After a months-long scouting and vetting process, our partners at Swiss Re Foundation and Impact Hub Kings Cross have finally selected the winner of the Shine Innovation Award winner for 2022… Greens Made Easy!

Both teams began by scouting our networks and inviting others to hear about the programme’s opportunities. By October we had twenty-two entries nationally, with eight coming from our region. In November, following a rigorous evaluation process, we managed to arrive at a shortlist of seven, who went on to a series of final interviews by the Swiss Re Foundation team.

We’re very proud to have our own member Victoria Robertshaw – and her venture, Green Street – go deep into the competition and into the final three candidates.

At this point its only fine margins which separated the finalists and so Greens Made Easy edged out Green Street to take the prize for 2022. We can’t wait to see how Greens Made develops and grows with the support of the Shine programme!

The team at Impact Hub Bradford made ourselves available to support many of our members, whether it was initial soundings or detailed preparation. Overall, Swiss Re Foundation were very pleased with the overall calibre of entrants from the UK and we hope to work with them again in future!

Tell us your story Jassa, what’s a typical day in the life of your work?

No day is ever exactly the same, yet there are certain things that I can acclaim to that are pillars of my work here on Earth. The start of my day is best when I dedicate it to meditation and prayer, ideally before sunrise. Being awake when the sun is rising is a reminder to me that there is always another chance.

Jassa Singh

There are multiple projects that I’m currently working on, my main focus right now is my album for my final year university project. Alongside this I’m working on building my clothing brand I HEART I, which is what the Build Your Business programme has assisted me with. I also enjoy drawing and creating digital art. My studies in Ayurveda, Qi-Gong, and breathwork exercises are another big part of my life. With all of these passions each work day is always refreshing and exciting.

Can you share some insights on your journey as an entrepreneur – the biggest opportunities and challenges; any advice could you share with others starting out?

Welcoming failure as a part of your journey rather than something to avoid will greatly assist in your success. When something goes wrong it can be used as an opportunity to learn and grow, rather than letting it go to waste by worrying and complaining about it.

You reap what you sow in life, if you’re willing to put in the work and you have good intentions you’ll receive the fruits of your labour eventually. Asking for advice and help from people around you can also be beneficial, whilst at the same time not letting the opinions of others pull you away from your own vision for where you want to go. Believe in yourself even if nobody else does.

How has Build Your Business helped develop your thinking and practice?

My main obstacle was having all of the creative ideas and passion but lacking in the business side of things. The programme has helped me gain knowledge of what my options are as a self-employed business owner and I received expert advice to help me make the right choices for the business. The programme has made me much more aware of the responsibilities that come with running a business, helping me to take it more seriously and to the next level.

Jassa Singh

What are your hopes and how you see your business developing – expanding the team, new lines of business?

Ultimately, my goal with all of my various passions is to inspire and help people. Whilst it may seem smart to prioritise money to grow a business, my priority is to spread love, compassion, and kindness. I have faith that if these are my intentions God will grant me the resources I need to achieve in this mission. Having a strong sense of purpose is important, it’s what keeps me driven and motivated each day. I have a vision for I HEART I to be a global brand one day, the message of self love is one that is universal and will resonate with people all over the world. Employing designers and producing the items in house is one way I wish to expand the brand in the future.

As for new lines of business, I already have the foundations in place to launch Sticks & Stones Holistic Health. This business will focus on various different ways to maintain good health with natural methods, with our first product being Seamoss Gel.

Your entrepreneurial influences – whom do you look up to and admire?

This year a big inspiration and influence has been my good friend, fellow rapper and musician S3V4, who is also from Bradford. S3V4 has been rolling out his music this year and seeing his passion, business mindset, alongside all of his success has really inspired me. Within a year he’s built up a fanbase, released physical copies of his project, and even has an article on 50 Cent’s website. Seeing somebody from my city shine like this fuels my faith that I can do the same.

Global Fund for Children are launching a new program –  #iwill – and with our help, GFC will be investing £300,000 into four Bradford-based organisations, along with an 18-month support programme.

#iwill is a place-based and innovative youth social action programme,  intended for boys and young men under the age of 14 across the Bradford district. The #iwill Fund seeks to make involvement in social action a part of life for young people, by recognising the benefit for both young people and their communities. 

The #iwill fund is made possible thanks to £54 million joint investment from The National Lottery Community Fund and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) to support young people to access high quality social action opportunities.

