An inspirational session with practical advice for those taking or thinking of taking the first steps to self-employment and starting a business. Self-employed people assisted by Blackpool Council’s Get Started service will talk about their experiences in getting their business going. Guest speakers are detailed below...

James Lucas, Barcadia

London may be the UK’s centre of finance, but when it comes to information the financial industry trusts, all eyes are on Blackpool. Barcadia Media’s James Lucas, is the publishing and marketing business leader who’s challenging the national press on its home turf, and challenging local businesses to benchmark for success.

Their Financial Reporter is now one of the UK’s leading online financial publications. Through a combination of industry-leading opinion and a knack for unearthing stories before the national press, readership grew, and so did advertising revenues.

The success led to two sister publications, Commercial Reporter and Property Reporter. Following the same model as their predecessor, they’re enjoying similar levels of success.

James is a true Blackpool Entrepreneur.

Matthew Watts, Gorgeous Cheesecake, Lancashire Cheesecake Company

Matt turned his love of desserts, especially cheesecake, and his general lack of satisfaction with dessert offerings of most establishments he visited to become his own boss. Together with wife Sharon they have been making cheesecakes for years for restaurants, family and friends and they have perfected the recipe and now love the challenge of making ever more unusual flavours from Dandelion and Burdock to Scotch Whisky and Marmalade to Chai Tea.

They make over 100 flavours now and pride themselves on never being beaten on a challenge to make a cheesecake from a favourite ingredient, dessert or confectionery.

They love what they do and the passions shows in the cheesecakes they make.

Matt supplies such prestigious companies as Selfridges, Barton Grange and their cheesecakes have proved very popular at restaurants, food festivals and deli’s in Lancashire and as far afield as Covent Garden earning them a loyal following which stretches as far as Slovenia!

Gareth Martindale, Sherbert Lemon

Established in 2010, Sherbert Lemon is a Brand Strategy Design Studio based in Lancashire. They believe that design sits at the very core of true brand success. Their collaborative approach ensures great ideas come to life while keeping client’s end goal in mind.

With Brand campaigns as diverse as Nike, Lady Boys of Bangkok, Green Zone Design, DW Sports, Hakana Bay, Half Gin and Be Kind Clothing, this business is a true innovator.

James Evans HLS Group of Companies

The HLS group of companies, formed in 2014, are quickly establishing an excellent reputation as being a leading supplier of work at height and commercial cleaning services; with clients as diverse as Blackpool Tower, The Winter Gardens, Blackpool Pleasure beach and many other high profile ones (literally). Continually adapting and expanding their services to meet the needs and requirements of their clients to provide a first class service, every time.

The combination of niche services they provide enables them to provide full facilities cleaning and maintenance service across a broad range of sectors.

HLS has achieved its growth by providing clients with innovative, quality and professionally managed services that have enabled them to develop strong and lasting relationships with their client base.

They provide all work at height and commercial and industrial cleaning services nationwide.

Heather Burke and Ruth White, Lily and Sparrow

Heather Burke and Ruth White, both 23, set up Lily and Sparrow at the FYC, Church Street, Blackpool to sell daring lingerie. And with items for all sizes they are hoping to spice up the love lives of women no matter what shape or size.

They considered getting a shop, but the over-heads were too great at the start although they will be looking into it once they are established, they believe they can reach more people on line.

The pair met while at Blackpool and The Fylde College but both admitted their studies did not fire their imaginations and left to find work.

They are proof that young Entrepreneurs exist in Blackpool! They spotted a gap in the market and combine fun with business.

To book the Start-Up Inspirations Event click here