Way2Go Adventures is a family owned outdoor activity provider in the Forest of Dean and Wye Valley, run by mother and son team, Dianne Worrall and Wayne Morgan. Dianne has accessed a range of business support and training offered by Fastershire, FasterBusiness programme.Read Full Story
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Fastershire and Gigaclear are set to begin the rollout of a new ultrafast broadband network in Ledbury. The rollout is part subsidised by Fastershire, however, the majority of the new network in Ledbury is a result of a significant commercial investment by Gigaclear.Read Full Story
The rollout of ultrafast broadband in Herefordshire and Gloucestershire has passed the 34,000 homes and businesses mark, and plans have been expanded to reach more rural properties.Read Full Story
The grant has been created by the Herefordshire Council’s Fastershire Broadband Project, and is available to any not-for-profit groups or organisations, including charities, community groups and Parish/town councils.Read Full Story
As many more of us now need to work or run a business from home at this difficult time, and we’re working to make sure you’ve got the broadband connection you need.Read Full Story
"There’s a whole raft of very capable people out there, women like me, who have a small business or even an idea for a business but who feel left behind by technology. That’s why this support has been so important; it’s offered me a way to bridge that gap, to step up."
Jacqui Grocott creates luxury hand drawn and illustrated stationery, greetings cards and prints from her home in rural Herefordshire. After designing for a number of years, Jacqui finally went full-time with her business JacMac Designs in October 2015.
"I was beginning to feel like technology was not my friend but these sessions have taught me so much about promoting my business and selling my products online."
Jacqui has attended a range of digital training sessions run by the Faster Women and Faster Business programmes covering topics like social media, selling online and data management.
"One of the key lessons I’ve learnt is about scheduling my social media posts, and how’s it’s important to achieve the appropriate frequency, use a variety of content, from pictures to video, and also to think more creatively about the ways I communicate.
"As a result of the training I managed to increase my reach with social media to help grow my business, I’ve made improvement to my website, I’ve made a promotion video, and ultimately, I’ve managed to used IT and digital technology to improve my work-life balance."
Benefits of expert advice
Jacqui also had a one-to-one Business Review with a Faster Business advisor.
"The review was fantastic because it was completely tailored to my business. The advisor came to my house and we went through every aspect of my business. Having someone there who really understands what they’re talking about and has an objective eye is so helpful.She was able to not only to point out areas where I could improve and develop but also to let me know what I had done well which was fantastic for my confidence."
"Simple things have made such a difference. For example, I hadn’t mentioned anywhere on my website that I illustrate all my products. Since I’ve added that simple message to my website and all other areas of my marketing, including the events and exhibitions I attend, I’ve seen my sales increase dramatically. I’ve also improved my logo and branding and that has helped me to orientate my business towards new markets."
"The advisor helped me optimise my search engine ranking as I didn’t really understand anything about SEO before. I set up my Etsy page and my website about two years ago and I thought that was it, I thought that customers would just come, but it doesn’t work like that!"
The future’s looking bright
Improving how JacMac Designs functions online has also given Jacqui the confidence to do more offline.
"Despite my initial terror at pitching my business, I recently travelled to London to a small business workshop and pitched my products to Country Living magazine, something that would have seemed unimaginable a year ago.’"
"I’m so grateful for all the help, support and training I’ve received. My business has really benefited and I would thoroughly recommend getting involved."
Find out more about
JacMac Designs: www.jacmacstationery.com
The Faster Business Review is a free consultancy session with one of our specialist Faster Business Advisors and is available to any business in Herefordshire and Gloucestershire.
This session is completely tailored to your business and can cover any topic, including, social media, online marketing, websites, e-commerce, data/online security, software and hardware or you can seek expert advice on any area you feel would most benefit your business.
Whether your business is a start-up and a small or medium sized business looking to grow, the Faster Business Review can help.
To request a business review please complete the registration form at the bottom of the page and one of our business advisors will contact you to arrange your free face to face review.
Please note: Business Reviews will be delivered via video or telephone call during the Coronavirus COVID-19 period
Meet with a Faster Business Advisor
Faster Business Voucher & Exclusive Offers
With your action plan you will receive £100 worth of Fastershire Vouchers to help you deliver one of the actions. To claim your Faster Business voucher, please click here. These vouchers can be redeemed to pay for software subscriptions, online marketing or even a professional's time. As a Faster Business you will also have access to a range of exclusive offers from local businesses.
