Blue Orchid joins new venture to support UK in attracting global business talent

Blue Orchid Enterprise Solutions Ltd, as a founding partner, are excited to announce the launch of UK Endorsing Services Ltd a unique consortium of professional business advice organisations that have been awarded a Migration Business Endorsing Body (MBEB) concessionary contract.

The Home Office has awarded UKES a concessionary contract to deliver the provision of Migration Business Endorsing Body (MBEB) Services commencing Spring 2023.

UK Endorsement Services (UKES Ltd.) is proud to announce its status as a Government ‘Home Office’ authorised Endorsing Bodies. These organisations will review applications, assess levels of innovation, viability and scalability and interview individual applicants to ensure the likelihood of successful business growth in the UK. The small group of expert Endorsing Bodies will provide a fixed-fee service to Innovator Visa applicants after being scrutinised and selected via a UK Government procurement exercise in 2022.

The UK Government offers an Innovator Visa to international entrepreneurs looking to set up and run an innovative business in the UK. A successful application should include a unique, innovative business concept, clearly distinguishable from anything else in the UK marketplace, fully viable with measurable potential for growth.

The Innovator Visa route is in line with the UK Government Innovation Strategy, which sets out its vision to make the UK a global hub for innovation by 2035.

Who are UKES?

UKES Ltd comprises a consortium of 6 highly-skilled and experienced companies which have joined forces to form a unique and innovative endorsing body. The consortium partners are Blue Orchid, European Innovation, International Innovation Hub, NEXUS, Schoolgate Accounting Services and Severn Seed Finance.

Through the combined experience within the team, the consortium has over 75 years expertise in supporting business growth and development. During that time they have helped create over 20,000 new businesses and in excess of 25,000 new jobs across a range of sectors within the UK.

The team also has a vast wealth of knowledge in raising finance across all stages of a company’s growth lifecycle, and can boast of having raised over £150m of equity and investment for UK companies.

UKES Ltd. also offers business hub offices and shared high-tech working spaces in specific locations around the UK – here businesses can collaborate with other entrepreneurial, like-minded individuals.

Each member of the team has their own set of skills, designed to complement one another, ensuring all areas of support can be provided to help applicants through their business growth and expansion journey.

Further information on UKES and the online application portal are available at www.ukesapp.co.uk

ERDF Project Evaluation & Summative Assessment Tender Oppportunity: Cheshire & Warrington Access to Finance & SME Grant Programme

Tenders are invited to develop and deliver a summative assessment for the ERDF Project – Cheshire & Warrington Access to Finance & SME Grant Programme (2020-2022) that complies with and satisfies the requirements of the European Regional Development Fund https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/896857/ESIF-GN-1-033_ERDF_Summative_Assessment_Guidance_v4.pdf

Funded by the European Regional Development Fund, Cheshire West & Chester Council & Warrington & Co, the C&W Access to Finance & SME Grant Programme aimed to provide information, advice & signposting to those SMEs looking to raise significant investment in their business to support their growth plans. The programme provided a range of services to SME across Cheshire & Warrington including.

  • A programme of Access to Finance seminars and workshops
  • 1-2-1 financial & business planning consultancy for small businesses seeking advice and guidance to support an application for financial investment (approx. 2 days) e.g. Business loan application, British Business Bank/Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund application, R&D Tax credit claim, etc.
  • A financial grant towards the implementation of a consultancy project which will facilitate growth and employment within the business

The successful provider will:

  • Design a methodology to carry out the summative assessment that incorporates ERDF requirements, considers ERDF guidance and builds on the Summative Assessment Plan that has already been submitted to the Managing Authority (Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government). This plan is provided with the tender documentation.
  • Review our delivery data and evidence of benefit and impact additional to that already required for normal reporting, if necessary, to meet the needs of the summative assessment
  • Complete Final Summative assessment report and required summary findings report.

Deadline for response: 30/09/2022 [Extended Deadline]

Click here to view the full tender specification & supporting documents. 

The project is part-funded by European Regional Development Fund (ERDF)

Blue Orchid Successfully Deliver Cheshire West Investor Fund Grant Programme

Blue Orchid have recently completed the successful delivery of the Cheshire West & Chester Investor Fund Project. This £400k capital investment fund was part of a wider Cheshire West & Chester Council Covid 19 response programme that supported 13 SMEs to make significant investments in their business and has already led to those SMES creating 97 new jobs, securing 19 new contracts and a further £2.2m of investment.

Learn more about the programme, Blue Orchids role as a trusted partner in its delivery and the success of our amazing clients here.