Impact Hub Bradford is acting as a match funder and awarding grants on behalf of the #iwill Fund. For the Hub, #iwill is part of our support for Goal 5 – Gender Equality – of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals and particularly what it means to be a positive male role model.

The new project will be delivered by GFC with support from the Hub and led by four voluntary sector partners:

Impact Hub Bradford and Global Fund for Children will be hosting the launch of #iwill at the Hub on 24th November and, along with the fund’s partners and other speakers, celebrating the arrival of this innovative and vital programme for the district.

Join Impact Hub Bradford and Global Fund for Children to celebrate the launch of #iwill

Register Now

Join us on for a two-hour workshop and introduction to social investment, delivered by Good Finance as part of our Local Access Bradford District programme and our partners at Airedale Enterprise.

Social investment is the use of repayable finance to help an organisation achieve a social purpose.

Charities and social enterprises can use repayable finance to help them increase their impact on society, for example by growing their business, providing working capital for contract delivery, or buying assets.​​

At this workshop, you’ll learn about how social investment can provide the financial resources you might need and how to become investor ready.

Places are limited, so do book early. Refreshments and light bites will be provided for all attendees.

Register Now

As part of the Build Your Business programme, enterprise coach Imran Hussain is developing a series of case studies highlighting the entrepreneurial journeys of a number of startup founders and how the programme is helping them along those journeys. Imran’s been coaching Kayle McCoy of United Art Project in recent months and recently checked in with her to see how she’s progressed through the programme.

Tell us your story Kayle, what’s a day in the life of your work at United Art Project?

The United Art Project idea was formed in the comfort of Kayle’s living room back in March 2020 when Britain went into its first covid Lockdown. It was only meant to be a ‘little’ project to pass the time, to keep Kayle’s motivation up as she lost her freelance Dramatherapy work due to the UK closures. The Bradford council were advertising a small grant funding project called #response1 and Kayle wanted to use her Dramatherapy expertise to structure what was to become project 1. She used the power of unity through uncertainty to propel the project and to get the Bradford community applying to be a part of this collaborative and creatively expressive project that united households and provided some much-needed stability and excitement in what became a scary and isolating experience. On the 26thMay 2020, one hundred and twenty ‘Picasso’ members ranging from 5-93years old were given a 24-hour window to paint a canvas masterpiece in the confines of their home. Fast forward a few years to September 2022, and with the continued support of The Bradford Council; The United Art Project successfully exhibited all the canvas masterpieces in three community led locations, popping up and down over the course of just one weekend. It was a fantastic achievement to see the members of project 1 meet for the first time, TWO years later – talk about uniting people!

Yes, two years on and The United Art Project has had five projects funded by the Bradford council and their partners. The partners include Art Council England, The LEAP, and the European Regional development Fund (ERDF).

The United Art Project is made up of Kayle, a freelance Dramatherapist and Sarah a freelance fine artist and photographer. We (The United Art Project) have worked with lots of fabulous organisations and services across Bradford district – these include Sarahfearnephotography, OutLOUD, The Sutton Centre, Trapezium Art Gallery, Bradford Cathedral, Wibsey Community Garden, TFD-Holmewood and Bradford housing associations. We have designed and spraypainted shutters, Painted in the woods, in car parks and parks, in community halls and schools. We have also been commissioned to work in summer holiday camps and with children displaced by war.

The United Art Project is founded upon 4 pillars of operation, its purpose is to facilitate unique and bespoke experiences that offer: ‘Art for Free’, ‘Art to Unite’, ‘Art to Heal’, and ‘Art to Aspire’.

The aim is to provide free and easy access to art, painting and creative expression to members who are willing to engage with our services and projects. We will continue to manifest the belief that access to art and the art process should be made available for all to experience and partake in regardless of social economic status, age, or level of ability. Our art experiences do not and will not exclude any form of free-thinking, exploration, or representation within our society!

Your journey as an entrepreneur – the biggest opportunities and challenges; advice could you share with others starting out

I would advise anyone starting out to remain as solution focused as possible! Be a problem solver because you will then inadvertently become a problem preventer!

The biggest challenge was to learn the ropes of how to operate as a fully functional organisation. A business model; with all its complexities and necessity for clarity; is a mighty fete. I had to take the rejection, the ghosting, the setbacks, the mounds of paperwork: the logistical nightmares, the hours of online learning, and website reading; and run with them, headfirst, into the wind!

