Savvy Blog

Enterprise Vision Awards, Accolades and Aspirations

With Ian Rolfe of WorldPay

With Ian Rolfe of WorldPay

During the last few months we have been presenting at High Schools and Colleges, being interviewed on the local radio station, visiting new businesses at their offices and meeting some fantastic individuals to upload pre-career opportunities. All this culminating in being selected and winning two fantastic awards namely Small Business Saturday UK 100 and the Enterprise Vision Award 2016 for the Internet Industry UK.

The EVAs (Enterprise Vision Awards) recognise women in business across the North West. It gives individuals the opportunity to reflect on their achievements, alongside growing in confidence, an opportunity to network and provides winners the accolade of being an EVA award winner!


We were both honoured and proud to be amongst some really inspirational ladies and fantastic applicants, and equally delighted to receive our award from category Judge Ian Rolfe, of World Pay who were the sponsors of the Internet Category.

After our submission were we overjoyed to be selected to move onto the 2nd part of the process – the interview. On a sunny day in July we embarked on our road trip to Blackpool Football Club  to meet our judges. After a gruelling but enjoyable 25 minutes  we emerged triumphant that we had come through the final process more or less unscathed. A few weeks of anticipation later and we were on our way to Blackpool again only this time it was to the EVAs Awards evening at the infamous Winter Gardens.  The venue was a sight to behold and the excitement and atmosphere of the evening captured all the essence and ambience of the fabulous event. When the Internet finalists were announced later in the evening we could hardly contain our excitement and when Ian…. said ‘Savvy Guest’ we really couldn’t quite believe it. What a fabulous end to a perfect evening.


Awards, Accolades and Aspirations

Savvy Guest hits the headlines with #SmallBiz100 UK

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September 21st will be etched on our memories for a long while as that was the day Savvy Guest was in the spotlight as part of the Small Business Saturday’s UK’s Small Biz 100. Although, we are classed as a small and unique Manchester business, we have BIG  ideas when it comes to offering a pre-career guidance service which  gives adults 18+ the chance to spend a short time with someone in a job role they are interested in themselves.

How did it all begin?

Savvy Guest founder Dijonn Taylor identified a lack of good advice for individuals seeking relevant career tips, and realistic expectations of job roles. Dijonn was convinced the answer lay in creating a digital platform with capabilities of bringing together companies and individuals for pre-career chats whilst incorporating Corporate Responsibility and capturing valuable data. Val Dickinson, joined as Dijonn’s  Business Partner and together they launched Savvy in 2013 culminating in a fully integrated pre-career digital platform which is successfully gaining momentum day by day.

Savvy Guest is among the select number of businesses to be featured by the Small Business Saturday campaign one per day for the 100 days leading up to Small Business Saturday on December 3rd.  Small Business Saturday is already the UK’s most successful small business campaign. This is the fourth year of the campaign, which last year saw £623m spent with small businesses across the UK on Small Business Saturday, an increase of £119m or 24 per cent on the previous year. The campaign trended at number one in the UK on Twitter on the day with more than 100,000 campaign-related tweets being sent. Over 75% of local councils supported the campaign, giving considerable national reach into local communities.

In short, Small Business Saturday exists to support, inspire and promote small businesses. We have also been featured alongside the other #Smallbiz100 in The Guardian and in the Tameside Reporter.

Article – courtesy of Tameside Reporter

Small Business Saturday 

Savvy Guest will be promoting  ‘A Health & Wellbeing Day’ in the small business community, working alongside Scott Smith from the Stroke Association who will be providing a ‘Know your Blood Pressure’ session.  We understand the pressures that come with running a small business and on the day you will be offered a free blood pressure check and advice. You can find us at Rise, 231 Deansgate Manchester M3 4EN on Saturday December 3rd between 11.30am – 3.00 pm so please come along and say ‘hello’.

