Seafox Management Consultants Ltd
Office F6
The Enterprise Village
Prince Albert Gardens
Grimsby
N.E. Lincs
DN31 3AT

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Our Blog

Posted By: Leanda Ashley

MY FIRST IMPRESSIONS OF FUNDING

 

I joined Seafox Management Consultants as their Commercial Executive in November 2013, with very little knowledge about Grants and Funding. In the last three months however, I have had plenty of exposure and in this week’s blog, I would like to share with you my thoughts and first impressions on my personal experience of the very interesting and exciting ‘World of Funding!’

The first surprise to me was the variety and the amount of Investors and Grant Giving Bodies that are available….there’s lots! and also how they provide assistance to such a variety of sectors from Charities to Tourism to Education to Seafood Processing & more besides! It is so vast.

I feel it is so positive and encouraging of exactly how much is on offer and how Seafox and our Director of Funding & Grants, Liz Baghurst, http://www.linkedin.com/pub/liz-baghurst/19/1b/463 can assist to support organisations in achieving their growth and in some cases, survival plans.

Here at Seafox, we receive calls from potential clients requiring our expert advice on a daily basis. Clients find us through referrals, our webpage and social media activity (see below) or through reading about us in the local business journals. We also find organisations to match the funds we have. An important part of my role is the weekly scanning and researching of new grants that are available or about to become available, that will benefit certain sectors. I quickly produce a marketing 'flyer' and share this with our immediate network including Banks, Accountants, Public & Private Sector bodies and the sectors concerned are also informed of new funding available that we feel could assist them and make a difference.

I particularly think it is great how much funding and grants have helped some of the charities in our area. We have past success stories and are constantly working on bids with charitable organisations too. It is wonderful to see what a difference the funding makes in order to enable them to provide services that make a real difference (and are often vital) to local people’s lives.

I have also found the Research and Development Grants quite interesting as the end result is that they stimulate innovation which is very positive for the future and our future generations.

I’ve accompanied Liz Baghurst to various meetings with our clients. I have found it so exciting to hear their plans and it is very motivational in wanting to assist them to create and achieve their plans and the knowing that if successful, it will improve areas, potentially create jobs and overall provide a better future for our local area and make it more sustainable.

Depending on which Funding clients are going for, the application process can be lengthy but if successful, the end result is worth it.

I love my job at Seafox Management Consultants and I am looking forward to being involved in helping our clients in 2014.

Leanda Ashley

Email:                  leanda@seafox.no

Twitter:                @LeandaAshley1

LinkedIn:             http://www.linkedin.com/pub/leanda-ashley/7a/680/8bb

Posted By: Catherine Moonan

PITCH PERFECT IN 60 SECONDS

 

Why a 60 second pitch?

As part of the training I provide, I help high-tech potential start-ups to prepare and perfect their pitch. I had a small group one particular day and I was able to spend time individually on a 10-minute, 5-minute and 60 second pitch. I met one of the participants, Mark, a few months afterwards, and he said that he had used the 60 second pitch at least 5 or 6 times since the training. It was definitely the most valuable for him. He is currently in the final stages of securing a significant investment for his technology start-up.

The 60 second pitch is also known as the elevator pitch. If you imagine getting into an elevator with a potential investor or client, you have roughly 60 seconds before reaching the top floor, or before at least one of you needs to get out. It’s a short time to make a good impression, but it’s all the time you have.

What’s in a 60 second pitch?

You need a wow opening that’s going to grab the attention of your audience straight away. This could be a question, a bold fact or statement, or even a quote! However, it needs to be relevant. Your pitch will change according to your audience. It’s not a one size fits all. You need to connect with your audience, not just logically, but emotionally. Our psyche is made up of 10% logic and 90% emotion. There’s an old saying ‘people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel’.

Think of your pitch like a story you would tell to a friend. Make it unique. Make it your own. Don’t learn it off by heart. If you enjoy delivering your pitch, others will enjoy hearing it.

I suggest dividing your pitch into three main umbrella headings that have a logical flow, where A leads to B leads to C. People tend to remember things in threes. There should be a smooth transition between points. You need to take the listener by the hand, so to speak, and help them to follow your train of thought. This could be a problem you encountered, for example, followed by a solution you came up with, followed by the market you’re targeting.

Your sentences should be made up of short, sharp sound bites which you will use for your radio interview at a later stage! Finally, bring the story full-circle. Close your pitch by overlapping with a reference to what you opened with, as well as a call to action. What’s the next stage for the person you’re pitching to? What do you want them to do?

 

Good Luck and Happy Pitching!

