We are are community builders. We worked with the Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead for nearly two years, supporting the business community with tech for good tools, developing an engagement hub, websites, creative campaigns, training, placemaking and networking.

In 2021, RBWM asked DigiKind to partner with them on developing their ‘Additional Restrictions Grant Innovation  grant scheme’, whereby local businesses who met the criteria could receive a grant to help them reinvigorate following the lockdown. Through the grant scheme we enabled over 50 businesses to receive £800,000 in grant funding.

Integral to our grant process is to report back and evaluate the success of our programme.

We believe it is imperative to report back on innovation and success of the businesses after the funding period ended. If innovation ends with the fund, then in our estimation, the business innovation grant did not succeed, no matter how successful it was during the period of funding. We received additional feedback from the wonderful Bridal Gallery and are happy to provide an update on their progress.

Each business that received Additional Restrictions Grant Funding through the Innovation Grant Programme was required to attend at least 50 percent of our training programme (attendee average was nearly 100%); and submit a business plan and a digital strategy outlining how they would implement their programme.

Here are outcomes from The Bridal Gallery receiving its Innovation Grant Fund:

They’ve allowed me to invest in Marketing, which is the single biggest aspect to driving awareness as a new business starting from scratch.

What did you invest your fund in?

I’ve invested in attending Bridal fairs, the marketing material which I need to look professional at these fairs, as well improving my knowledge in areas I know little about, for example I have attended a Digital Marketing course, I have a commercial background but no marketing experience and a marketing plan isn’t just about the physical, it’s also about understanding the digital world too. I’m also in the process of enhancing my website, working closely with my adding video content and trying to increase customer time on the site.

What will you be focusing on moving forward?

I want to get under the skin of Google analytics, it’s such a powerful tool and can tell you so much about how your customers behave, so in better understanding what it can tell you, it can also act as a catalyst for better targeting how & when you communicate with your audience. Through the Royal Borough, I have also met fellow bridal industry specialists and a few of us are collaborating on a project to promote one another and what we all do, so that’s exciting. It’s hard to say exactly which direction my business will go in at this point – I’m only 5 months old, I want to do a full year of trading so I can review what worked / what didn’t and figure out what this means for my business moving forwards.

What is your take away from our training programme?

Branding is key – communicating what your brand stands for through your branding is the 1st step towards attracting your target customer. Having a digital strategy is critical to engaging with a tech-savvy audience, which is basically most of us, these days! Finally, there is no such thing as too much networking – whether it comes naturally to us or not – from small seeds grow big trees and you never know where that initial conversation will take you, we can all learn so much from listening to the experiences of others.

Any words of advice or thoughts you’d like to share?

I feel blessed to live in such a forward-thinking environment, the support from My RoyalBorough has been phenomenal both in terms of content as well as the grants available to small, local businesses. Thank you so much for everything you’re doing to support our community.

Learn more about The Bridal Gallery