Having spent over 22-years helping teenagers gain life-skills to follow their aspirations, Mark Kennedy, owner of MAD4Life, is used to building relationships to help people flourish. But there was one collaboration he hadn’t yet found: MAD4Life and Ready2Grow.


Working with the Ready2Grow team felt like a real partnership – one where everybody wanted to be part of our business, to make it work,” explains Mark.

You could be paying somebody thousands of pounds for the same sort of thing and you wouldn’t get that relationship with them.”

For Mark and his wife Jules, who help develop people post-education, that relationship was exactly what they were looking for to help grow their business.

Having been introduced to the Ready2Grow project through Business Adviser Sarah Damani at an Enigma Business Networking meeting, Mark jumped at the chance to access advice to help evolve his ideas.

I’ve attended a number of workshops and I took something from all of them,” Mark added.

One of them made me realise that I don’t want to run an office full of people but I want to create opportunities for other people that want to be self-employed.

The project has helped us financially as well. We have successfully been awarded a grant and the process has been really easy.

That has allowed us to bring in experts to help develop our social media by forming partnerships with Ashley Riley Communications and Millennial Creative  and publish our “Z to A of Life” book, where each letter stands for essential life habits that will bring success, stressing that ‘This is how life can be if you want it to be’.

All the businesses we have worked with on our projects have been local and I’m really pleased that we’ve been able to  support the growth within Northamptonshire.”

So what would Mark’s advice be to anyone else looking to apply to be part of Ready2Grow?

My biggest tip for anybody is that it’s the same with anything you do in life; you’ve got to be open minded and you’ve got to embrace the opportunity and don’t think of this project as a tick box exercise.

Take as much as you can from this opportunity, otherwise you’re going to miss out a lot. It’s almost like going to the top of the mountain and not looking at the view.”

Ready2Grow is part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund and delivered by Northamptonshire Growth Hub, led by The University of Northampton in partnership with Northamptonshire County Council.

Find out more about Ready2Grow by clicking here

To find out more about Mad4Life, visit www.mad4life.co.uk or follow them  on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook @futuretoolbox

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