Effect Project Boosts Blaenau Gwent Business

ENGLISH

Aspiring passionate entrepreneurs are being helped to achieve their dreams through a Valleys initiative giving them support from a team of local experts and an Enterprise Facilitator.
Fledgeling companies in Blaenau Gwent, Torfaen, Merthyr Tydfil and Bridgend are being supported by a network of professionals from the private, public and voluntary sectors with skills ranging from accountancy to marketing. In excess of 100 jobs have been created over the past four years and 77 new businesses and social enterprises have started up in Blaenau Gwent supported by the Effect (Enterprise Facilitation for effective community transformation) project.
Welsh Government provides funding for the Effect project via the Business Wales Team - and The Communities First project.
Ebbw Vale based company ‘Innovation Makers’ – are pioneering an ultra-lightweight and compact baby and toddler stroller that transforms quickly to be carried like a backpack - the award-winning new enterprise is just one of the companies that have benefited from Effect Blaenau Gwent support.
The success of ‘Innovation Makers’ – who are currently seeking further investors in the second round of crowd-funding so that they can launch the stroller on national and international markets - means they are planning an expansion to create a further eight to ten jobs in Blaenau Gwent.
“There are lots of people out there with great ideas who don't know how to progress them, need help in finance or have difficulties with effective marketing,” said Effect Blaenau Gwent Enterprise Facilitator Moe Forouzan.
"We introduce them to our panel, made up of local volunteers with a range of expertise, and we see what we can do to help them. Our aim is to build a robust economy where enterprise can flourish and where local businesses can develop and grow helping to create jobs and transform lives.”
The founder of Enterprise Facilitation Dr Ernesto Sirolli devised a new way for local communities to support and help would-be entrepreneurs and existing small and medium sized business in 1985. Since then, Dr Sirolli has helped more than 250 communities worldwide adopt Enterprise Facilitation with Effect Blaenau Gwent the first project to do so in Wales.
Effect Blaenau Gwent involves an 80-strong panel of local volunteers who meet regularly to hear about the challenges facing entrepreneurs and business enterprises, to listen to their requests for support and to come up with positive proposals that will help and assist.
“We meet clients wherever they want - often in cafés and other public places - so that the setting is informal and the environment is right for them,” Moe Forouzan added. “Everything discussed is confidential and trust between us is paramount.
“Since we started Effect, we’ve found that it helps communities to approach problems in a business-like manner, stimulates local passion and creativity to develop businesses that create jobs and produces visible success stories providing a tangible demonstration of what can be achieved to others in the community.
“We are proud that we have brought diversity to the local economy and created a local network that has helped build a new enterprise community and shares entrepreneurial know-how.”
The latest Effect success story is that of Innovation Makers, founded by Markus and Samantha Warwick, whose OmniO Rider baby and toddler stroller is planned for launch in 2016.
Weighing under 6kg, the “OmniO Rider” is one of the lightest strollers available and the first to market with omni-directional wheels to replace traditional castor wheels for more agile steering and the flexibility to choose between front or rear wheel steering.
Two special features are the way it can be quickly and easily folded up to an ultra-compact 50x40x20cm and how it's adjustable and padded shoulder harness allow it to be carried in ‘backpack mode’.
Markus and Samantha Warwick came up with the idea after searching in vain for a stroller that took up minimal space in the home and car and was light enough to take travelling without having to think twice.
The OmniO Rider won both the Baby Products Association's “Innovation Award” for 2015 and the “British Invention of the Year” at the Gadget Show Live British Inventors’ Project Award 2015.
Innovation Makers was supported by Effect Blaenau Gwent who helped the Warwicks set up a base for development work, fund-raising, prototype commissioning and launch planning at the Ebbw Vale Innovation Centre.
Samantha Warwick said: “We couldn’t have got as far as quickly without the help of Moe and Effect. Moe is backed up by a very experienced resource panel whose members are very willing to help a company like ours achieve its growth potential. Moe understands our passion for our innovative product and he then connects us with other parties who share our vision to help regenerate the local area through job creation.”
Enterprise Facilitator Moe Forouzan added, “Our volunteer resource panel was hugely impressed by Markus and Samantha Warwick and how they came up with a stunning idea and then turned it into an internationally marketable product.
“As with all our clients, it’s been a privilege to work with them in a spirit of enterprise and community – and we are sure that Innovation Makers can bring more success to our resurgent local economies.”
Councillor Graham Bartlett, Executive Member for Economy said:
“We are pleased BG Effect has supported this innovative project through the Enterprise Facilitation programme. To compliment the Effect project we also provided Innovation Makers with financial support from the South East Wales Local Investment Fund (SEWLIF) administered via the Economic Development Unit at Blaenau Gwent Council”.