Location: Your premises (or as arranged)
Discussion topics: Troubleshooting, social media, connectivity, software, hardware but you can drill down into any particular area you feel would most benefit your business.
Duration: The discussion can last anything between a couple of hours and half a day.
Location: Civic Suite, North Warehouse,The Docks, Gloucester, GL1 2EP
Date: Tuesday 16th May 2017
There is a vast array of online tools and training that can help you become more efficient and productive in your business.
Faster Business advisor, Frances Davison, will profile the online tools and training that can help you improve your website, how you manage your social media accounts as well as learn about the 100’s of tutorials and tips for pretty much anything IT related.
A complimentary lunch and refreshments will be provided for all attendees as well as a time to network.
To register to attend this event, please click here.
Civic Suite, North Warehouse,The Docks, Gloucester, GL1 2EP
Fastershire in partnership with Connecting Shropshire and Superfast Telford and part funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), have designed the Marches and Gloucestershire Broadband Grant.
Here's a list of business broadband providers who offer packages for businesses connected by Fibre to the Cabinet (FTTC) or Fibre to the Premises (FTTP), with links to their web sites, so you can find out if they're up and running where you live.
Fibre to the premises (FTTP) is one of the world's most cutting edge types of fibre broadband with blistering speeds of up to 330Mbps and 1000Mpbs.
If you get enabled with FTTP, you can order it through one of the following Service Providers.
We'll update this page as more ISPs start to offer FTTP.
Here's a list of business broadband providers who offer packages for businesses connected to Gigaclear's ultrafast broadband network, with links to their web sites, so you can find out if they're up and running where you live.
Below is a list of videos from our YouTube channel.
Thanks to funding from the Government Equalities Office we have now run two Faster Women projects to support Herefordshire and Gloucestershire women to develop the digital and internet skills required to setup and develop their businesses. The second project ended in April 2016. We are now offering occasional workshops throughout the year.
Please register your interest through the link below if you would like to be notified when Faster Women workshop dates are confirmed.
If you are part of a local business network organisation that would be interested in providing workshops and training to your members and others please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Faster broadband provides an opportunity for businesses and potential entrepreneurs to take advantage of faster speeds to expand current or set-up new businesses, including home-based businesses, however the Women’s Business Council has found that for women in particular increasing digital confidence and internet know-how is key to this. Thanks to funding from the Government Equalities Office, Fastershire provided Faster Women networking opportunities, workshops and training for women to take advantage of how the internet can boost new and existing businesses.
Are you a successful business woman working in Herefordshire or Gloucestershire who would like to share how you’ve used the internet to effectively develop a business? Do you make the most of the benefits that using the internet can bring whether it’s marketing through social media, online selling, maintaining a website, cloud computing, running a business from home?
If you’d like to help shape future projects by sharing your own knowledge and experience of successfully using digital technology please get in touch.
Free business support for farming, agricultural and land-based businesses in the Herefordshire and Gloucestershire.
The Fastershire broadband project and the Herefordshire Rural Hub have come together to create our Faster Farmers project, offering:
Faster Farmers offers free training and advice to help farmers exploit new digital technology and methods of working to expand and grow their business. Please visit the events section for details of Faster Farmers workshops, and workshops available to all businesses.
For tailored one-to-one advice about your business's use of IT and the internet, covering topics such as new software, hardware, social media, online marketing, websites and more, Farming businesses can also request a free Faster Business Review.
Contact for Faster Farmers
For any other information about Faster Farmers, please contact us.
The Fastershire broadband project and the Hereford Business Improvement District (HBID) have teamed up to create the Faster City project.
The Faster City project has developed a WiFi city centre scheme in Hereford that delivers three elements:
Hereford boasts the largest retail offer in the county with many of Herefordshire’s key retail and tourism businesses located in a highly concentrated area.
The Faster City project will enhance the shopping experience for consumers and help city centre retailers to understand and exploit the changing market trends
The scheme will also pave the way for other innovations including smart infrastructure including an upgraded CCTV circuit and interactive signage.
Faster City launches free WiFi network in Hereford City Centre.
To read the full story, please click here.
Faster broadband is being rolled out across Herefordshire and Gloucestershire between now but it is not possible to flick a switch to make every area go live on the same day and some areas will go live before this. Register your interest today and we'll let you know when you can order.