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Penelope Bee Codd, a creative, North Lincolnshire-based business professional, has established her own virtual assistant business, Penelope Bee Virtual Assistant, since receiving £1,000 funding from UK Steel Enterprise (UKSE) Kickstart Fund. 

The funding from UKSE has allowed Penelope to invest in branding and website design – vital for expanding her reach and engaging new customers – whilst also funding initial business insurance costs and licenses.

Penelope - a previous senior regeneration officer for North Lincolnshire Council who undertook a part-time Business Studies degree from University of Lincoln, graduating in 2006 - now provides freelance administration, secretarial, marketing and event management support to local, regional and national SME’s, sole traders and tradesmen.

Speaking of the funding from UKSE, Penelope commented: “Since receiving the funding I have been able to establish my business, purchasing the relevant licensing insurance which is crucial to the foundation of a business.

“I have always been interested in providing business support – having co-founded the North Lincolnshire Business Network in 2010, designed to help local businesses get more trade and increase business in the local area - and the funding I have received from UKSE has been instrumental to me getting started, so I really cannot thank them enough!”

The UKSE Kickstart Fund was launched in partnership with North Lincolnshire Council and is dedicated to supporting business start-ups by providing individual grants ranging from £500 to £1,000.

Alan Stanley of UK Steel Enterprise said, “Penelope is offering a great service that will support SMEs in North Lincolnshire and beyond, and we are looking forward to watching how her business develops over the coming years.”

UKSE, a subsidiary of Tata Steel, invests up to £1m in growing companies, particularly those creating jobs. If you are an established business which needs growth finance then please contact UK Steel Enterprise on 0800 915 1188.