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Hi my name is Jason Handyside, born in Bournemouth and I love it so much I don’t see myself ever moving too far. I’ve always loved how I can be at the beach in morning and the forest in the afternoon. I’ve been married for 6 years and have two children, Maisie and Max who are both under 4. When I’m not working or being an unpaid kid’s entertainer, I l enjoy being outdoors, regularly heading off for long walks along the coast or getting out on the kayak down the river. In the past year I have really got into audiobooks and have just finished “From the Oasthouse, The Alan Partridge Podcast” which I highly recommend.

Professionally, I have over 8 years’ experience of delivering change within multiple industries, I have developed strong expertise in multiple change methodologies, business analysis, process improvement and project management. I consider myself a role model when embracing change, ensuring that I approach each opportunity in a passionate and unassuming manner. 

Some of my more recent projects include;

  • Development and deployment of a global improvement framework and strategy that have been adopted by all sales and service regions.
  • Delivery of change methodology through workshops, training, and project management to senior leadership team.
  • Developed change management capabilities across the group, engaging and supporting a network of change champions.
  • Managed multiple projects that have streamlined high-cost processes, improved customer experience, or increased direct sales.

I look forward to meeting and hearing from you in the coming months.

Syma Brown, owner of CoastalVAs is an Online Business Manager and Virtual Assistant (VA) Mentor.

As an Online Business Manager (OBM), Syma helps business owners:

* Leverage their time more efficiently by taking everything off their plate, so they can get back to doing the things that light them up in their business and move the business forward.

* Help keep clients happy by delivering to deadlines, responding timely and not being stretched too thinly. So they can focus on great client experiences, increased client retention and increased referrals.

* Be the second person in the business, looking at the bigger picture ensuring everything is done on time so they can focus on business growth and delivery.


After years of experience of running her own VA and then OBM business, Syma trained as a Business Coach and mentors VAs and other women in business who are looking for someone who they can talk to about growing their business, business strategy or to bounce ideas off. This is delivered over 12 weeks either as 121 sessions or part of a mastermind group.

If you or someone you know needs this kind of support to help grow their business, please click on the following link to set up a call:

Viral Talent is a social media talent agency specialising in influencer marketing and digital advertising activations. Our roots in digital advertising and experience within the influencer space means we have the expertise to produce bespoke 360-degree media plans for each one of our clients. Our offering includes:


💡Influencer activity
We manage some of the largest creators on social media and operate across an extensive network of creators worldwide, launching campaigns across the UK, EU and the US. We have executed over 2,000 influencer-led campaigns for our clients covering a diverse range of sectors including Toys, Gaming, Technology, Fashion, Beauty, Food & Drink and more.  


💡YouTube Pre-Roll
We create cut-downs of influencer sponsored content and run it across a whitelist of the most popular and relevant channels on YouTube. We target these ads towards specific demographics to ensure we are reaching the client’s target audience and optimising the marketing budget. 

💡Digital activations across Connected TV channels
Viral Talent are partnered with top Connected TV channels across OTT (over-the-top) platforms. OTT/CTV viewership is growing year-on-year and accelerated by the global pandemic when Video-On-Demand content has exploded. 


On the creator side, the Viral team provide a range of opportunities, from trips abroad, attendance to movie premieres and brand events to syndication, licensing and sponsorship opportunities and more. We work closely with our creators to ensure we offer the right opportunities which allow further growth and brand development. 

For more information, get in touch! 

Get in touch! 

Email: [email protected] 


Instagram: @viralgroupuk 

LinkedIn: Viral Talent

Smart Quality Services Ltd is a specialist ISO consultancy which has recently expanded from Bristol into Bournemouth with offices at THIS Workspace in the iconic Echo building in the centre of town.

Focusing primarily on working with the SME sector, the company provides a simple and cost-effective route to helping businesses across all sectors to gain ISO certification to a range of ISO standards including ISO 9001 (Quality); ISO 14001 (Environmental); ISO 45001 (Health and Safety) and ISO 27001 (Data Security).

“Sadly, many SMEs don’t understand the true value that ISO standards can bring to their business. Then there are those who are put off by their perception that they’ll have to dispense with all their existing systems and processes and start afresh building new procedures which will stifle their business through “bureaucratic paperwork”. Worse still, there are companies who believe all they need to do is “to buy the badge”.

