About us

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Supporting your business adventure.

Running a small business can be lonely. It should be an adventure but too often turns out to be a haunting, time-consuming slog. There’s no shortage of business advice available but much of it is either too generic or delivered by advisers whose experience is in large corporates.

We are creative thinkers with years of practical experience running a number of small businesses together, some successfully and some less successfully!  We established Adnovar to share what we’ve learnt with other business owners who want to grow with our support.

 

We want to make sure no business owner feels alone and help others to enjoy their business adventure and achieve their ambitions. We have hands-on small business experience and invest our time, money and energy to build great small businesses.

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Our commitment to Positive impact

We believe that running your business should be liberating and life enhancing but should also be done in such a way that what you do has a positive impact on others.

 

Whilst numbers and money are important, we believe ultimate satisfaction comes from running a successful business that provides personal fulfilment and has a positive impact on the world.

Meet The mentors

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Nick Carley
(London and the South)

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I’m an energetic entrepreneur with 30 years’ experience setting up and running businesses in a number of sectors including consultancy, IT, training, public relations, communications, consultation and research.

Over that time I’ve dealt with most of the issues that face business owners from starting up in the dining room to scaling up and selling my shares. I’ve learnt to be creative, resilient and optimistic and to appreciate that you must enjoy today and not think it’s all about tomorrow. I believe that running business brings with it the chance to give the owners a sense of fulfilment and satisfaction alongside the opportunity to have an impact on the world around us.

I have strong analytical skills, am quick to understand complex situations, identify issues and offer solutions. I’m client-focused with an ability to interpret needs both articulated and un-articulated with great one-to-one interpersonal skills. I’m well versed in the reality of managing cashflow and finances, a good marketeer with an eye for the opportunity and a proven track record in winning business.

I am currently a very active chair of The Minster Centre (a training institute for psychotherapist), working closely with the chief executive to steer the organisation through a challenging period. I am a mentor-in-residence at the University of the West of England and also an Enterprise Challenge mentor at the University of Greenwich.

I am a late convert to the joys of road cycling, a poor bread maker, a keen cook and love nothing more than putting the world to rights with my wife and friends over a glass of wine.

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Ben Hickman
(Cumbria and the North West)

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I’ve been running my own business now for over a decade, and work as a mentor and strategy consultant for business owners who are looking to grow. I provide strategic and practical advice on topics crucial to business success including business planning, finance, innovation and product development, branding and marketing, market insight and customer experience.

 

From setting up my own business with nothing more than a laptop and a good idea, to working with a global pharma company to drive product innovation, or building a strategy with a charity board to eradicate a disease within the next 30 years, I approach work (and life) with enthusiasm, passion and a sense of adventure.

 

Along the way, I’ve honed my problem-solving skills and developed an ability to help others see their challenges in a different way. People describe me as friendly, relaxed and passionate. I know first-hand the reality of business development and sales, the ups and downs of being an entrepreneur, the joy of building a team who share your vision and the importance of stopping every now and then to appreciate what you’ve achieved.

I'm based just North of Carlisle in Cumbria and work with clients in the North West (Manchester, Lancashire, Cumbria) as well as virtually around the UK.

I’m a keen runner and can be found at some point on most days travelling the roads and trails of Cumbria. The rest of my time is spent cooking, exploring, playing or adventuring with my wife and three young children.