A new Government-led programme designed to support and grow small enterprises has proven a huge success with two Shropshire businesswomen. Helen Culshaw, director of Ascendancy Internet Marketing, based in Shifnal, has been working with Egyptian mezze connoisseur Marina Ibrahim, of Cooking Like Cleopatra, as a Growth Voucher advisor providing strategic advice on digital marketing. The work has enabled Marina Ibrahim, who offers authentic Egyptian cookery masterclasses, presents at festivals and shows across the country and sells an increasing range of Egyptian cookery products, to grow and move her business forward much more rapidly. Helen Culshaw said: “Cooking Like Cleopatra is the first business to have used their Government Growth Vouchers with us and it has been a great success. “We have been able to provide Marina with a comprehensive digital marketing strategy to give her potential customers the best possible online experience, and targeting their specific needs, both key to the success of this project. “It is really important that businesses have a clear marketing plan and approach and we have been able to provide Marina with all the necessary advice to raise awareness of her products and services within the chosen target audiences online. “The Growth Voucher programme is a fantastic way for small businesses to subsidise business advice they would otherwise be unable to afford. “We are now very much looking forward to working with other small businesses in the area which would benefit from strategic digital marketing advice.” Ascendancy Internet Marketing is one of just a handful of Shropshire businesses to be approved to provide Growth Voucher services in the marketing sector. Marina Ibrahim, who launched her business 10 months ago, said the advice received from Ascendancy Internet Marketing was really helping to grow the business. “Without the match funded Growth Vouchers there is no way I would have been in a position to afford Helen’s expert advice which has allowed me to move the business forward much more rapidly. “The advice has enabled me to put together a much clearer focus for the business by developing a detailed marketing plan to raise awareness of my products and services and increase sales. “I would certainly recommend Helen and the Growth Voucher scheme to other small businesses in need of digital marketing advice.” The Growth Voucher programme was launched by the Government back in January with the aim of providing match funded subsidies to small businesses. The vouchers can provide up to £2,000 for small businesses to access strategic advice on finance and cash flow, recruiting and developing staff, improving leadership and management skills, marketing and making the most of digital technology. For more information on the Growth Voucher programme visit www.gov.uk/apply-growth-vouchers. For more information on services and advice provided by Ascendancy Internet Marketing visit www.ascendancyinternetmarketing.com or contact 01952 462845.