Published: March 24, 2022 | Updated: March 29, 2022

Biz Bites featuring: IWN Accountancy, Not Just Travel, Pro2col, Silicon South and April Six

Alex and Stephanie Norian of IWN Accountancy in Westbourne.
By Andrew Diprose, editor

First full-time staff member for accountancy business

An accountancy practice founded in August 2021 has hired its first full-time member of staff.

Tugcem Kocadal has joined IWN Accountancy as a Trainee Accountant.

The former Bournemouth University graduate, pictured left, has already passed nine out of 13 ACCA exams and is well on her way to becoming fully qualified.

IWN was established by Alex Norian, an ACCA Chartered Accountant, after he was made redundant from his previous firm.

He had worked there for eight years when the pandemic hit.

In the event his redundancy gave him the push to start up his own venture.

Based at Barclays Eagle Labs in Westbourne, Alex was joined by his wife, Stephanie, last month.

The former Trainee Solicitor at Woodstock Legal Services is now IWN’s Operations Director.

IWN, a cloud-based firm, mainly works with portfolio landlords, as it specialises in property tax, as well as ambitious owner-managed businesses.


Not Just Travel launches three initiatives to help Ukraine

Dorset-based Not Just Travel has launched a three-pronged response to the ongoing crisis in Ukraine.

It is to pay any member of its corporate staff £350 per month to host a Ukrainian family, in addition to the £350 they will receive from the government.

The travel company has 40 head office staff and has recruited and trained over 950 franchisees into homeworking travel consultants.

It is also granting its employees fully paid leave to help with voluntary work to support Ukrainians, either locally or nationally.

In addition, Not Just Travel is supporting its franchisees with any campaigns and fundraising efforts they wish to commit to for helping Ukrainian people.

The company will financially support the fundraising of its members, as well as offer the full support of the business, and its trade and marketing teams, with access to advice, support and materials.

Steve Witt, Co-founder of Not Just Travel and its recruitment arm, The Travel Franchise, pictured, said: “Every single one of us is eager to help ease the suffering of the Ukrainian people.

“As a large business, we have the ability to help too.

“The government’s Homes for Ukraine programme is good, but only goes so far.

“With ever-increasing living costs, £350 doesn’t cover the outgoings.

“We have an incredibly passionate team who want to do their part but not everyone can afford it.

“That’s why we are pleased to match-fund the effort so that hosting becomes easier and more affordable.

“Not everyone is in the position to host others in their home, but they want to do their bit to help.

“That is why we are also offering to assist fundraising efforts of our members both financially and with staff resources.

“Our employees have the option to take unlimited fully paid leave to enable them to assist in charitable efforts for Ukraine.

“Each request will be dependent on the team’s ability to accommodate the staff leave, but we will do our best and do our part.

“Ultimately we just want to do anything we can to help and make it easier for our staff and members to help and support too.”


Consultancy marks 18th birthday by laying down new roots

A software solutions consultancy is celebrating its 18th birthday by planting more than 1,000 trees this year.

Christchurch-based Pro2col has committed to planting a tree for every customer it’s worked with, every employee to have worked in the team and one tree for every year it has been in business.

Founded by Managing Director James Lewis, pictured left, the business has grown into a national brand from its Dorset roots.

It now works with some of the biggest companies and organisations in the UK including Sports Direct, Primark and EDF.

James said: “When I started this company from my bedroom all those years ago, never in my wildest dreams did I think I’d be sitting here celebrating 18 years in business.

“If you told me back then that we’d be working with the likes of TalkTalk, Virgin Money and Next, I simply wouldn’t have believed you.

“It’s a testament to the brilliant colleagues and partners we’ve had over the years, and the hard work my team puts in every day, that we’ve been able to grow and establish ourselves as a leading voice in the world of Managed File Transfer.”

Pro2col has been based in Dorset since it was founded and has been headquartered in Christchurch since November 2020.

Over the last 24 months the business has grown rapidly with a 40 per cent year-on-year increase in head count.

This year it’s looking to add an additional eight members of staff to the team.


Three biggest challenges for digital sector covered at free event

They’re the three biggest challenges facing BCP’s digital sector, with talent acquisition right at the top.

And on Wednesday March 30, 5.15pm to 7.30pm, Silicon South is hosting a free event – Ready for Take Off – aimed at identifying what should be done to:

  • Ramp up the noise about the region
  • Get more people wanting to work for local agencies
  • Attract more enquiries from exciting clients and anything else which seems vital to the success of Bournemouth’s sector.

The one hour event, financially supported by BCP Council, will begin with insights from the coal face followed by an interactive audience-led discussion.

Silcon South will also outline how it can offer support. Thanks to support from Steele Raymond, the conversation will continue over drinks and nibbles into the evening.

The session will be live-streamed over Zoom for anyone who can’t make it to the venue, The Chocolate Box in Bournemouth.

The insights will be presented by the Chair – Anthony Story, Director, Silicon South, pictured left – and also Samantha Smith from April Six, and consultant Matt Desmier.

To book your free place, click here.