Keelham Farm Shop

A Mother’s Day family visit to Keelham Farm Shop in 2016 was enough to convince Richard that grocery shopping can be an enjoyable experience.

Subsequent visits to a number of other farm shops around the UK demonstrated that Keelham was, in his opinion, the best farm shop in the country.

Victoria Robertshaw, majority owner and CEO has created a strong brand. After working in a senior role at Dixons Carphone, Victoria is the third generation of her family to run the farm shop, established over 40 years ago. She has a passion for healthy, locally sourced food and for supporting local farmers.

In January 2019, Growth Partner invested in the business, to support Victoria’s ambitious plan to put a Keelham Farm Shop in major towns throughout Yorkshire, and one day across the country.


Victoria Robertshaw
Keelham Farm Shop


The Enterprise Trust

Richard founded The Enterprise Trust in 2011, keen to find a way to help other would-be entrepreneurs.

It’s an independent nationwide charity that aims to inspire young people to consider entrepreneurship as a career. It does this by offering free workshops to equip 16-30 year olds with the enterprise skills needed to start a business.

As part of its mission, the Enterprise Trust is investing in young talent on many levels, with a view to creating 25,000 skills-based apprenticeships and to inject £1million a year over eight years into youth enterprise support (up to 2025) with a target to generate a £1billion contribution to the UK economy.

The charity is run by Helen Booth and aims to create an impact, leaving a legacy by helping individuals realise their potential as independent wealth generators.


Crafter's companion

A family run private business, founded by Sara Davies MBE whilst at York University in 2005, Crafter’s Companion is a leading manufacturer and supplier of crafting supplies.

The award-winning products are sold online, through home shopping TV channels and to retailers in the US and Europe.

In June 2015, Growth Partner invested in the business, taking a 25% shareholding. Together, they have developed a step change growth plan based around opening their own retail stores in the UK, and with international growth driven by home shopping TV.

The first store opened in Newton Aycliffe, Co, Durham, in May 2016 with others now open in Chesterfield and Evesham. The US business has grown more than four-fold since we invested.

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Enterprise nation

A membership business that operates at the heart of the small business community.

With over a decade of experience in supporting people to become their own boss, and grow a successful venture, this was an excellent fit with Richard’s own interests.

In 2017, a 39% stake was acquired by Growth Partner, to support Emma Jones MBE in the further development of her service.

Enterprise Nation recently launched a new online platform that supports small businesses to build a profile, create connections with advisors or other small businesses, and to access key resources.


Iguana Developments

Jason Coleman, founder and property entrepreneur, approached Growth Partner in 2014.

He knows the city of Hull very well, and has bought, developed, let and sold property there for almost 30 years.

When the opportunity arose to acquire a landmark building in the city for residential living, it was something we were happy to support him in achieving.

Together with Growth Partner, this first development was completed in November 2017, and the second and third projects are well underway.


The Alice Hawthorn Inn

In 2013, amidst concern that the ‘local’ would close, like so many across the country, Richard and his wife, Kate, bought their village pub.

In the small village where they live, there is no shop or village hall, and community amenities are limited.

Saving the pub and helping it to become a properly sustainable business has been the ambition, safeguarding it for future generations.

In partnership with John and Claire Topham, and with investment ongoing, The Alice has become a popular little country pub, winning Yorkshire Life’s Dining Pub of the Year in 2017. Planning consent for 12 lovely rooms has been given, and building will start early in 2019, securing the future of the pub.


Claire and John Topham
Tel: 01423 330303


Nun Monkton Ferryboat

For hundreds of years a ferry has connected the communities to the west of York on the banks of the River Ouse.

The last ferry service closed in 1952, and in 2017, the Harpin family thought it would be a good idea to run a little ferry again from their river bank, making walks and attractions on both sides of the river accessible on foot. It makes light work of a journey which takes almost half an hour by car, cutting it to two minutes!

The idea was keenly supported by their neighbours and fellow villagers, some even offering to skipper and crew, and in September 2017, Nun Monkton Ferryboat was established.

The boat christened ‘Bryan Ferry’ is operated by volunteers at the weekends from April to October; a not-for-profit venture to connect the local communities.


Volunteer ferrymen Dave Birch, Tony Robards and Mike Turnham


Fellow Entrepreneurs

If you are an entrepreneur, looking to step change your business, please take a look at our Growth Partner page.