More information on Small Business Saturday can also be found on the Small Business Saturday and Twitter @SmallBizSatUk

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Brexit: What now for the next generation of workers in Mcr


This month our blog post about Brexit was submitted by Councillor Emma Taylor, Labour Member for Bradford Ward.

In the early hours of June 24th, there was a mixture of gasps of horror and cheers of joy when Britain’s vote to leave the EU was announced in Manchester Town Hall. Just over two months later, what does Brexit mean for the next generation of workers in Greater Manchester?

Amidst an ever-changing political landscape, uncertainty about the impacts of Brexit will continue to dominate for the foreseeable future. 

After all, Greater Manchester has benefited substantially from EU funding. The conurbation was expected to receive a combined £321m from the European Regional Development and Social Funds up to 2020. That’s money that over the years has helped shape Greater Manchester; extending the Metrolink network, developing the Sharp Project creative-digital hub and creating jobs at the Graphene Institute to name just a few funded projects. 

With the economic fallout of the referendum vote still reverberating across Greater Manchester, many young people understandably don’t feel as confident about their future job prospects as they did before June. After all, young voters wanted Brexit the least – it is thought that more than 70% of under 25s chose to remain in the EU. Yet it is this generation which will have to live with the consequences of Brexit.

Despite growing economic headwinds, Greater Manchester has proven itself to be an attractive location for a number of new business sectors which are slowly starting to flourish. Against that backdrop, recent school leavers and graduates across the conurbation need support from both national and local government to obtain the skills required in the workplace of the future.

Young people in the north have been neglected for far too long. That’s why business and local government must collaborate to ensure Brexit doesn’t rob another generation of Greater Manchester residents of their potential. A proven track-record of economic stability and business confidence, founded on close partnership between the public and private sectors, will be the key to creating the high-skilled jobs of the future in the conurbation.

With the Greater Manchester Metro Mayoral election scheduled to take place in May 2017, residents will rightly be expecting that new position to be a catalyst for sustainable economic growth which can weather the Brexit storm.

Emma Taylor is a Labour Party councillor for the Bradford ward, Manchester City Council.

Savvy Guest named in Small Business Saturday UK’s ‘Small Biz 100’ for 2016


savvy guest directors Val Dickinson (right) and Dijonn Taylor (left)


We are delighted to announce Savvy Guest has been named among the 100 small businesses in the UK to be celebrated by Small Business Saturday, the campaign that culminates in the UK’s dedicated day for small businesses on Saturday December 3rd. Savvy Guest will now be among the select number of businesses to be featured by the Small Business Saturday campaign one per day for the 100 days leading up to Small Business Saturday itself.

We have brokered connections and forged relationships with a diverse range of companies locally and nationally and have large number of registered members using the website. Savvy Guest also gives individuals the opportunity to meet with and spend a short time with someone in a job role. You will be able to ask questions that don’t usually appear on a job description and it will help you to make better choices about your future career options. We are filling the career service gap for people over 18 who want relevant and realistic industry insights.”

Small Business Saturday is already the UK’s most successful small business campaign. This is the fourth year of the campaign, which last year saw £623m spent with small businesses across the UK on Small Business Saturday, an increase of £119m or 24 per cent on the previous year. The campaign trended at number one in the UK on Twitter on the day with more than 100,000 campaign-related tweets being sent. Over 75% of local councils supported the campaign, giving considerable national reach into local communities.


The campaign is a great nationwide promotional and marketing tool for small businesses. It is totally free to participate and any small businesses can get involved – from one-man-bands, through to a high growth office, and from tradesmen to social media gurus. In addition to the big day, the campaign also delivers help and advice alongside opportunities to connect with other small businesses. In short, Small Business Saturday exists to support, inspire and promote small businesses.

Although the campaign focuses on one day, the goal is to have a lasting impact on small businesses by changing mind-sets, so that people make it their mission to support small businesses all year round. Most people in this country own a small business, work for a small business or know somebody who does, so supporting a small business on Small Business Saturday is absolutely personal.

