A South-Yorkshire dating agency is feeling the love this Valentine’s Day thanks to a rapidly growing customer base – fueled in part by a cash injection from the UK Steel Enterprise Kickstart Fund which has helped to bolster the company’s marketing activity and raise awareness of its services across the region.
Two for Joy Introductions, which is based at the Century Business Centre, Rotherham, was established two years ago by entrepreneur Liz Harwood in a bid to offer those looking for romance and companionship a safer alternative to internet dating.
Offering a full face-to-face vetting service, as well as a chaperone service for anyone venturing out on a date, the business is on hand to help people of any age looking for love, or even those just in search of companionship. The business is now on track to take on an additional three members of staff to cope with its growing customer base over the next year or so.
Liz said: “Internet dating has its place, but it isn’t right for everyone. Some people simply don’t like the idea of online interaction, whereas others have had a bad experience of meeting someone this way.
“Our hope is to provide a safe alternative to those who are looking for someone special; the opportunity to meet new people in a safe environment with someone on hand to offer support and encouragement if it’s needed.
“Over recent months the Kickstart Fund has helped us to press ahead with marketing activity that has really raised awareness of the business, the services we offer and what we stand for. And we are now representing more and more customers who are looking for love or companionship in South Yorkshire month-on-month.”
Launched in February 2016 by UK Steel Enterprise, with support from RIDO and Rotherham Youth Enterprise, the Kickstart Fund consists of a £40,000 pot dedicated to supporting people looking to establish a business in the area.
Keith Williams of UK Steel Enterprise said: “Two for Joy has clearly got to the heart of the issue of safe dating - with many people of all ages looking to meet new people without putting themselves at risk.
“The business received support from Rotherham Youth Enterprise and £500 which was put towards their marketing activity in a bid to raise awareness of the business and the services that they offer. We’re very much looking forward to following the journey of the company as it continues to grow both its customer base and its team in the coming months.”
UK Steel Enterprise, a subsidiary of Tata Steel, support the economic development of steel industry areas. To this day it has helped over 6,700 businesses with investments upwards of £91m, and has created over 77,000 jobs.
If you are considering starting a business and would like to talk through your plans with an advisor or would like more information about UKSE Kickstart Fund please contact Rotherham Council via:
UKSE also provides loan and equity finance of up to £1m to existing companies which are growing, particularly those creating jobs. If you are an established business which needs growth finance then please contact UK Steel Enterprise on 0800 915 1188.
Image – left to right: Jackie Frost, Rotherham Council; Liz Harwood, Two for Joy; Keith Williams, UK Steel Enterprise; Sue Walters, Two for Joy.