Founders of Elevate, Ilona Alcock and Katie Robson reflect on a successful first year in business this week. During the pandemic the pair were made redundant, but decided they wanted to continue working together and turned their situation into a positive – launching their own business consultancy firm, Elevate.

With a keen focus on sustainability, innovation and community, Elevate delivers a collaborative approach to connect businesses and individuals with exciting opportunities and partnerships in the region. Working closely with clients to help raise the profile of both individual professionals and the wider business – through arranging events, key speaker opportunities, content support and wider business communications, the Elevate team works as an extension of internal operations.

Instantly securing work with high profile clients, such as Bruntwood Works and Innovate UK EDGE, the team were off to a flying start with further client wins leading to over £100,000 of new business in the first 12 months. Hosting 13 internal events with over 1,000 attendees, alongside 18 external events including hybrid, online and virtual summits that attracted over 1,500 viewers, they have also become the world’s first Carbon Literate business development organisation – and have so far delivered Carbon Literacy training to over 30 businesses.

Prelaunch, Ilona and Katie commissioned Design Specialist Mel Hill to lead on the creation of assets and branding, with Katherine Barr later appointed as Client Development Manager to support expansion. Making an impressive impact in her initial few months, Katherine has this month been promoted to Director, due to her contribution to Elevate’s continued growth.

Looking to work with companies in the north to help enhance both personal and business profiles, the team are armed with a breadth of experience in the industry and are extremely well connected in the region. Ilona, Katie and Katherine all previously worked in senior roles at one of the largest business development organisations in the North West – extremely knowledgeable on the regional business sector, they are highly capable of delivering successful activity programmes for high-profile businesses.

Speaking on the last 12 months and getting Elevate off the ground, Co-Founder & Director Ilona Alcock commented: “Many would think that launching a people and events-based organisation in the middle of a pandemic is a little crazy – but for us, the risk paid off and that is a testament to the strength of our team. We’ve all kept a positive mindset from the off, which clients often comment on, ensuring what we deliver adds true value to the amazing community we work with. We work on a ‘no size fits all’ basis, offering and facilitating bespoke activity that benefits each businesses individual needs.

“This first year has been fantastic, as we’ve really developed a model that works for us and our network. We can’t wait to continue what we’re doing with the end goal of elevating the north and it’s fantastic business community.”

Offering wider support for professionals and business owners, Elevate also offers tailored groups that focus on Innovation, Sustainability and Community. Creating a platform for senior leaders to discuss new initiatives, issues or challenges within their industry, the groups address the wider impact they may have on the region.

Passionate about sustainability and wanting to support the North West’s ambitions of achieving net zero by 2040 (ten years ahead of the UK target), the Carbon Literate business offers fully certified training courses to support in reducing companies carbon footprint.


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