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Our membership offers you a host of unique services to propel your enterprise in this dynamic sector. Led by industry experts, the Academy will help to improve your business’ commercial performance, as well as improve your confidence and capability as an entrepreneur.

For an introductory rate of £100 for the first year you will have access to:

Inclusive Member Benefits

Business health checks

Face-to-face business health check with a panel of experts 

Our business coaches will provide support and guidance on business issues, whether they may be short term individual issues-based interventions, or longer more sustained business development focus. You will also be able to tap into specialist consultancy services around your specific issues, accessing expert advice from professionals in people management, marketing, operations and more.

Educational masterclasses

Attend four seminars led by industry experts 

The Academy runs a regular programme of learning and development events focused on specific issues for start-up and growth businesses, such as finance, people, operations and marketing. This will help you to further improve your knowledge and capability to drive specific improvements, as well as develop networks in the field. 

Peer to peer networking

12 networking events per year to meet other foodies at great locations across the region 

Through a range of forums you can establish strong connections with a valuable local network. We offer regular face-to-face networking opportunities such as business breakfasts, focussing on specific business opportunities or issues. You can also swap ideas, information, and inspiration with entrepreneurs running similar businesses through our closed Facebook group.

Single point of contact at Leeds City Council

You will get direct access to a Leeds City Council representative who will be able to advise or give further information on any of the following areas:

  • Street trading (sole trader).
  • Street and market trading.
  • Markets and events.
  • Compliance “What do I need to trade in Leeds?”
  • Event notices and alcohol licensing.
  • Environmental health checks.

Increased profile through Leeds City Council and Leeds Beckett University

Members can maximise their online profile with promotional features on IFDA through Leeds City Council and Leeds Beckett University digital and social media platforms.

Exclusive business showcase at Leeds Kirkgate Market

Leeds City Council will be supporting members to showcase their business at dedicated “FREE” member events at Leeds Kirkgate Market, city centre location (voted Britain’s favourite market 2016).

Trading opportunities information

Fast track access to information and advice on trading opportunities within the city of Leeds through Leeds City Council.

Business management documentation

You will have access to a collection of templates helping you to keep on top of your documentation. These include guides on gross profit calculators, cash flow, promotional planning and evaluation, production scheduling and more.

Academy competitions and awards

Throughout the year the Academy will run competitions and host awards for businesses in the sector, helping you to raise the profile of your business.

Additional Membership Benefits

Best practice tours

To help update and benchmark your best practice, we conduct study tours to a variety of locations, offer experience sessions with other operators and benchmarking activity with other sectors and businesses. We also send a quarterly bulletin highlighting trends, ideas and opportunities, as well as a regular newsletter with developments and case studies from Academy members.

Discount on trading pitches at events

IFDA members will receive discounted city centre trading pitches at events such as World Feast 'Bringing Foods of the World to the Streets of Leeds'.

Student talent pool

Through our employer engagement team you can connect your business with our talented students and graduates for a range of services to support your resource needs from project work, temporary help or consultancy. You will also have access to free advertising for a part time student or full time intern or graduate at the Leeds Beckett Job Shop, which is our in-house student and graduate enhanced employment service which can help fill vacancies including part time, casual and vacation work as well as permanent graduate roles.

Event support services

There is also access to the Event Support Services based at the UK Centre for Events Management, who provide event support on a project by project basis aiming to provide expertise to companies seeking event support and to enhance employability skills for our undergraduates.

Funding for growth

Our team will provide you with support to help you access business grants, funding and loans. We can advise on sources and access to government, bank and private equity funding.

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