So, a lot of the initial engagement we do is around the educational piece”, explained Sara Duff, Director at Smart Quality.

Raising awareness of what standards are all about, the benefits they can bring to an SME and what is entailed in developing and maintaining an ISO compliant management system to enable a business to attain and retain ISO certification, is therefore a key element in the customised service which Smart Quality delivers.

The natural typical starting point for a business is getting certified to ISO 9001. This is the most widely recognised international standard for a Quality Management System with over 1m businesses in over 180 countries holding this certification. Organisations use the standard to demonstrate the ability to consistently provide products and services that meet customer and regulatory requirements.

ISO 9001 aims to provide a practical and workable Quality Management System framework for driving continuous improvement through a business to enable a company to improve efficiency, increase customer satisfaction and drive increased revenues and profitability.

Smart Quality Services works with SMEs to implement an ISO compliant management system which is bespoke to the business and then gets the company ready for external certification. Going forward it can also provide the internal auditing and other ISO maintenance activity if the business does not want to undertake this in-house.

Additionally, beyond its consultancy services, Smart Quality and through its other brand, Smart Manufacture, provides a range of cloud-based software in the areas of compliance management, CRM and ERP which helps companies streamline and automate their processes to drive improved operational efficiencies.

Summing up on the first 2 months of being in Dorset, Sara explained, “We moved to the area to be closer to our 2 older daughters who both had their first babies last year so it’s great being able to see my 2 little baby grand-daughters and be by the sea, which has always been on my wish list since being a child. From a business perspective, we have had a very warm welcome from the Dorset Business community and are now developing some good local relationships

We’d really like to keep supporting the flow of talent into the sector, but know it can be hard for many small businesses to plan a placement day. The good news is that Speakers for Schools have several templates for companies to follow to make it much more easy.

Work experience for young people has been hampered this year due to Covid and Speakers for Schools has stepped in to help employers by helping them to  create virtual insight days so young people can explore various sectors in a safeguarded and virtual way. In Dorset, an average of 8,000 Year 10 students alone have missed out on vital work experience opportunities which will have a detrimental effect on their future career path and impact businesses future talent pipeline.

Speakers for Schools is working in partnership with Dorset Council  the Dorset Local Enterprise Partnerships to offer hundreds of virtual work experience placements for students on June 29th to ensure local students do not get left behind.

To support this, we are helping Speakers for Schools in promoting their insight day for students via a portal and employers register to create an ‘insight advert’ that schools are able to view, and the students are subsequently able to apply for. To ensure planning and allow schools to prepare, they are asking for employers to confirm their interest by 30th April. All registered parties will then be connected to the classroom of students via Google Classrooms which they will also provide training on.


For examples of some of the Speakers for Schools previous insight day adverts, take a look here: Reed SmithClifford Chance, Green Coat, Shrink Wrap MachineryMidas Group.


Further, they have also created a short 6 minute video which will provide a succinct overview of their project which can be found via LinkedIn here.


For more information, visit the attached PDF on Insight Days (numbers are as examples) – Insightday120

The guide also provides greater clarity of the experience for you, as an employer – Guide for Employers

Crowd is a global creative agency that specialises in amplifying demand for brands around the world.

Their dynamic, multi-national team fuses rich data, digital innovation, and creativity to ensure that any business’ message hits harder, budgets go further, and sales reach higher.

Crowd combines localised knowledge with the support and reach of a worldwide network, allowing brands to succeed both at home and internationally. 

Even though they expanded in the 8 years of activity, having now offices from San Francisco to Sydney, Crowd wants to take a minute and appreciate their first office and also HQ from the beautiful Bournemouth, Dorset. 

The team loves working and living in Dorset for many reasons and here are a few of them: 

Julia says: “Of course the beach is a definite highlight. Going for a morning swim in the freezing water or going for a 4 mile walk along the beach is a free recharge of the soul. Also, being able to visit places like Old Harry’s Rocks, Hengistbury Head and Durdle Door in under one hour is a dream. All this makes Dorset a great place to live. And if you feel like it, the nightlife has plenty to give as well. Less busy, more life. 

Graham likes that Dorset provides a great natural and rural lifestyle with the added bonus of being close to a large town with great entertainment and hospitality. He says that “there are always lots of places to explore and things to do with the family too. It’s a great place to achieve a work life balance”.