You are literally all departments – the marketing, promotion, facilitator, administrator and finances person: on top of the constitution, policy, procedure and successful bid writing person. You set up your bank account and appoint committee members, gain traction in the locality and build an online presence and prove yourself in the field! There is so much more to setting up a business than having a creative idea and a passion to see your ideas materialise, you must always be thinking several steps ahead!

The Initial zoom calls with CABAD in 2021, along with the (eventual-post-lockdown) face to face meetings with Imran at Impact hub in 2022 gave Kayle the motivation, direction and understanding needed to grow from a Community Association into a Community Interest Company. It was an interesting experience with Imran at impact hub as he too was on a journey of learning about the operations of different legal business structures and so, this part of the journey felt like a mutual sharing of findings. Bookkeeping tips and structures have been shared and demonstrated alongside business and entrepreneurial websites that look at funding, and at your company’s performance and its longevity.

The other relevant organisations that can support The UAP continue to be shared by Imran, and Kayle feels very welcome at the Impact hub as they offer an invitingly warm and welcoming multi functioning space. “I am forever grateful I saw an Instagram ‘story’ from the Impact hub that invited businesses to meet Kamran and learn more about social enterprise”.

How has Build Your Business helped develop your thinking and practice?

Initial zoom calls with CABAD in 2021, along with the (eventual-post-lockdown) face to face meetings with Imran Hussain at Impact Hub Bradford in 2022 gave me the motivation, direction and understanding needed to grow from a Community Association into a Community Interest Company. It was an interesting experience with Imran, as he too was on a journey of learning about the operations of different legal business structures and so, this part of the journey felt like a mutual sharing of findings. The other relevant organisations that can further support the UAP have been and continue to be shared by Imran, and we very welcome at the Hub as they offer an invitingly warm and welcoming multi-functional space.

I am forever grateful I saw an Instagram ‘story’ from the Hub that invited businesses to book on and to go meet CEO Kamran Rashid and learn more about social enterprise”. That meeting really boosted my confidence in the project, realising that The United Art Project can and will become a reputable organisation that will make my hometown and its people Picasso proud.

Bookkeeping tips and structures have been shared and demonstrated alongside business and entrepreneurial websites that look at funding, our company’s performance and it’s longevity.

What are your hopes and how you see your business developing?

The UAP aims to remain sustainable within the future landscape of current day UK, with all its ongoing funding cuts, austerity, and Prime Minister changes.

We want to build on the fantastic projects we have worked so hard on as a small CIC. We want to gain funding that enables us to work with, and alongside all ages and abilities. We want to be led by the communities we serve. We want to encourage more non-painters to paint and express, and we want to support and nurture the new Picassos of our time. Ultimately, we want every individual who picks up our paint brushes and strikes the provided canvas with colour; to believe in their abilities as a fully fledged Picasso artist.

We will be using the specific benefits of each pillar of operation (mentioned above) to write future bids and advertise and advocate the power of art and expression as a healing and transforming creative intervention. Kayle is a Dramatherapist after all and wants to apply her skillset in new areas of operation within the North.

Your entrepreneurial influences – whom do you look up to and admire?

I have a lot of self-employed influences in my locality, Flite Coaching, my brother, my dad is a freelance engineer. My friends such as Kirsty Taylor for her poetry and ‘bull by the horns’ approach to her work. My work partners Lauren Batty Sarah Fearnephotography. Northern Arts Factory. We are all Yorkshire folk with whom I can connect and resonate with. I have watched their journeys, I have learnt from their mistakes 😊 and I can now add my own mistake making into the mix and that is why The United Art Project as functionally robust as it is!

Ultimately, I am inspired by passion, unique ideas and vision, personal drive, integrity and self-motivation. However, I will always smile to myself when I read of investors making lots of profit from renting ATM machines …

We’re very excited to be working with our friends at the Ubele Initiative and Access (The Foundation for Social Investment), on the next round of funding from the Enterprise Development Programme which is offering grants of up to £30,000 and learning opportunities for organisations supporting Black and Minoritised communities.