 

Extended Deadline: Provision of Project Audit/Evaluation Services – Cheshire & Warrington Covid 19 Restructure Grant Programme

PLEASE NOTE: the deadline for this tender opportunity hs been extended to the 17 June 2022

Background

In July 2020 the Cheshire & Warrington LEP commissioned Blue Orchid Enterprise Solutions Ltd to develop and deliver an SME grant scheme to support SMEs across the Cheshire & Warrington LEP area to purchase and install small capital items to allow their business to adapt to then emerging and rapidly changing COVID 19 guidance and regulations.

Basing our response on a review of the Government advice within the ‘Keeping workers and customers safe during COVID-19’ series of guidance documents and feedback from our business advisers, Blue Orchid submitted a project proposal. Under this proposal Blue Orchid agreed to deliver a complete end-to-end grant management project comprising;
• Programme, process and systems development
• Launch and marketing
• Client engagement & recruitment
• Application processing and client support
• Application appraisal & due diligence
• Grant claim processing and payment
• Monitoring & reporting

The proposed programme recommended a small grant programme providing grants of up to 80% of purchase costs (maximum value of £5,000) to the Cheshire & Warrington SMEs to support the purchase of items that would commonly fall under the falling types;

  • Support home & remote working
  • Physical Equipment & Building Modifications
  • Mobile ordering and payment systems
  • Handheld Order/Point-of-Sales & Kitchen Display equipment

Following a successful initial phase the LEP decided in October 2020 to increase the Covid Restructure Grant Fund by a further £1m and asked Blue Orchid to submit a proposal to deliver this significantly larger project which resulted in the creation of a £1.4m grant fund in total.

Requirements of the Brief 

As part of the contract conditions Blue Orchid is required to appoint an independent consultant to conduct an evaluation/audit of the programme who will examine the claims submitted for the project duration and carry out a review comprising;

  • Selection of a random sample of eligible expenditure incurred by value as reported on the claims and traced them to invoices or other supporting documentation and evidence of payment to check that they have been properly incurred and defrayed in accordance with the terms and conditions of the Grant
  • Verification of the outputs claimed by the project and checked that there is adequate supporting information available to support these claims;
  • Confirmation of the arithmetical accuracy of the schedules relating to the claims and agreed them to the appropriate supporting documentation and review of whether the grant claimed by the Organisation has been calculated in accordance with the terms and conditions of the Grant Offer Letter;
  • Confirmation that any State Aid implications have been considered and compliance with Public Procurement Legislation has occurred

Click here to download the full specification, tender response form & associated documents

Deadline for Responses has been extended to : 17 June 2022 before 5:00PM

Budget:  £15,000 

Blue Orchid Secures contract to deliver start-up support services across Greater Birmingham & Solihull LEP area

Blue Orchid is pleased to announce it has been awarded the recently tendered Enterprise Development and Growth contract to deliver Business start-up support and mentoring services within the Greater Birmingham & Solihull Area.

Provided under the GBSLEP wide business support programme Enterprise for Success Blue Orchid has successfully delivered business start-up support services across the area since 2016 in partnership with Birmingham City Library, Prince’s Trust and Birmingham City University. This new contract means that Blue Orchid will be the principle provider of start-up and early stage business support services for a population of 835,000 across Solihull, Cannock Chase, East Staffordshire, Lichfield, Tamworth, Bromsgrove, Redditch, Wyre Forest from April 2022.

Reacting to the contract awards Frazer Kearney, Blue Orchid Director stated, ‘We are exceptionally proud of the business start-up services we have provided to entrepreneurs within the Enterprise for Success Programme for many years and delighted to be able to both continue offering our programme of high quality masterclasses, seminars and one-to-one mentoring and our plans to introduce new innovations into our E4S delivery including launching our Not Just Networking Club in the area and increased use of multimedia platforms such as LinkedIn live and Facebook streamed session.’

For further information on the services, eligibility criteria and how to engage with the Enterprise For Success programme visit www.enterpriseforsuccess.co.uk

Tender Opportunity – Video Case study production – Extended Deadline

The Cheshire & Warrington Access to Finance & SME Grant Service delivered by Blue Orchid, Cheshire West & Cheshire Council & Warrington & Co is an ERDF project which provides a range of services to SME across Cheshire & Warrington including a financial grant towards the implementation of a consultancy project which will facilitate growth and employment within the SME.

To date 30 SMES have been awarded grant funding and either completed or are currently implementing consultancy-based projects which will lead to significant increases in their future growth and turnover.

Part of our goals for the project is to highlight and promote Blue Orchid & our partners delivery of SME Grant Management Services and the impact of the European Regional Development Funding which supported the project. Video content is a key enabler to highlight the impact of public funding to support SMEs and to help market our organisation and its programme management delivery.

