The Northern Affinity launched in September and has officially partnered with The Northern Powerhouse, joining the Government’s exciting partner programme supporting businesses in the North.

Founded by Michael Edwards, The Northern Affinity is a collaboration of dynamic businesses from varying industries and sizes, including charities, based in the North. The focus is well aligned with The Northern Powerhouse; working together to promote business growth and development.

Michael Edwards, Founder of The Northern Affinity said:
“In my experience as a business owner, there are many things a business can do to promote itself and facilitate growth; face to face networking and social media are great examples. In practise it’s actually pretty difficult – you not only need the expertise, but you need the time and processes in place to really get the best out of your efforts, regardless of the size of your business.
I started The Northern Affinity to help these businesses enhance their current activity and to support them having more of a strategy and focus, particularly when it comes to meeting other businesses that could be potential clients, collaborators and problem-solvers for them.”

He continued:
“It’s not about your industry, job title or business size; we’re focussing on the person, and not the business. It doesn’t matter if you’re the owner of a lifestyle business or if you want to build a multi-national company, the values of The Northern Affinity are what make us stand out, and we want them to really connect with the people that become a part of it. We want to welcome people who want to be a part of something where they can make a difference – we’ve all got something to offer, so we can all support each other in some way.”

There are already exciting plans in the pipeline for a space for co-working and events, Michael is keen to make sure that the growth of The Northern Affinity ensures everyone gets the best out of being a part of the community.

“It’s important to make sure that we grow with the right people and at the right time. I want to get this right for the people within it and make sure we continue to grow with the flexibility that is a key part of how we’re making this work – it’s very much about making this work for the individual. There’s no obligation to turn up for meetings or events, but we still hold events to give people the opportunity to meet; it’s just encouraging people to be as involved in the community as they want to be and that suits their business and their life.”

The Northern Affinity has already filled its initial partnerships, with a growing waiting list for the next partnership release.

Minister for the Northern Powerhouse, the Rt Hon Jake Berry, MP said:
“I am excited to welcome The Northern Affinity as the latest member of our ever-expanding network of over 300 Northern Powerhouse Partner organisations.

“Their provision of support for businesses across the North builds upon on our record of £694.5 million Local Growth Fund investment into the Leeds City Region. I look forward to working with them as we boost economic growth and level up the whole of the region ahead of our departure from the European Union on October 31st.”