Back in the 90s Plusnet began life as a small, Sheffield based, startup company; it’s now transformed into a successful nationwide internet and home phone provider, employing over 850 staff from its Yorkshire base. In recognition of its roots, Plusnet has teamed up with dotforge, an initiative which supports startup businesses in the UK by providing mentors and business master classes for young entrepreneurs. Plusnet’s CEO, Jamie Ford and Head of Business, Nick Silverwood, amongst other Plusnetters, have given their time to become mentors for the project. They’ve volunteered and given their expert advice to young business people in Sheffield and have invited dotforge participants into Plusnet’s offices, enabling them to gain a first-hand view of a rapidly growing business. Reflecting on his experience as a dotforge mentor, Nick commented:
“It’s been an inspirational experience getting to know young business people as part of the dotforge project. “Working alongside them has helped me, in particular, to gain insight into some of the challenges experienced by new businesses which is something I now have more empathy with when working with our own customers who are just starting out in the commercial world.”
Alongside supporting startup businesses through dotforge, Plusnet has also recently pledged to back small British companies through a refresh of its specially tailored business broadband and phone products. Plusnet Business services provide great value, reliable and high quality phone and broadband solutions with the aim of enhancing performance for small to medium enterprises. Whether it be for a home worker, a business with a handful of employees or more a established company, Plusnet’s Business services can really give new and growing companies and edge.
Meet some of the dotforge participants
Ben Gibbs, Tom Pepper and Laura Baines came together earlier in 2013 to set up Flowify, a hospitality workflow solutions company. Flowify is just one of five teams that joined the dotforge initiative earlier in 2013 and has since completed a series of crash courses and tutorials; from budgeting to pitching for new clients. The 13 week dotforge programme has taken them through everything they are likely to encounter throughout a typical year in business. Ben and Laura have been mentored by Plusnet’s very own CEO, Jamie Ford. Ben commented:
“I really clicked with Jamie and found him a great person to bounce ideas off. He gave me his honest opinion on ideas of how our company could progress and it was helpful to have the view of someone from outside our business to help guide our decision making. “
“Jamie gave me some really useful practical advice on things like how to put together a successful presentation and how to speak in front of large groups of people. “It’s been a pleasure to work alongside him and to learn from someone who has progressed to such a high level in business.”
The next opportunity to apply to be part of the dotforge programme opens up later on this month and you can keep up to date with the latest news and updates from the initiative by following them on twitter @dotforge.