Food start-ups supported through strategic partnership Kent Foundation and Produced in Kent

Press Release 26 July 2021

The Kent Foundation forms a Strategic Partnership with food and drink membership organisation Produced in Kent

The Kent Foundation and Produced in Kent are thrilled to announce their strategic partnership and look forward to working closer together on event and business support activities that benefit the young entrepreneurs in the local independent food and drink sector in Kent.

Starting end of September 2021, Kent Foundation and Produced in Kent will run a four-session training series on financial planning aimed at start-ups and small businesses. Often seen as ‘the boring bit’ of running a business, understanding your business’ finances will greatly improve its chances of survival, more so than having a slick marketing strategy in place.

Floortje Hoette, CEO Produced in Kent: ‘In the UK, 89% of UK start-ups survive their first year (ONS, 2019), but fewer than 50% make it beyond 5 years (GOV.UK, 2019) – I reckon a lot of that is down to the numbers not adding up. Produced in Kent and Kent Foundation are now offering a training course that will help young businesses take a closer look at the financial side of their business and plan for the future.’

Stuart Tanton, Director of The Kent Foundation states: ‘The pandemic has seen quite a few new food and drink businesses pop up. People decided or were forced to change career and have picked up on the momentum that is building around local food and drink. Kent Foundation and Produced in Kent want to make sure that these entrepreneurs have a solid financial plan in place that will help them steer through what is still a fairly unstable economic climate.

The training sessions will be provided Smart Support, a business management consultancy who have been actively supporting and mentoring businesses throughout the Covid pandemic, and receives financial backing from the South East Business Boost (SEBB).

Kent Foundation and Produced in Kent have also agreed to offer a 50% reduced Produced in Kent membership fee for food and drink Kent Foundation trainees who have been trading less than 2 years. Floortje: ’When you start a business, it is so important to get your name out there through marketing and networking – but your budget is usually small. A membership organisation such as Produced in Kent can help you amplify your marketing through its own marketing channels, campaigns and networking events. Produced in Kent is a community of passionate food and drink entrepreneurs who can teach you lots of valuable lessons and who you can potentially work together with.

Stuart sees great value in working closely together to support Kent start-ups: ‘It can be a lonely world out there when you start your own business. This strategic partnership will create an even more supportive community and network for people who are in a similar situation and face similar challenges. Our organisations can show them that Kent is a great place to start, and be in business’.

For more information on the financial planning training sessions for start-ups and small food and drink businesses, please contact Produced in Kent by email: or tel. 01732 853170.

Produced in Kent is a strong, widely recognised brand, benefiting and promoting its membership businesses. It provides business support, advice and sales opportunities. Our role is to promote local and seasonal produce and provide support and services to our Members. This is underpinned by our core values: – A commitment to quality and provenance – Respect and trust for one another – Driving sector innovation and expertise – Supporting commerciality.

The Kent Foundation is a unique Charity (Registered Charity No. 291559) that provides free business support and mentoring to Kent’s young entrepreneurs and business owners (18-30). We recruit and train leaders from the Kent business community to become volunteer mentors to support the next generation of business owners in Kent. We have become an essential part of the business support community in Kent to grow new enterprises. Over the last year we have supported over 150 start-up businesses which have achieved over £4m in sales.

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