Watch this space for further announcements….

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Savvy Guest Business of the month – Fresh Off the Runway


This month we are delighted to feature a blog from Ladene Taylor, from Fresh Off the Runway. If you would like the opportunity to chat to Ladene and find out about the world of Fashion, please register at

Fresh Off the Runway first took place in 2014, an urban fashion show created to cater for the untapped market of fashion lovers of Manchester, providing fashion that is different, unique and appealing to the rising sector.  The event takes place once a year showcasing the year’s chosen designers with new collections to be seen by members of the public and industry specialists.

Fresh off the Runway is the great place for designers meet and interact with their target audience as well as industry professionals which could provide great business contacts for designers.

In this fashion event we showcase some of the hottest looks currently on the streets of Manchester with each designer having its unique interpretation.


Fresh Off the Runway is a creativity showcase, an event that helps the community sustain itself as a social enterprise. There is a great demand for customised event for sole traders, self employed and graduate students and artists in the community that would like a career in the fashion and textiles industry.

A big part of Fresh Off the Runway is using local fashion talents to help cultivate and expand their ability of success. We aim to successfully promote and showcase the diverse cultures in Manchester with both male and female designers from all walks of life.

The next catwalk show will take place in Manchester on Sunday September 25th. Watch this space for details.


Will leaving the EU affect my travel plans

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Will the holiday season on the horizon – this month we are delighted to feature a blog from Gary Manners, Travel Counsellors.  If you would like the opportunity to chat to Gary and find out about the world of travel, please register at

With the news that the UK has voted to leave the EU, I had a few questions from concerned customers asking whether this decision will affect their travels this year.

To reassure you that your holiday is in safe hands, below are some of the questions you might have, and our answers.

We’ll always let you know of any changes to your booking and if you have any other questions, remember that your Travel Counsellor is happy to chat through any queries you have.

Can I still travel to countries in the EU? Do I need a visa now?

Yes, you can still travel to countries in the EU and you don’t need a visa. When you go on holiday you’ll go through passport control and show your passport, as you normally would.

Travel requirements haven’t changed since the day before the referendum, so UK citizens can still travel freely to much of continental Europe.

It’s important to remember that the UK is likely to remain a member of the EU for at least two more years. This means that any changes to travel could take a long time to implement, and there’ll be many negotiations over the coming months and years before any changes are finalised.

Can I still use my EHIC (European Health Insurance Card)?

Yes, you can still use your EHIC to access local health services in all EU countries.

My passport has “European Union” printed on it, do I need to apply for a new one?

No, you don’t need to apply for a new passport, you can continue to use your existing, valid UK passport.

Is my holiday still financially protected?

Yes, all holidays booked through your Travel Counsellor are covered by our independent financial trust.

How does our trust work? In 2004 we created our own financial trust, which means that alongside our more traditional cover of ATOL (this protects some packages and charter flights) the Travel Counsellors trust also protects scheduled flights, budget airlines, accommodation and even car hire.

I’ve already booked my holiday, will it be more expensive now?

If you’ve already booked your holiday with your Travel Counsellor, this price will not change.

If you’ve received a quote for a holiday from your Travel Counsellor, this price could change. As you’ll have seen on the news, the value of the pound has fluctuated with the outcome of the referendum and so there may be changes to the cost of your holiday. Your Travel Counsellor will be in touch to go through all of the costs with you and will let you know if any of the prices have changed since you last spoke.

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We’ve already booked our holiday for next year, will this be affected?

No, your holiday for next year won’t be affected. This is because the UK is likely to remain a member of the EU for at least two more years.

Don’t forget at Travel Counsellors “We Care” and this makes us different and very special.

The Purple Ball of Hope hits the headlines



Every month we feature a business of the month and for June we would like to introduce ‘The Purple Ball of Hope’ a charity who has an annual event organised by Jan Lord along with help from the Purple Ball team and her family and friends.