Emma said: “Dorset is a fantastic place to live and work. It has stunning natural scenery, from the Jurassic coastline to nature reserves and parks, there is so much to explore and unwind the mind.  But it is also a lively place with plenty of restaurants, culture, and nightlife to enjoy.  In addition to all that, and from a professional point of view, it’s a fast growing hub of creativity and digital innovation – so what more could you want?”

Steve loves Dorset for its inspiration, as it’s hard to beat natural scenery. “Within just a few minutes from being at my laptop I’m able to step out into wide open green spaces, dramatic beaches and head clearing fresh air”. 

Allen said: “Bournemouth is rich with stunning scenery and a 7-mile sandy beach. Once a year there is an airshow, the world’s largest free air display, which attracts over a million visitors. Bournemouth is full of life and has long lost its reputation as a place where only retirees go to live out their life. The high streets have real community spirit. The real test is when you come back from holiday you can’t wait to get home, that’s when you know you live in a great place. And it’s definitely somewhere, I will keep calling my home for many years to come”.

A Dorset consultancy has helped innovative businesses benefit from HMRC’s Research & Development (R&D) tax credit scheme.

Bournemouth-based tax incentives consultancy, Business Cash Enabler, reports helping businesses to claim in excess of £5m in tax credits or cashback for costs incurred in innovation activities:

“This is an incredibly generous government funding scheme but is much misunderstood and there is evidence that many Dorset-based businesses are not claiming their entitlement. Many are eligible yet are not claiming at all, others have severely under-claimed. This may be a particularly important message to innovative businesses in any sector if they have struggled during the past 12 months of the pandemic. Claims can be made reaching back two accounting periods enabling a business to receive a welcome cash injection, often tens of thousands of pounds and sometimes into six figures. It’s different to a loan too, it doesn’t have to be paid back!

Some headlines for eligibility are:

• Do you design and make new products?

• Do you seek to improve processes, services, materials or devices?

• Do you make prototypes or perform testing?

• Do you develop software or IT solutions?

• Do you employ any staff with a technical or scientific background?

• Have you paid subcontractors to carry out bespoke innovation?

• Have you invested in failed / cancelled projects or developed products that were never launched?

Unfortunately wrong assumptions are often made, such as ‘we can’t claim because we don’t make any profit and we don’t pay corporation tax’. This is a costly myth, because loss-making companies can receive a cash credit each year that they incur costs for qualifying activities. Another common barrier to receiving full entitlement is ‘we are already claiming’, likely as a DIY submission to HMRC, yet a shortfall can be claimed for the previous 2 years.

Another wrong assumption may be that ‘we don’t do any R&D’. However, definitions of qualifying activity extend beyond obvious R&D and can even include internal IT or software projects where costs were incurred and may have included sizeable subcontractor costs. Conversely, some companies have claimed and received benefit from a DIY claim for work that isn’t actually eligible. What they do may be clever and skilful, but may not comply with legislation. In the event that HMRC review a claim in detail they may require the money to be paid back.

The core reason behind under-claiming is perhaps that it is not appreciated that claim entitlement is fundamentally about overcoming technical (and scientific) uncertainty, therefore a technologist-led approach will accurately identify what is in scope, more so than an accountancy-led approach. Business Cash Enabler works with a group of scientists, engineers and IT specialists who compile a compliant technical report. The accountancy aspect is the simple part of a claim, which can only follow when technical merits have been correctly assessed. Experience shows time and again that a claim report by a specialist claims provider will increase claim values significantly.”

For more information visit

To arrange a free eligibility assessment email [email protected] or call 07732 627085.

A university placement can be a valuable opportunity to gain practical experience in the workplace alongside a degree. Claudia Emby, a Bournemouth University undergraduate, is halfway through her placement year with Unicard, a provider of smart ticketing and payment solutions to the public transport sector, headquartered in Ferndown.

Unicard’s technology powers smart card and ticketing schemes for Local Authorities, bus and other transport operators. For nearly 20 years, Unicard’s technology has been used by millions of passengers to get them where they need to be. It processes over half a billion smart transactions every year and supports 2.5 million smart cardholders across the UK. Claudia is the first placement student Unicard has taken on. Claudia grabbed the opportunity and she’s paving the way for future placements.