“We welcome such an exciting project to Blaenau Gwent with the potential to create local jobs and economic prosperity ”.
• If you live in Blaenau Gwent and have a great business idea but need some help with it, call Moe on 07554 423267, email moe@bgeffect.com
• To find out more about Innovation Makers and the OmniO Rider stroller, visit the website at www.innovationmakers.co.uk

CYMRAEG

Mae darpar entrepreneuriaid angerddol yn cael help i gyflawni eu breuddwydion drwy gynllun yn y Cymoedd sy'n rhoi cefnogaeth gan dîm o arbenigwyr lleol a Hwylusydd Menter.
Caiff egin gwmnïau ym Mlaenau Gwent, Torfaen, Merthyr Tudful a Phen-y-bont ar Ogwr eu cefnogi gan rwydwaith o weithwyr proffesiynol o'r sector preifat, y sector cyhoeddus a'r sector gwirfoddol gyda sgiliau'n amrywio o gyfrifeg i farchnata. Cafodd dros 100 swyddi eu creu dros y pedair blynedd ddiwethaf ac mae 77 o fusnesau newydd a mentrau cymdeithasol wedi cychwyn ym Mlaenau Gwent gyda chefnogaeth gan brosiect Effect ('Enterprise Facilitation for Effective Community Transformation').
Mae Llywodraeth Cymru yn darparu cyllid ar gyfer prosiect Effect drwy dîm Busnes Cymru a phrosiect Cymunedau yn Gyntaf.
Mae cwmni 'Innovation Makers' o Lynebwy wedi arloesi gyda chadair wthio fechan ac ysgafn iawn y gellir ei haddasu yn gyflym i gael ei chario fel sach gefn - mae'r fenter newydd wedi ennill gwobrau ac yn un o blith y cwmnïau a fanteisiodd o gefnogaeth Effect Blaenau Gwent.
Mae llwyddiant 'Innovation Makers - sydd wrthi'n edrych am fwy o fuddsoddwyr mewn ail gylch o gyllid tyrfa fel y gallant lansio'r gadair wthio ar farchnadoedd cenedlaethol a rhyngwladol - yn golygu eu bod yn cynllunio ehangu i greu wyth i ddeg o swyddi pellach ym Mlaenau Gwent.
"Mae llawer o bobl allan yna gyda syniadau gwych ond nad ydynt yn gwybod sut i'w datblygu, sydd angen help gyda chyllid neu sy'n cael anawsterau gyda marchnata effeithlon," meddai Moe Forouzan, Hwylusydd Menter Blaenau Gwent.
"Rydym yn eu cyflwyno i'n panel, sy'n cynnwys gwirfoddolwyr lleol, gydag amrywiaeth o arbenigedd a gweld beth allwn ei wneud i'w helpu. Ein nod yw adeiladu economi cadarn lle gall menter ffynnu a lle gall busnesau lleol ddatblygu a thyfu gan helpu i greu swyddi a thrawsnewid bywydau."
Lluniodd Dr Ernesto Sirolli, sefydlydd Hwyluso Menter, ffordd newydd ar gyfer cymunedau lleol i gefnogi a helpu darpar entrepreneuriaid a busnesau bach a chanolig presennol yn 1985. Ers hynny mae Dr Sirolli wedi helpu mwy na 250 o gymunedau ym mhob rhan o'r byd i fabwysiadu Hwyluso Menter gyda Effect Blaenau Gwent y prosiect cyntaf i wneud hynny yng Nghymru.
Mae Effect Blaenau Gwent yn cynnwys panel o 80 o wirfoddolwyr lleol sy'n cwrdd yn gyson i glywed am yr heriau sy'n wynebu entrepreneuriaid a mentrau busnes, i wrando ar eu ceisiadau am gefnogaeth ac i lunio cynigion cadarnhaol fydd yn helpu a chynorthwyo.
"Rydym yn cwrdd â chleientiaid ble bynnag y dymunant - yn aml mewn caffes a mannau cyhoeddus eraill - fel bod y gosodiad yn anffurfiol a'r amgylchedd yn iawn iddyn nhw," ychwanegodd Moe Forouzan. "Caiff popeth ei drin yn gyfrinachol ac mae ymddiriedaeth rhyngom yn hollbwysig.