Catherine Moonan, Communication Matters

Posted By: Simon Dwyer

INVESTING IN SEAFOOD AND OUR SURVIVAL

 

Towards the end of 2013 I participated with colleagues from the North Atlantic Seafood forum in the Seafood Investors Forum organised by IntraFish media and sponsored by DNB. IntraFish Media is the world's leading seafood news and information provider and DNB is Norway's largest financial services group.

 

I'll share with you in the most succinct way as possible my numerous notes that I scribbled down on my note pad. The world we live in will see 9 billion people by 2050 and the battle is on today to ensure these people are fed and watered. Whether it's supply energy, carbon capture, water, Agri produce and seafood the challenge is on to crate the supply for demand. The McKinsey organisation are looking at this in an integrated way and not with silo thinking. For instance the links between our Agri business and our ever growing need for supply of biofuels for energy purposes. This demand on our resources will be driven year by year by the prosperity countries like China and India will enjoy and in years to come emerging countries in Africa. I scribbled down today's middle class with a middles class dietary requirement as being 1.8 billon people and that will grow to 4.8 billion. The future demand on our land to grow crops is mind boggling as is the feed supply for our protein. Cattle require approx 8kgs of feed to produce 1kg of beef - salmon only requires approx 1.5kg of feed to produce the equivalent.

 

Global fisheries is a $220Bn business employing 55 million people and providing 15% of the world's protein. It also received $30Bn in subsidises of which, only a small amount finds its way into r&d and innovation for this sector. Interestingly, Seafox has today several r&d and innovation funds available for this sector both in Grimsby & The Humber and unfortunately there is little uptake from businesses to take the next steps to meet the future demand and competitive environment we operate in.

 

The conference was about investing and some of the leading global players who invest in fisheries and aquaculture (which by the way will meet our future demands for more seafood and out grow the wild catch sector) were in attendance and presenting their story about the seafood industry. A Private Equity panel of experts x 4 were, I roughly calculated, controlling well over $5Bn of investment funds in this global sector. Anything from having stakes in established seafood businesses in Norway or Americas to aquaculture farms in Africa (and growing !).

 

Coming home to our local seafood processing cluster in Grimsby and our enormous appetite for seafood raw material to service and process circa 70% of the UK's seafood demand it struck me how when one speaker listed the top 10 global seafood businesses how intrinsically linked we are to ensuing the demand on global capacity doesn't impact the demand on the UK's capacity and its reliance on Grimsby & Humber's seafood processing gift.

 

 

Food for thought that needs action now...........

 

 

 

Posted By: Liz Baghurst

NEW YEAR AND NEW FUNDS!         

Happy New Year one and all! We are returning to business fully charged and ready for 2014. We are expecting another busy and action-packed year in Seafox, with a wealth of new opportunities and challenges.

2014 is an important year for Europe. We will see the launch of a new wave of European Funds for the UK with €6 billion to be invested by 2020 in programmes specifically for England.  The top themes emerging for these funds are: innovation, support for small business, low carbon, skills, employment and social inclusion. This will also bring the launch of specific programmes which are important for key industry sectors such as the newly re-branded European Marine Fisheries Fund and the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD) providing specific funds for seafood and rural/agri sectors respectively.   

Whilst this is business as usual for the EU, in the UK we expect to see a shift towards greater devolution, simplification and streamlining of European Funding together with national funds and the realisation of a ‘single pot’ called the Growth Fund. The private-sector driven Local Enterprise Partnerships are working with central Government to implement arrangements for delivering EU funds. For anyone with experience of working with EU funding, the administration that goes with these programmes is not for the faint hearted but the spirit of this move is encouraging and the ethos that EU funds will more closely reflect local priorities and issues is a welcome move.

The practicalities of managing audit requirements will become clearer as the programmes get underway. We envisage there will be a need to support organisations including charities, businesses and public sector bodies to engage with these programmes by offering the benefit of our EU specialist knowledge and expertise.

Summer 2014 will see the launch of Round 6 of the Regional Growth Fund, possibly the last round before the next election. As the Government perceives that the RGF available for small businesses is well catered for by the nationwide funds and individual LEP programmes, it is likely the focus will be on large private sector projects. We have delivered 3 successful RGF ‘large’ grants to the national fund and 20+ to local programmes in the last year. Towards the latter stages of 2014 and heading towards 2015 we will better understand the impact these funds have made under successive rounds RGF. We have seen the difference they have made for some our clients in helping to incentivise development but the processes could be slicker.

Another exciting and challenging year in prospect for Seafox and we will be there in the heart of the action delivering success for our clients.