For the third year running The Purple Ball of Hope have held a Gala Ball and raised a magnificent sum for Pancreatic Cancer UK.  Thanks to everyone who supported the Gala Ball again this year via donations and contributions they have raised a staggering £5387.43p equating to over £18,000 during the last 3 years and with more monies pledged it could be bring the grand total to £20,000.

The Gala Ball was held in the ‘Inspiration Suite’ at the Village Hotel in Ashton making everything Purple. The evening of the Purple Ball of Hope 2016 had finally arrived and, with over 180 guests in attendance they were greeted by hosts Jan and Derek Lord as they waited excitedly at the champagne reception. the guests were entertained by  the magician  in the shadow of the Purple Ball of Hope Memory Tree containing an array of plum, amethyst, violet and purple butterflies each one lovingly holding remembrance messages of past loved ones.

The Compare for the evening was now an old friend of the Purple Ball Mr Paul Crone and while the champagne flowed and the meals were served the dinner entertainment provided by X Factor contestant Rick Moorhouse was a pleasant interlude before the serious bidding got underway.

Donations were in abundance and topping the auction prizes was a Pele Shirt containing the signature of the man himself, a golfing experience for 4 in the heart of the Cheshire countryside  and the ‘Dirty Dancing’ tickets from the Purple prize envelopes that was acquired by a delighted guest ready and eager to watch the show.

One of the highlights of the evening was the after dinner entertainment provided by Headline act ‘The Jersey Guys’ who wowed the guests with a variety of ‘4 Seasons Covers and the top songs from the hit musical ‘Grease’. The fantastic evening was concluded by the DJ Dave ‘Double Decks’ Bradley who had everyone on their feet before the events of the inspirational evening came to a close at 1.00pm.

purple ball

Lead fundraiser and organiser Jan Lord commented,

The Purple Ball of Hope is all about remembering my beautiful mum, Beryl Wainer and quite literally having a ball while raising money for Pancreatic Cancer UK.” “There are lots of people to thank in organising an event on this scale and making it the success it has become.” “I would like to say congratulations and a massive thank you to everyone who made it happen, the contributors, the attendees and all those people who worked tirelessly behind the scenes.”

 Jan and the team are doing it all again next year and the  date has been confirmed as Saturday 22nd April 2017 at the Village Hotel, Ashton under Lyne.

If you would like an opportunity to chat to Jan and find out what goes on behind the scenes of a Charity Ball please register @

Challenger Site Services prepare for Event Season


Every month we feature a business that is registered with  This month we  are pleased to feature Challenger  Site Services, an award winning family business based in Ashton-under-Lyne, Tameside.

The event season is nearly here and Challenger Site Services are getting their portable toilets ready for the Spring Bank Holiday rush and the many spring and summer events to follow.

Challenger are the number one supplier for portable toilet hire in the North West and the award winning family run business aim to deliver on time every time direct to your venue.  At Challenger Site Services our service is second to none & we upload, position & set up the portable toilets to your exact specifications.   The portable toilets are maintained & serviced to exemplary standards & we always sanitise before & after every hire. They are also serviced weekly to ensure our high standards are maintained throughout the hire.

Apart from our portable toilets being durable & robust they also have a number of other key features including recirculating chemical flush, integral vents, plastic toilet bowl and seats, optional hot or cold wash basins, & hand operated washing systems.

For additional comfort we have also included other key features including liquid soap & paper products, 2 roll toilet roll holders, translucent roof and a coat hook. All our portable toilets also have integral door locks to ensure maximum privacy & security.

We also offer the very latest technology in hand wash facilities & flush systems to ensure of a cleaner and odour reduced environment. To comply with the British Standard BS 6465 1:2006, 1 Challenger site portable toilet is recommended for up to 7 persons per 40 hour event.

