Doncaster entrepreneurs get off to a flying start with business support and grant funding

The Enterprise Chest Grant scheme, funded by the Community Renewal Fund, was set up primarily to encourage and assist local entrepreneurial activity.

The Enterprise Chest Grant scheme was set up last year by Business Doncaster primarily to encourage and assist local entrepreneurial activity. Funded by the Community Renewal Fund, a nationwide government programme supporting the national COVID-19 pandemic, the grant (up to £1000) provided welcome financial support for new start businesses.

The Wool Den

The Wool Den, a yarn and craft shop located within the Yorkshire Hive at the Yorkshire Wildlife Park is one of the businesses that benefited from the scheme.

The Wool Den, owned by Lianne Hayes opened its doors in 2021 when Lianne realised her dream and started her own crafting business. Her aim is to encourage people to try something new, whilst promoting sustainably sourced yarns and craft materials with environmentally friendly pedigrees. Following a career working for the police, Lianne decided that she wanted to turn her hobby into a business so whilst working in Guest Services at the Yorkshire Wildlife Park (YWP), Lianne discovered the Yorkshire Hive, a new shopping and entertainment venture at YWP. It seemed too good an opportunity to miss and she decided it would make the perfect location for the Wool Den.

Lianne heard about the Enterprise Chest Grant Scheme from her Launchpad Business Adviser. She applied and was successful in receiving the grant which she used to help grow her brand, using marketing to raise the profile of her shop. She also created new window displays that would appeal to a more diverse audience. Leanne said: “The Wool Den opened at a time when there was a lot of building work going on at the Hive and it was not clear to visitors that the shop was open. The Enterprise Chest Grant helped me draw in more customers and helped me to move from a start-up business to an established shop at the heart of a trendy retail destination.” Leanne is now developing her website and wants to focus on nurturing Doncaster’s blossoming crafting community.

“I am very grateful for Doncaster Launchpad’s support. The scheme helped me factor in marketing, planning and finance when I was just starting out. With multiple lockdowns followed by a cost-of-living crisis, Launchpad has provided invaluable advice as well providing a sounding board to run new projects past.” Leanne added.


After moving from Sunderland to Doncaster, James Taylor launched Pixelish, a website and graphic design agency, thanks to support from the Enterprise Chest Grant.

James had been carrying out graphic design work as a hobby for years but had always wanted to set up his own business. “It was something I wanted to do, but just kept making excuses. One day I ran out of excuses and just had to get on and do it.” James said. Having already started another tech business back in the Northeast, this time he wanted to do things differently.

By applying for the Enterprise Chest Grant, James was able to receive the support he needed to help start up his business. “I’d just moved to Doncaster so funds were a bit tight.” James told us. “I applied, not expecting to get anywhere with it and received a response letter saying I’d been awarded the fund. I used it to buy the equipment I needed to offer an extra service to my clients. It was really helpful.” he continued.

In addition to the Enterprise Chest Grant, James also received business support from Doncaster Launchpad. “I’d set up a business before, but I didn’t do it the ‘right’ way. The courses from Launchpad helped me organise and plan my new business, as well as maintain a healthy work/life balance.” James said. “I don’t think there was anything like it in the Northeast, or if there was, I didn’t know about it. I received more support from Doncaster’s Launchpad in eight months than I had in all the years I was running my old business.” he added.

James also has another small business designing and selling greetings cards, Shrugs and Kisses. This provided James with an outlet for his creative expression.

The Enterprise Chest Grant scheme is now closed; however Launchpad business support is still available. Launchpad is a fully inclusive programme designed to help ambitious entrepreneurs set up, run and grow successful businesses, it also supports businesses (with less than 10 employees and less than £10m Turnover) to take the next step and grow their business.

Launchpad Doncaster is delivered by Business Doncaster and Doncaster Chamber. It brings together a wide range of business startup and support services including workshops, events and one to one support from business advisors and coaches.

For further information contact the Launchpad team:

Call: 01302 736986 option 3 or email:

To see the latest funding and grant opportunities please click the button below:


Please note:

This article is more than a year old, please read this content keeping it's age in mind.

Click here to view our latest news