services on a freelance basis. “Small businesses can find it difficult to establish a presence on social media and my knowledge and skills could help them reach a wider audience,” she said. “Although I began by offering my services as a trainer to start-up businesses, Spark also gave me support and encouragement to start my own business.”
Sarah attended a bootcamp hosted by the Yorkshire-based Graduate Entrepreneurship Project in 2011, where she received practical advice about running her own business. She said: “I realised that I had to broaden its remit and I developed further services including strategy, consultancy and managed services, still within the sphere of social media.”
A proof of concept award of £1,000 helped Sarah market her business, Social Yorkshire, which launched in 2013. “Being able to give Spark as my business address and use the meeting rooms there as I currently work from home has been a big help in getting established,” she said.
She now runs government-funded training courses on the benefits of using Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn for business and is a guest lecturer on the Leeds Enterprise Centre’s Social Networking and Enterprise module.