FSB: Powerhouse hot air; Great Escape; UpScribe social publishing

Image of a hot air balloon, copyright: Igor V. Podkopaev / Shutterstock

Image copyright: Igor V. Podkopaev / Shutterstock

The Northern Powerhouse “seems to be a lot of hot air” and Government is taking a “divide and conquer approach to northern cities,” according to a guest on my latest Business Live radio programme – which also featured an award-winning social enterprise and the entrepreneur behind a live “escape room” experience.

You can listen to the radio show podcast here. Guests in the Sheffield Live radio studio on Friday 20th May came from the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), The Great Escape Game, and UpScribe.

Neville Martin of FSB discussed measures announced in this week’s Queen’s Speech and FSB’s view on how these could impact on businesses including transport, infrastructure, legislation and the Northern Powerhouse: “I wish somebody would tell us what this Northern Powerhouse is going to look like when it’s finished. It seems to be a lot of hot air without very much happening at this moment in time…the Government is taking more of a divide and conquer approach to northern cities rather than getting them to unite and to create something that would be really advantageous for the UK economy.” He continued with details of FSB’s research into administration and “red tape” for business – and an opportunity (The Teenage Market) for young entrepreneurs.

Hannah Duraid founded The Great Escape Game, Sheffield’s first and largest live escape room experience which has now been played by over 18,000 people. Many businesses have participated in the game in which people have to work together to escape one of four themed locked room scenarios in 45 minutes. The company launched in January 2014 and since then it’s gone from strength to strength – and Hannah herself has been nominated for The Northern Power Woman Award and the Yorkshire Women of Achievement Awards. She talked through the lessons she has learned in launching and growing the business – and some of the support that’s been most helpful to her.

And Liam, Parveen, Sabrine and Rina from UpScribe, an award-winning creative & publishing social enterprise, using video, sound, writing and publishing to support the personal growth, health and employability of vulnerable adults and young people. UpScribe was awarded the 2014 Outstanding Contribution to Social Enterprise Award from Sheffield Hallam Students’ Union. Liam and the team discussed their forthcoming book, We Jump, Never Asking Why, a collection of prose, fiction and memoir written by refugees and asylum seekers based in South Yorkshire. The book will be launched on 24th June at the Crucible Theatre, with a preview event as part of the Festival of Debate on 7th June.

Here’s the podcast (timings below):

 Timings:

  • 0 – 6:04 introductions and updates, including news of the third anniversary of a Sheffield entrepreneur’s ethical fashion brand, Roseannah; an update by Social Enterprise UK; a call for participation in the Teenage Market in Sheffield; the forthcoming Wosskow Brown Foundation’s Enterprising Partners event and Enterprising Nation events at Union Street; and the launch of the Sheffield Creative Guild.
  • 6:04 – 29:04 Neville Martin, the FSB.
  • 29:04 – 37:26 Hannah Duraid, The Great Escape.
  • 37:26 – 53:20 UpScribe: Liam, Parveen, Sabrine and Rina.

More about the Business Live radio show.

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