We require a suitably experienced marketing agency/videographer to produce a number of high-quality video case studies featuring interviews with the grant recipient, the consultant appointed to deliver the project and the Blue Orchid Grant Manager/Director and including on-site filming if the clients business.

PLEASE NOTE THE DEADLINE FOR THIS OPPORTUNITY HAS BEEN EXTENDED TO 5th MAY 2022

Full details of the tender specification and response from can be downloaded here

Blue Orchid seeking Finance & Business Planning Consultants to deliver Access to Finance support to SMEs

The Cheshire & Warrington Access to Finance & SME Grant Service (run by Blue Orchid Enterprise Solutions Ltd) delivered by Blue Orchid, Cheshire West & Cheshire Council & Warrington & Co is an ERDF project which provides a range of services to SME across Cheshire & Warrington including.

1. 33% financial grant towards the implementation of a consultancy project which will facilitate growth and employment within the SME.
2. A programme of Access to Finance seminars and workshops
3. 1-2-1 consultancy to small businesses seeking advice and guidance to support an application for financial investment (approx. 2 days) .i.e. Business loan application, British Business Bank/Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund Debt Micro-finance, etc.

Blue Orchid is seeking consultants with expertise in finance & businesses planning to provide the 1-2-1 investment application support to Cheshire SMEs under strand 3 of the programme.

Download the the full specification and details on how to apply here.

Blue Orchid – Tender Opportunities – Update

Please note that due to internal capacity issues the evaluation of the following tenders has been delayed;

  • Procurement Opportunity – Provision of Stationery & Office Supplies
  • Procurement Opportunity – IT Support and MS Licences
  • Procurement Opportunity – Venue Hire Across Cheshire & Warrington

If you have submitted a tender document you will be informed of the result by email when evaluation has been completed.

 

New Job Opportunities

We are currently looking at taking on a number of roles to work on our Cheshire and Warrington area delivery.  Please find details of the posts we are recruiting for below.  Please note, these roles are part funded by the European Regional Development Fund.

 

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Job Role: Business Growth Advisor

Summary of the role: The Business Growth Advisor will be responsible for the delivery of the Cheshire and Warrington Access to Finance and Grant programme

Job and person specification click here

Salary: Circa £40kpa

Job Ref: BOES20-03

How to apply: Please send a copy of your most recent CV and a covering letter to; p.ward@blueorchid.co.uk

Deadline for applications: 31st July 2020 5pm

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Job Role: Administrator

Summary of the role: To provide administrative support ensuring accuracy and attention to compliance and quality of data inputting adopting a holistic approach from enquiry to completion of contract.

Job and person specification click here

Salary: Circa £21k

Job Ref: BOES20-04

How to apply: Please send a copy of your most recent CV and a covering letter to; p.ward@blueorchid.co.uk

Deadline for applications: 31st July 2020 5pm

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Procurement Opportunity – IT Support and MS Licences

As advertised on the UK Government Contract Finder Portal (https://www.contractsfinder.service.gov.uk) Blue Orchid is seeking a supplier of IT Support and MS Licences to ensure that we can continue to meet the needs of our customers and have a robust IT system.

In order to achieve this, we require an organisation to provide IT support as follows:

• Provision of standard 9-5 support for in house and remote users
• Number of users expected is to be 25
• Pro-active monitoring of systems and full preventative support and maintenance
• Provision of emergency out of hours support – dedicated number/team
• Full Back Up and Mirroring of Servers / PCs / Laptops
• Microsoft Certification
• Anti-Virus provisioning, with full preventative support and maintenance
• Full account management reporting each quarter
• Support to maintain GDPR compliance
• RMM Software
• Hardware and Software upgrades
• Pro-active Internet monitoring and Support
• 24-month Term Contract, with annual performance review with 24-month renewal options, or until the ERDF project ends

Additionally we require the provider to manage the monthly subscription of our MS Office Premium Licences and MS CRM Dynamic Customer Service Enterprise licences and provide a monthly licence cost for each.
The successful tenderer(s) will be required to provide management information to meet the needs of Blue Orchid including evidence that they are be Cyber Essentials Certified or ISO/IEC 27001 certified. If required, you will be asked to submit a security plan that explains how you will ensure that Blue Orchid or personnel data will be protected.

Note: Blue Orchid currently has a provider of ICT Support Services including the winning provider will be required to liaise with the provider and ensure a seamless transition.

Details of the tender specification & tender response documentation can be accessed here

Clarification queries & responses can be accessed here

Blue Orchids standard supplier terms & conditions can be accessed here 

Closing date: 28 July 2020

These goods and services will in part be used to support the delivery of a project funded through the European Regional Development Fund