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Wednesday 03 October 2018
by Jackie Emson

Meet the Member - Paul Ward from Blue Orchid Enterprise Solutions Ltd

• Name of Business Blue Orchid Enterprise Solutions Ltd

• Who are you? Paul Ward, Director • What sets you apart from the competition? We work hard to ensure that the services we provide are practical and bespoke and has the maximum impact. Nothing is off the shelf with regards to our service and no one client has the same journey/ experience.

• How did the business come about? 16 years ago, the founding director was working for another business support provider as a bid writer. He decided that he could write the bids for himself and bring a more personal service to how he would design the contracts to make them more customer friendly and bespoke. He took the brave step of actually leaving regular employed work and 16 years later, Blue Orchid is still in business offering business support services which puts the clients at the centre of all its decision making.

• What are your main target markets? Varies massively depending on the area we are talking about. In Cheshire and Warrington, we are looking for all established businesses looking at growth who need support with either advice or grant funding. • How long has your business been in existence? Since 2001

• How many staff do you employ? Local to Cheshire; 5, with other teams across the North West and Midlands.

• What job or achievement makes you most proud? I am most proud of the members of our team who have been in position for quite a long time who go the extra mile for their clients. You can write all the mission statements and client charters you like, but getting the right staff who genuinely enjoy the work they do are the ones who really make your customer experience come alive. I am always grateful we have such a dedicated team of business advisors and back office staff who care about making a difference with our clients.

• Where do you see the business being in five years? We hope that in addition to continuing our successful delivery of Start-up and small business programmes across the North West and Midlands, we will have expanded delivery into neighbouring areas in Staffordshire, Lancashire and Greater Manchester; alongside successfully launching the new programmes we’re developing to provide intensive support to Scale-up businesses, helping SMEs improve energy efficiency and reduce CO2 emissions and expand our online support services.

• Why Warrington? We have worked in Warrington for nearly 8 years now. We started off delivering a local business start-up for the Local Authority, have since then run the Cheshire and Warrington Growth Hub and now operate a grant programme to help local businesses purchase the right support they need to unlock growth. Having worked across many local authority areas, the buzz and collaboration between private and public sector bodies in Warrington is enviable and makes for an exciting area to be involved in.

• Tell us one interesting thing about the business that might surprise us? Despite the company name, we don’t offer any Thai or Chinese take away food

• Tell us one interesting thing about you that people might not know? (ie, hobbies, amusing fact, etc) When I was younger, I appeared on TV in several shows and adverts!

• Brexit – good, bad, opportunity? Without the details of the final trading relationship with the EU it’s difficult to say what the final impact on the economy will be. In relation to our business and economy across Cheshire & Warrington and the North more widely we are concerned that our exit from EU structural funding will mean that the UK may spend less on regeneration and economic development and that the money that is available will become subject to the political intentions and priorities of the government of the day.

• Fantasy dinner party – which six people alive or dead would you invite? Derren Brown to talk psychology Martin Scorsese - to talk about the film industry Bill Gates – to talk about business Albert Einstein – to talk about innovation Frank Sinatra – to sing some classics Kristin Wiig – to lighten the mood