S.C Agency offers impactful creative agency services without the city price tag. Founded by Angela O’ Donnell and Lorna Dodge in 2006, the Northamptonshire-based design agency produces innovative graphic design, digital marketing, creative branding, dynamic websites, and social media for B2B and B2C clients. The growing agency supports a range of local customers around their Corby HQ, as well as clients across the UK. 

What challenge did S.C. Agency face? 

The Covid-19 pandemic had a big impact on S.C. Agency, who had previously connected with many of their clients through local networking events. This disruptive period, alongside staffing issues, saw them reflect on their business model and begin to explore new ways to grow. 

How did SEMLEP provide support? 

Founder Lorna Dodge was aware of SEMLEP through local events but found out more about their offering when she launched a Zoom networking event during the pandemic. The online networking was a huge success – the group is still active today – and a big focus for members was available grants or funding. She reviewed SEMLEP’s Recovery and Resilience Grant as part of her role in the group and realised that it also represented an opportunity for S.C. Agency: 

“I thought well actually there’s an opportunity for us here, because we’ve been impacted by COVID – as have many businesses – but perhaps we look at adapting our business and grow as well.”

Lorna explains that S.C. Agency is focused on future growth and that they have identified tenders as a key part of their expansion. After successfully applying for £3000 in grant funding, they were able to engage a specialist consultancy to provide expert advice on applying for tenders and to create documents that will make future bids more compelling and save time during the application process. The business is currently applying for different tenders and Lorna is confident that the agency will continue to grow, supporting future recruitment. 

In addition to the financial support, S.C. Agency also worked with a SEMLEP business advisor – Carl Meyers – to access personalised advice. Lorna says that partnering with Carl on specific areas of business planning was incredibly useful:  

 “It was good, because I think what tends to happen is when you’re in a small business, things like business plans, they get pushed to one side because time is against us. Obviously, the marketing comes easy, but actually putting a projection in place in terms of what we want to achieve is another thing. It was kind of there, but it just wasn’t as structured as it perhaps should have been.”

Lorna describes the whole experience as “very positive”, adding that she has already recommended SEMLEP grants to other local businesses:

“We’ve recommended SEMLEP via networking to a few other people that have already been successful. It’s nice to hear that they’re going through that process and ultimately, we’ve actually then won some work ourselves from people getting the grant!”