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Match Case Study 

Whetstone Communications a Match success story


Stockport based Alex Waddington attended his first BGH Match event to explore opportunities for his newly founded Whetstone Communications business in 2022. Attracted to the benefits that the Match event presented, he took advantage of the chance to learn about the GM Business Growth Hub support available, hear about the local area development plans from the featured presentations and connect with his local business community.


What Happened

As a trained journalist and award-winning leader with over 20 years' experience working in strategic communications, stakeholder management and public affairs, Alex was aware of the advantages of networking to connect with his local area and the business professionals within it. Following an online search, Alex found his local Match Stockport event. As Greater Manchester’s free business network, our GM Business Growth Hub Match event presented the perfect combination of opportunities with an attractive agenda of a presentation from Paul Richards Director of Development and Regeneration for Stockport Council, an opportunity to learn about GM Business Growth Hub Support, meet local area business professionals and visit a new venue at Venues@Cornerstone.  

With plans to establish his business in Stockport with a base at the Profolk co-working space, the timing of Alex’s new business venture matched perfectly with Stockport’s exciting development, regeneration plans and future vision for the area.

Arriving at his first Match event, Alex was greeted by Nick Shepherd, the Match team and a group of familiar connections, new faces and a great event space. During the event Alex listened to presentations from local area representatives, networked with other attendees which also included representatives from different programme and support areas from the GM Business Growth Hub.


Connecting and Upskilling 

By attending the Match event, Alex enjoyed a series of invaluable connections and conversations with representatives from Stockport Council, Stockport County Football Club and the University of Salford. The presentation by Paul Richards had also presented Alex with insight into future plans for the area which he could use to his advantage for his Whetstone Communications business proposition and positioning. 

From a GM Business Growth Hub perspective, Alex met Tom Pickford from our Digital Portals team who directed him to look at the fully funded course options available on the GM Skills Map, Greater Manchester’s online course directory. Soon after the event, Alex enrolled on a Data course to boost his skillset and stay up to date with data developments in his sector. By taking the time to upskill, Alex has added further value and benefits to his business offering. 

Continued Success

The Match success story continues as Alex is firmly positioned within the Stockport ecosystem and enjoys regular invites to networks and opportunities from connections made at the Match Event in 2022.  Remaining as part of the BGH family, he has cemented and built relationships and now works closely with his Stockport Account Manager Tom Avery, who has signposted him to the prospects available as part of the EnterprisingYou. The tailored EnterprisingYou offering will assist in strengthening his business planning skills to enable the future growth of his business by using his data consultancy skillsets to tell the story of Stockport. 

The Impact of Match 

The local approach of the Match events was the main attraction to Alex attending the initial event and this passion to contribute to his local Stockport area continues. As part of Stockport’s Profolk co-working community and the thriving Stockport area, Alex is embedded within an environment that can assist with the growth of his business. Enjoying the positive benefits of co-working, Alex is exposed to conversations and community success, as businesses scale, grow, futureproof and drive the local economy.  

Together with Alex’s business location, the continued support from areas of the GM Business Growth Hub and the connections that were made at the Match event, Alex has been inspired to action his plans to go from strength to strength and play his part in Stockport’s continued success. 

"Attending Business Growth Hub Match has been the catalyst for many good things. It has connected me to further support and opportunities in Stockport and Greater Manchester, including Stockport Digital Network and free training in data analysis, which has allowed me to expand my offer to clients. I've also gained useful knowledge and ideas from other small business owners and gained a strategic insight into the exciting plans for Stockport and Greater Manchester from guest speakers." Alex Waddington


About Whetstone Communications 
Based in Profolk in Stockport's old town, Whetstone is a consultancy that helps creative communications and PR teams get more from data. With experience in local government, education and charity sectors, it helps agencies and internal teams harness data to better understand audiences, fine-tune engagement and tell great stories.


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