Silicon South spoke to Claudia recently to find out more about her role as ‘Business Coordinator’ and her experience of working for an innovative technology company.

“I began working at Unicard last October. As a Business Studies student, I wanted a placement which would allow me to experience a variety of roles with meaningful responsibilities and deliverables across the business. From the very beginning, I was given the opportunity to define my role and my objectives. So far, besides other projects I’ve been involved in, I have actively driven a few digital initiatives to support the company’s growth strategy. I have helped deliver Microsoft Dynamics as the company’s new CRM system and have played a leading role in delivering the new website. I’m also responsible for managing the Unicard LinkedIn page. The various projects have enabled me to learn a lot about the business, the various functions, and the broader public transport sector. It’s been an incredible experience so far and I’m very pleased that Unicard has shown so much faith in me”.


We asked Claudia about her reasons for applying for the placement, and what advice she has for other undergraduates looking for work experience.

“One of the reasons I chose to study at Bournemouth University was the mandatory placement year. I wanted to gain some valuable experience before I graduated. However, the pandemic really added to the challenge of finding a job and I had to change my approach a number of times. After several months of applying and interviewing for jobs that didn’t really feel right for me, I started sending out my CV to local businesses. A contact that I found listed on Sustainable Dorset offered to forward my message to a few members of his network. A week later, I had a call from Sean Dickinson, CEO of Unicard. He asked me to research the company and to come up with a list of personal objectives for my placement year. After a few informal discussions, he offered me a job. No psychometric tests, no personality tests, no data analysis presentations needed. Compared to every other interview process I had been through; it was a breath of fresh air. At the time, it was all quite surreal. Especially because, prior to Sean’s first phone call, I wasn’t really aware of the scale and importance of the ‘Transport Ticketing industry’”.

“My advice to other students searching for work placements is to be proactive and identify the companies that you want to work with. It’s a much more empowering and satisfying experience. There’s no harm in reaching out to companies, even if they’re not advertising. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain. Don’t underestimate the power of networking. Platforms such as Sustainable Dorset and Silicon South are great places to discover local organisations. Also, be open-minded about where you apply. There are lots of professions and industries you may not have considered that can teach you valuable skills. If you remain motivated and proactive, you could end up with a role like mine where you can define your own responsibilities, rather than being molded to suit a position you might not be comfortable with”.

“Due to the impact of the pandemic, the university has made the placement year optional. I would encourage any student to use the ‘option’ as a last resort. Do everything you can to secure a placement that is going to give you the experience you need for life after uni. You won’t regret it. Fortunately, Unicard is looking to create better links with Bournemouth and other local Universities. So, while I may be the first placement student to work here, I certainly won’t be the last”.


We asked Claudia what she has gained from her experience at Unicard and what her goals are for the future.

“My experience has been really positive. Unicard is a growing business and during the time I’ve been here, lots of new people have come on board. It’s so rewarding to be part of a company that is still thriving despite the current global situation. I am so grateful to have been given such a versatile role and to be involved in a variety of interesting projects across Unicard. Every day brings something new, which is what I love about the role. It has given me a great deal of confidence and has taught me to be more vocal and make my presence felt, knowing that I have the full support of my colleagues. It has inspired me to continue working in a professional environment where I can take on new challenges”.


Would she consider staying in the area?

“Absolutely. I think the Bournemouth, Christchurch, Poole area is a great place to live. The beach, the Jurassic Coast and the New Forest are all reasons I chose to study here. Growing up in the countryside, I never saw myself living in a big city, so for me, the area has the perfect balance of urban and rural. I’m not sure where my career will take me when I leave university, but my experience at Unicard has shown me that you don’t need to go far to find great businesses operating on a national scale”

The Dorset region has become a major hub for digital businesses and start-ups over the past decade. One pioneering software company based in Ferndown established itself nearly 20 years ago, well before the area became synonymous with technology. Unicard is a provider of smart ticketing and transport management software to the public transport sector, and to commercial operators. Its technology is used by Local Authorities and travel operators all over the UK to ensure that people get from ‘A to B’ whenever they use a smart travel card. Unicard’s software is predominantly used to support concessionary travel, ensuring elderly and disabled passengers can use local bus services without any disruption. Unicard currently supports over 2.5 million smart cardholders and its back-office solutions are powering 60+ Local Authorities throughout the UK.

