The Royal Society of Arts is all about uniting people and ideas to resolve the challenges of our time. As part of that, we’re excited to be partnering with the RSA to host and curate a to run a Northern Forum conference on 18th May. We’re very excited to be hosting the Forum at the iconic fifteen-acre Muṣṭafā Mount, the Greenville Trust‘s blueprint for sacred space in the West.

Starting at 11am and going through until 3pm, there will be a chance to hear a series of short talks, all on the topic of placemaking. We’re bringing together leading local figures from the worlds of business, academia, politics and charity for a half-day of lightning talks articulating their perspective on placemaking in an urban and suburban context, using example from across the UK’s towns and cities.

Our lineup includes…


11:00 Kamran Rashid
Patrick Hurley
Impact Hub Bradford
Royal Society Of Arts
11:15 Margeret Dale
High Streets Task Force
Where do semi-rural towns fit in the Future of the High Street
11:20 Warwick Pethers
Greensville Trust
Spirit of Place
11:35 Saira Ali
Bradford Council
Bradford: Our aspirations, what are we doing and why
11:50 Linda Bloomfield
RivelinCo Neighbourhood Arts Centre
The real reason for empty high street buildings
12:05 Burhan Khandia
Greensville Trust
The Role of Faith in Placemaking
12:20 LUNCH
13:20 Joe Barratt
Institute of Place Management
13:35 Phillpa Bannister
Street Space
Unlocking a gridlocked city… with empathy

Come along to be inspired, meet people working on socially impactful projects, and spark some ideas to shape the future. Tickets are free, but spaces are limited, so be sure to book your place quickly.

Find out more and book your place on 18th May, from 11am – 3pm

Register Now

Following the success of their first Enterprise West Yorkshire Start Up Forum in October 2022, we are delighted to now be delivering a second forum in partnership with the West Yorkshire Combined Authority.

Do join us as we bring together stakeholders and providers of start up support from across West Yorkshire for roundtable discussions to help shape the future of start up support and make our region the best place to start a business.

A range of speakers will provide the most up-to-date insights and support offers available to startups, helping build resilience and to flourish. Space are limited spaces, so do register as soon as possible.

The forum will take place on 10th May, from 12-3pm at Kala Sangam.

Register Now

Impact Hub Bradford is proud to be leading the Yorkshire and Humber region for the delivery of The Phoenix Fund. The Phoenix Way partnership recently launched the first emergency funding round with a webinar to introduce the fund and a comprehensive Q&A with attendees.

The Phoenix Way (TPW) is a racial justice movement that aims to address the structural and systemic barriers and inequalities which Black and racially minoritised communities face in influencing and accessing funding in the UK. use the links below to find out more and also to apply.

This grant funding is for Black and racially minoritised organisations in England, who are working with and supporting children and young people at risk of becoming involved in violence and are impacted by the current cost-of-living crisis.

You can find out more by…

Applications close at midnight on 8th May 2023.

Find Out More…

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 has been coaching Harleen Kaur, the founder of Club Ekta and we recently caught up with her to hear of her journey. Harleen, a British South Asian, is playing a vital role in empowering South Asian women in the Bradford community.

Tell us your story Harleen, what inspired you to start Club Ekta?

Club Ekta is a women’s club that supports and empowers women in Bradford and Leeds. The word Ekta is derived from the Sanskrit transcript, which means “unity”. Growing up, I found it hard to find relatable role models, and I don’t think much has changed. It’s good for young girls to look up to people from similar backgrounds, and a club like this brings together a network of inspirational females where not only does it benefit young girls, but it also benefits women who want to achieve and get back to society but are not sure where to start their careers.

In South Asian communities, it’s easy for women to feel alone and unsupported without a relevant role model or support. A women’s club provides a safe and welcoming space for women to come together, share their experiences, and support one another. It’s about creating and facilitating a safe environment for women in Bradford.

Club Ekta was established in October 2020. It started off with a group of women playing football in a park in Manchester Road on a weekly basis, right after COVID. Now we are running seven classes a week including (yoga, equestrian beginner classes etc), working with different schools around Leeds and Bradford, running regular holiday clubs for kids, and hosting social and networking events. We even run concerts, such as “Ronaq night,” where old-school Punjabi musicians provide entertainment all night. It attracted a lot of women from different South Asian backgrounds.

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

Imran Hussain, my business enterprise coach, has been instrumental in helping me understand how different running a CIC is from running a business. Coaching has helped me think back, reflect, and make the right changes as an entrepreneur. The Build your Business program has also helped me identify areas where I can improve and provided me with tools to grow my business. I appreciate the support I receive from Imran and the Impact Hub Bradford community.

What are your hopes and how do you see Club Ekta developing?

We plan to expand our services beyond Yorkshire and reach more women across the UK. We want to continue providing a safe and welcoming space for women to come together, learn new skills, and support one another. 

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

I love listening to podcasts and audiobooks. They provide me with inspiration and insight into how successful entrepreneurs have grown their businesses. My mum has also played a significant role in my life. I look up to her strength and admire everything she has been through and how she has always supported me. My coaches who have helped me and trained me in my sporting career have also been a significant influence on me.

As we wrapped up our conversation with Harleen, it was clear that Club Ekta is more than just a women’s club in Bradford – it’s a community that supports and empowers women from all backgrounds to achieve their goals. And with the help of the Build your Business program and Imran as her coach, Harleen is well on her way to making an even greater impact. It’s inspiring to see how Harleen’s passion for empowering women has led to the creation of Club Ekta and the growth of its services in such a short time. As she looks to expand beyond Yorkshire and continue to make a positive impact on women’s lives, we can’t wait to see what’s next for her and the Club Ekta community.

In a world where women’s voices are often silenced, Club Ekta is a refreshing reminder that when we come together, we can achieve great things. Harleen’s dedication to creating a safe and supportive space for women in Bradford is a testament to the power of community, and we’re honoured to have cultivated her entrepreneurial  journey through the Build Your Business programme.

Find out more about Harleen’s work at and our support programme at Build Your Business

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