If you wish to find out more about Challenger Site Services view or register your interest to come along and chat with us at


To register for an opportunity log onto



Photo©John Cassidy The Headshot Guy® 07768 401009

During Apprenticeship week we are focussing on an Apprentices. Gemmer Crozier is currently completing her Apprenticeship at Brother UK based in Audenshaw, Tameside.

Gemmer explains why she chose an Apprenticeship and her explains her journey so far.


“Upon leaving High School I went to Loreto Sixth Form College in Hulme where I studied my A Levels in ICT, Business Studies, Spanish, Sociology and Religious Education. College wasn’t as enjoyable as High School for me and I found it hard to fit into my lessons and didn’t really enjoy studying. However, I successfully completed my studies with 3 A levels all above C when I left.


It was time for the next career choice to be made, I knew I wanted to carry on learning and developing myself, yet I just didn’t want to be sat in a classroom anymore. This is when I decided an apprenticeship was going to be the right choice for me. I applied for an Apprenticeship through The Apprentice Academy when they came into college for a career day. I was accepted onto their training programme, and after some basic tests I started my next career step.”



“The Apprentice Academy got me work ready by attending their 1 week Bootcamp Training. Once completed they found me a job placement at Brother UK Ltd. After successfully getting through the interview I was offered the 18 month Apprenticeship at Brother UK working in Supply Chain and Service and Business Management, working towards my Level 3 NVQ Diploma in Business and Administration. After 8 months into my Apprenticeship I was offered a permanent position.”


“My current role involves supporting the administration for our Executive Office, this includes organising all travel, accommodation and diary management for our directors, Omnijoin Web conferencing team and Customer Support teams. I also support all internal and external community engagement, managing the process of charity funds to local groups, working on educational projects in the community and supporting local businesses on their key CSR activity.”


“The whole experience of starting my apprenticeship and working here at Brother UK has been amazing. At first I was reluctant to tell people I had started an Apprenticeship because of the outdated view it has. This was soon outlived after starting Brother UK and now I couldn’t be prouder to be part of the Brother UK organisation. I enjoy the variety of work that I am taking part in. I’m also being given the opportunity to expand my knowledge and learn new skills within different areas of the business and gain the experience I need to progress further. However, I must admit that my role would not be the same without the people and support around me.

Gemmer and Brother UK are offering an opportunity on If you are interested in meeting and chatting to Gemmer to find out more about her role at Brother UK, register on our website.


Savvy Guest have certainly made an impact

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Savvy Guest have certainly made an impact this year achieving nominations and being shortlisted in 3 prestigious award categories across the UK. Since we launched the company in March 2014 Savvy Guest has gone from strength to strength. Our  1st nomination was announced in July when we were shortlisted  for The Pride of Tameside, Business of the Year in the Creative, Digital and Technological category. This was closely followed by Savvy Guest being acknowledged in the Precious Awards STEM category and CEO Dijonn Taylor being recognised as one of the finalists for ‘Celebrating the Success Stories of Women of Colour in the Business and Work Environment.’ Now in its 9th year the Precious Awards were held in London and founded by a former Mancunian Foluke Akinlose, MBE.

We are also delighted to announce our 3rd nomination is for The Talk of Manchester Business Awards or ToMs. The voting has opened we are excited to have been shortlisted in the Newcomer and Innovation categories. If you wish to vote for us in both categories please click the link below. Voting is open until  6 November and closes at 5.00 pm.

This has been an outstanding year for Savvy Guest. We are both humbled and proud to be nominated in so many award categories. The word has spread about the company and the opportunities for individuals having access to employees to discuss their job roles, is proving to be really beneficial for all parties. The opportunity for Companies to become headline sponsors and increasing their company brand awareness through various options is also proving that Savvy Guest is really making its mark.

If you  wish to provide opportunities and/or sponsor a CSR tile or if you are a career seeker who wishes  to use the service to help with your career, please register or join on our website. Call 0161 375 2500 or email

We look forward to hearing from you.