"Ers i ni sefydlu Effect, rydym wedi canfod ei fod yn helpu cymunedau i drin problemau mewn modd proffesiynol, gan ysgogi angerdd a chreadigrwydd lleol i ddatblygu busnesau sy'n creu swyddi ac yn cynhyrchu straeon llwyddiant amlwg gan roi arddangosiad diriaethol o'r hyn y gellir ei gyflawni i eraill yn y gymuned.
"Rydym yn falch ein bod wedi dod ag amrywiaeth i'r economi lleol ac wedi creu rhwydwaith lleol sydd wedi helpu i adeiladu cymuned fenter newydd a rhannu dirnadaeth entrepreneuraidd."
Stori lwyddiant ddiweddaraf Effect yw Innovation Makers, a sefydlwyd gan Markus a Samantha Warwick, y bwriedir lansio eu cadair wthio babanod OmniO Rider yn 2016.
Gan bwyso dan 6kg, mae'r "OmniO Rider" yn un o'r cadeiriau gwthio ysgafnaf sydd ar gael a'r cyntaf i fod ar y farchnad gydag olwynion aml-gyfeiriad yn hytrach nag olwynion castor traddodiadol i roi llywio mwy ystwyth a hyblygrwydd i ddewis rhwng llywio olwyn flaen neu olwyn gefn.
Dwy nodwedd arbennig yw'r ffordd y gellir ei phlygu'n gyflym ac yn rhwydd i becyn 40x40x20cm hylaw iawn a sut y mae ei harnais ysgwydd addasadwy, sydd wedi'i glustogi, yn ei gwneud yn bosibl ei chario fel pecyn cefn.
Cafodd Markus a Samantha Warwick y syniad ar ôl edrych yn ofer am gadair wthio nag yw'n mynd â fawr o le yn y cartref a'r car ac yn ddigon ysgafn i fynd â hi i deithio heb orfod meddwl ddwywaith.
Enillodd yr OmniO Rider "Wobr Arloesedd" y Gymdeithas Cynnyrch Babanod yn 2015 a hefyd "Ddyfais Brydeinig y Flwyddyn" yng Ngwobrau Prosiect Dyfeiswyr Prydeinig Gadget Show Live 2015.
Cefnogwyd Innovation Makers gan Effect Blaenau Gwent a helpodd y teulu Warwick i sefydlu sylfaen ar gyfer gwaith datblygu, codi arian, comisiynu prototeip a lansio cynllunio yng Nghanolfan Arloesedd Glynebwy.
Dywedodd Samantha Warwick: "Fedrem ni ddim fod wedi mynd mor bell mor gyflym heb help Moe ac Effect. Mae gan Moe gefnogaeth panel adnoddau profiadol iawn y mae ei aelodau'n barod iawn i helpu cwmni fel ni i gyflawni ei botensial ar gyfer twf. Mae Moe'n deall ein hangerdd am ein cynnyrch blaengar ac mae wedyn yn cysylltu â ni gydag eraill sy'n rhannu ein gweledigaeth i helpu adfywio'r ardal leol drwy greu swyddi."
Ychwanegodd yr Hwylusydd Menter Moe Forouzan: "Fe wnaeth Markus a Samantha Warwick a'r ffordd y cawsant syniad hynod ac wedyn ei droi'n gynnyrch y medrir ei farchnata'n rhyngwladol argraff fawr ar ein panel adnoddau gwirfoddol.
"Fel gyda’n cleientiaid i gyd, bu'n fraint gweithio gyda nhw mewn ysbryd o fenter a chymuned - ac rydym yn sicr y gall Innovation Makers ddod â mwy o lwyddiant i'r adfywiad yn ein heconomïau lleol."
Dywedodd y Cynghorydd Graham Bartlett, Aelod Gweithredol dros yr Economi:
"Rydym yn falch fod BG Effect wedi cefnogi'r prosiect blaengar yma drwy'r rhaglen Hwyluso Menter. I ategu’r prosiect Effect rydym hefyd wedi rhoi cefnogaeth ariannol i Innovation Makers gan Gronfa Fuddsoddi Leol De Ddwyrain Cymru a gaiff ei gweinyddu gan Uned Datblygu Economaidd Cyngor Blaenau Gwent.
"Rydym yn croesawu prosiect mor gyffrous i Flaenau Gwent gyda'r potensial i greu swyddi lleol a ffyniant economaidd".
• Os ydych yn byw ym Mlaenau Gwent a bod gennych syniad busnes gwych ond angen help gydag ef, ffoniwch Moe ar 07554 423267, e-bost moe@bgeffect.com
• Mae mwy o wybodaeth am Innovation Makers a chadair wthio OmniO Rider ar gael ar wefan www.innovationmakers.co.uk