Enterprise Development Programme 2022-2023

We’re hosting a launch briefing on 16th November which will focus on…

Successful applicants will not only receive a grant, but join a cohort of other grant recipients from their sector, to learn and develop together. The programme includes…

The 35 - Autumn 2021 Cohort

The application process involve two stages, with the next round – Black & Minoritised Communities – opening in November…

Wednesday 23rd November – 10am Stage 1 Applications Open
Wednesday 14th December- 12 noon Stage 1 Applications Close
Wednesday 16th December- 10am Stage 2 Applications Open
Friday 20th January – 12 noon Stage 2 Applications Close

You can find out more about the programme at

We’ll also be hosting an in-person briefing event on 16th November from 10am to 12pm to introduce the programme, build awareness and provide guidance for potential applicants. Do follow the link below to register your place.

Register Now

As part of the Build Your Business programme, enterprise coach Imran Hussain is developing a series of case studies highlighting the entrepreneurial journeys of a number of startup founders and how the programme is helping them along those journeys. Imran’s been coaching Ritu Dagar of Ritz Yoga in recent months and recently checkin in with her to see how she’s progressed through the programme.

Ritu Dagar

Tell us your story Ritu, what’s a day in the life of your work at Ritz Yoga?

Ritu came to the UK in the Summer 2022 from India with her son on a spouse visa as her husband had secured a job in Bradford. She left her job as an engineer and took her son out of the top ten schools in India to make the move to the UK. As well as her engineering career in India, Ritu also worked as a yoga instructor.

Your journey as an entrepreneur – the biggest opportunities and challenges; advice could you share with others starting out?

She arrived in the UK in July 2022, shortly after visited Impact Hub Bradford, with her young son, to start the process of setting up a business, wanting to startup her new working life in Britain. The most significant opportunity was to work directly with a talented coach who has experience of coaching entrepreneurs and also running their own enterprise. 

How has Build Your Business helped develop your thinking and practice.

Between the end of July and early September, Build Your Business Supported me with: market research, pricing strategy, business planning, bookkeeping, legal structures, marketing and insurance. In addition, I had some help in applying for a National Insurance number, a process so complex, it took five hours!

I also had some support in finding a job, including pointers for me CV, guidance on recruitment agencies and a referral to Inspired Neighbourhoods for employment support.

Within two months I managed to register as self-employed and started offering my yoga classes, in organisations such as Morrisons, JD Gym, Unique Fitness, the Karmand Centre, a local temple and a local gurdwara.

What are your hopes and how you see your business developing – expanding the team, new lines of business

I’m hoping to increase the number of online classes and run more sessions digitally. I’m also hoping to deliver more yoga classes at corporate retreats and events. I hope to create an awareness of authentic yoga and its benefits.

Your entrepreneurial influences – whom do you look up to and admire?

I am inspired by my business enterprise coach, Imran Hussain and Raja Khaliq, a community employment coach at the Karmand Centre.

Impact Hub Bradford is heading into the Autumn months recharged and rebooted, with a bunch of exciting developments and changes coming up…

New Entrepreneurial Programmes
If you’re  looking to start a business, or even thinking of starting – do get in touch. We have a number of upcoming programmes designed to support people on their entrepreneurial journeys: from Build Your Business and our partnership with Swiss Re Foundation‘s Shine Programme, to the next edition of our Sustain programme and a new schools programme Social Enterprise 101, we’re looking forward to seeing a new generation of Bradford startups take on society’s biggest challenges.

Growing Membership
This Summer, we’ve been taking on new members at quite a pace, with organisations such as Martin House, Carbon Imagineering, Able Roots, Green Street, Bradford Opera Festival, Street Space and Elysium Entertainment all joining recently, with more on the way. We’re excited about the collaborations and collisions we’re already seeing between members as well as the vibe at the Hub on busy days and we’re be looking to double our membership by the end of 2022. Finally, we’re launching a new membership portal in October for members and visitors to manage their plans and bookings, including contactless check-in!

A Refreshed Hub
As our membership is growing, so too are our spaces at the Hub. In the next few weeks, we’ll be refreshing our coworking space as part of a new fit out, adding a new reception and cafe area, as well as working with spatial designer Olivia Bridge to reimagining our smallest spaces as a podcasting studio and an urban garden.

We’re really excited about the podcasting studio and welcoming content creators to use our facilities; the equipment was recommended with guidance from an audio producer at the Wall Street Journal! Along with our high-end video conferencing suite in our boardroom, its great to see how members and visitors are using these tools in their workflow.

The next few weeks will also see the launch of a refreshed website, with a cleaner look based on redesigned branding and a new, more intuitive structure.

