Have a read of what the businesses we work with think about Ascend.

We are delighted to have been chosen to pilot this scheme. In the last 12 months Project D has been able to evolve and expand at a significant pace and we are now delivering our doughnuts across England and Wales.

We are still enormously ambitious and want to continue on this trajectory, so we will really benefit from receiving expert advice. This scheme will mean we can work with some specialist advisors, such as a production and supply chain specialist, to help us grow and scale the business in a sustainable way.

We know that to be successful long term we need to implement the correct strategies and procedures now, so that we develop a strong operational foundation for future growth. It’s very exciting and we hope that Project D will become a household name across the UK, if not the world.

Project D

Project D

Kirstie and I, founded Proverb back in 2017 in Melbourne, Derby to develop a range of sustainable and natural skincare products. After early successes, it became clear that in order to scale the business we would need help both financially and with our skill base. Prior to the pandemic I was spending time travelling back and forward to London to try and raise angel investment to take the business to the next level. Then during the pandemic, like many businesses, we were forced to focus on the core of the business to survive which for us was online sales and subscription. We were lucky enough to be able to develop the business further and while doing this where lucky enough to be introduced to the Ascend Fund who were interested in helping us grow a local business in an new and exciting space. From that moment our life and business have had a massive boost. The team at Ascend have been amazingly supportive and the process from application to acceptance into the first phase of the grant was really easy and intuitive. We are now being supported with the skills we require to grow an online subscription business, manage our cash and budgets as well as the opportunity to meet and work with other businesses on the scheme. We feel very grateful and are very excited to have the chance to deliver on our targets in the hope that we can continue to work with Ascend on future phases.

Proverb Skin Care

Proverb Skin Care

Words from our Sponsors

As we look to move past the pandemic and to a brighter future, I am delighted to be involved in the Ascend initiative to ensure Derby and the wider region can build back stronger from COVID-19

It’s vitally important we support Derby businesses to recover and unlock their potential to secure investment and create sustainable growth for our local economy.

David Williams

David Williamschairman of law firm Geldards and deputy chair of the D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership.

We are very pleased to be involved in this initiative and to be able to provide support to local businesses. As a member of Derby’s Economic Recovery Task Force, we take seriously the responsibility we have as a university to work with our city as it recovers from the coronavirus pandemic.

It is crucial that businesses have the opportunity to access support so that they can achieve their maximum potential and thrive, helping to drive forward the regeneration of our city.

Professor Kamil OmotesoPro Vice-Chancellor Dean of the College of Business, Law and Social Sciences - University of Derby

Ascend delivers a unique combination of expertise and resources designed to support Derby businesses grow and realise their full potential.

I’m delighted to support such a positive initiative, that proactively drives business success, creates new high-quality jobs and build a stronger, more diverse local economy.

Mel Morris CBE

Mel Morris CBEDerby County Football Club owner

We want to make our city a fantastic place to establish and grow a business, to create high-quality and sustainable jobs while, at the same time, supporting and diversifying the local economy.

While it is vital that, as part of our recovery strategy, we work with external investors such as SmartParc and St James Securities, whose developments will generate thousands of new jobs in Derby, it is equally important that we assist existing businesses to exploit their potential and create further employment.

We will bring in experts in leadership, business modelling, growth strategy, financial planning and technology development to nurture the ambitions of our brightest companies and help them achieve their potential.

Derby City Council Spokesperson

Derby City Council Spokesperson