According to Sean Dickinson – Unicard’s CEO, public transport is changing rapidly, and the company is well placed to support the rollout of more diverse and integrated public transport networks, particularly as we see the uptake of new modes of transport including bikes and electric vehicles supplementing our buses, train and tram services.

Sean explained, “Our technology is embedded nationally, across regional and local authority areas supporting and facilitating the changes in how people use public transport. New legislation and the introduction of Future Transport Zones, new environments for smart transport services, has led to new players and technologies entering the marketplace. The Solent region has been designated a Future Transport Zone, so we already have a hotbed of innovation on our doorstep.”

He added, “We’ve invested heavily in our business and our team to develop a suite of Smart Mobility solutions that help our customers take advantage of this opportunity. We’re now talking to customers about how they can onboard services to support everything from eScooter and bike rental schemes to smart parking services. We continue to develop products and services for all modes of transport, including buses and trains too. It’s a very exciting time”.

Unicard is a forward-looking business that’s definitely going places. From humble beginnings on the South coast to developing a growing organisation with a nationwide customer base and an outstanding and brilliant technical team based in Varna, Bulgaria.

“We’ve been fortunate enough to build an incredible business that operates in a vibrant and evolving sector, and every day we work with very smart and passionate people. We’re part of some of the largest smart transport deployments in the UK. Our software and solutions are behind the Swift card, a smart ticketing service available in the West Midlands that’s similar to the Oyster card used on public transport in London”, said Sean.

“Our back-office HOPS solution provides the essential backbone for concessionary services all over the UK. We were recently awarded a national HOPS contract by Transport Scotland to support concessionary travel throughout Scotland. That was a very proud moment for us and the culmination of years of hard work and dedication from our team”, he added.

Despite its success, Unicard has stayed faithful to its roots and still calls the Dorset region home.

“Our chairman and founder, Peter Verrept, started the business from scratch. BCP Council and Solent Council were among our very first customers using solutions developed by Peter and his team. We’re

still housed in the same building in Ferndown. The company has grown since then. We’re 80 strong now, and we’ve recently expanded the management team to add resilience and support our new direction”, he said.

Sean added, “The culture of the business hasn’t changed. We’ve always invested in people and we pride ourselves on the long-term relationships we have established with our customers – always trying to go the extra mile. We continue to invest in the local area and business community. We use local suppliers whenever we can, we support local business networks and communities, and last year we took on a placement student for the first time. She’s become an important and much valued member of the team and we hope to take on more undergraduates in future, forging better relations with local universities in the process”.

Unicard is firmly focused on developing its portfolio of smart transport products and solutions to help improve the public transport experience, making transport affordable and accessible. Millions of passengers rely on its technology to the extent that its now processing 500m smart transactions a year. While the business looks to expand its UK footprint, its feet are firmly planted on the ground here on the South coast.

The Three Purposes of Marketing – Intergage

1. Build, maintain and protect the brand

This is about the awareness and credibility of your brand and how trusted we are in the marketplace. It’s not about the product or service we sell, but about our organisations, who we are, why we do what we do and how we do it.

2. Customer engagement

Attracting, appealing to, pleasing, connecting with and retaining our customers using the appropriate tools, channels and technology at our disposal. This remains the essence of marketing in today’s world. But today, marketing has a much larger part to play than ever before. Our customers are moving much further through the sales pipeline without even talking to salespeople. In fact, our customers tell us they don’t want to be sold to anymore. So, we have to completely change our perspective and think more about how we engage with our customers before their buying journey even begins. By making this our starting point we are able to better understand out customers and connect through what they really care about, what matters to them and the challenges they deal with every day.

3. Driving demand

This is not the same as generating leads, thought leads are the natural outcome of the process. Demand generation requires a longer term, far wider, holistic marketing approach that builds awareness and interest. It should create engagement around customer issues while aligning that with what we sell.

Of course, how we do this all depends on our business and our marketing strategy. It takes an unrelenting long-term commitment but taken together, these three elements create the environment in which we can more effectively achieve our organisation’s strategic business goals.

So, now we understand our purpose, let’s move on to the marketing mix.


Continue reading the article by Intergage here –