Finally, later this year we’re intending to launch a bike pool, giving our members and staff access to a bookable pool of Impact Hub e-bikes for getting around town during their working days. We’re really looking forward to see how this might transform

Growing the Team
The team has gone from two to six over the Summer, with two community hosts, a business development manager and two enterprise coaches now working alongside the Hub’s founders. We’re still growing and looking to recruit a general manager, programme managers as well as other roles.

If you’re interesting in working with us, do get in touch. We’re looking at new and innovative ways of building relationships even before opportunities arise as an innovative way of cultivating future team members.

Wow. Six months have flashed past and our screen industries programme, The Unit has gone from an idea to a burgeoning community of almost a hundred filmmakers across Bradford.

The Unit team – Banita, Jordan and Jax – have done an incredible job delivering the programme in Bradford. From a monthly newsletter to regular writer’s roundtables and filmmaker talks, to panel discussions and workshops on subjects ranging from script supervision, mental health issues, freelancing. The team has drawn in partners to delivery drop-in sessions on immersive technologies and also convened regular socials for the screen community.

The Unit’s created a real buzz around the future of film in Bradford and now we’re now preparing for the second half of the year-long programme and sending The Unit team to a new home at Keighley Creative. Here they’ll be extending their support and expertise to more filmmakers and screen professionals in another of the district’s creative hubs.

The Unit will begin operating in Keighley at the beginning of October – do follow their socials to find out about their upcoming launch plans at Keighley Creative. You can find out more at

Ayub Younis recently joined our Build Your Business programme as a Business Enterprise Coach, alongside Imran Hussain. Ayub has hit the ground running and is now into his third week in the role. We wanted to hear about his first few weeks and the journey that’s brought him to Bradford.

Tell us your story Ayub – your journey as an entrepreneur, your influences and the experiences that have brought you to this role.
I was born and raised in Bradford, actually in BD5 and was part of various youth schemes and volunteer groups throughout my childhood, including YouthBuild, the West Bowling Youth Initiative. One of the first residential trips I went on as part of this group was to Pisa, Italy – for a conference on European identity, along with councillors from our city. Two days later, the Bradford riots started and we had to answer lots of questions about my hometown as the news made its way around the world!

After training as a plumber, I moved to London and remained their for sixteen years, working in my trained profession and then later as part of my family’s business – Boynton Executive Cars – providing office management, security and chauffeur services for Chelsea FC’s football players. I was in this role for eight years and it allowed me to form professional networks across London, working with suppliers and entrepreneurs and even spending a couple of years working in Rome!

How will you be working alongside Imran and the wider Build Your Business
I’ve learned a hell of a lot in the last few weeks – from my fellow coach Imran, from the Build Your Business team and listening to the budding entrepreneurs accessing our support from across the city. As Imran continues to support the City Ward’s startups, I’ll be focussing on developing our presence in Barkerend, an area in which I have many deep connections with communities, councillors and the local MP.

Though I lived away from Bradford for many years, I remained connected with the city – my morning routine was to check the Telegraph & Argus and Facebook’s Bradford groups! So, my ear’s always to the ground and I’ll be aiming to connect our entrepreneurs with the right organisations, groups and the networks I’ve maintained over the years.

What’re you aiming to achieve in the coming months with the programme and its impact?
One of the most important qualities for a coach is to be an active listener, to understand where someone’s at in their entrepreneurial journey and how committed and serious they are. Alongside this, I’m refreshing my knowledge of governance and technology as well as cultivating my existing networks with alternative ways of reaching them.

I’m keen to reach those in deprived areas that might not be too confident in using digital means to access our support – this means getting out, meeting entrepreneurs, being visible, listening and being available. Already, I’ve started dialogue with community organisations such as Unltd, Womenzone and Karmand Community Centre –  my target is to support five entrepreneurs each month.



What are you finding interesting about Bradford as a place for startups and entrepreneurs
It feels like a great time to be back in Bradford. I think the the City of Culture coming in 2025 is going to drive a lot of entrepreneurial growth; money and investment will begin to arrive in the next few years as many of the city’s entrepreneurs will want to build on the uptick in tourism and new developments such as the new Street Market, Bradford Live and the proposed urban village.

Bradford’s been known for its food entrepreneurs and that’s a large segment of the entrepreneurs we’ve been supporting with Build your Business,  but I’m very excited to see where cultural and civic entrepreneurs are going to start to build on the new investments in the city.