New businesses in the Leeds City Region are being offered six months’ free advice in a scheme run by Leeds Beckett University.

Accelerate is aimed at businesses under three years old who have ambition to grow. It is being run in collaboration with AD:VENTURE, a business support programme for new businesses in North and West Yorkshire.

The Accelerate programme brings together masterclasses, weekly webinars, one to one support and advice on grants and funding. It is due to start at the beginning of March, with some of the content delivered face-to-face in Leeds and other parts being online.

Participants are offered up to 15 hours of mentoring, as well as access to graduate talent via recruitment, internships, placements and opportunities to collaborate on the university’s research projects.

It is the eighth time the programme has been run by Leeds Beckett and among those to have previously benefited is Janice George-Pinard, from Bradford, who runs Way2BetterBusiness Coaching. Janice attended all the events and was given a mentor. She has since gained several new clients.

Janice said: “It has helped me structure my business better. It helped me think about all of the different aspects and look at them individually and then see how they fit into the bigger picture. I saw how everything is aligned and alignment is so important in business.

“My mentor really helped me restructure my time too. What time I should spend on strategy; what time I should spend on delivery of the service, and what time I should spend on marketing the business. And how many clients I can actually take on, so that I don’t become overwhelmed.”

The weekly webinars cover topics including developing a business model, finance, marketing and sales. There is also access to a library of resources and the chance for participants to network with other entrepreneurs.

George Lancaster, SME programme manager at Leeds Beckett University, said: “Accelerate offers flexible support for people starting out in business. It helps keep them on track to achieve their goals.

“The aim of the programme is to give people the core building blocks to understand how to grow and develop their business, particularly in the new business landscape. Ultimately it is about businesses succeeding and creating jobs, which is great for the regional economy.”

Although Accelerate is based in Leeds, it is open to eligible businesses from across the Leeds City Region.

AD:VENTURE is part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). As well as the ERDF and Leeds Beckett University, AD:VENTURE’s funding and delivery partners include the region’s nine local authorities, Leeds Trinity University, the Business Enterprise Fund, and West and North Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce.