About DGH

DGH offers professional guidance to ambitious Dorset pre-starts, start-ups, micro-businesses and SME’s looking to grow.

We are funded by the European Regional Development Fund to provide at least 12 hours of support to eligible Dorset businesses that are looking to grow. We are a team of 12, with extensive knowledge covering many aspects of business, some of us also run our own business so we listen to you and understand the challenges of growing a successful business.

Our team prides themselves on our trusting and human approach. It’s in our nature. Our mission is to offer impartial and tailored guidance to each client. We deliver this in engaging, friendly and open dialogue. This is what makes us different.

We thrive on successful and tangible results. These results are the smaller steps towards achieving the bigger picture - to increase and improve Dorset’s economy and employment through knowledge, experience and shared learning. Something we are proud to be a part of.


Shelley is the Programme Delivery Manager at Dorset Growth Hub and draws on 3 years’ experience of delivering business support to pre-starts and SMEs across Dorset, 13 years financial services experience and 7 years welfare to work and adult education experience. Shelley’s key areas of expertise include leadership, training, coaching, mentoring, project and account management. In her spare time Shelley spends likes to think she spends it doing outdoorsy things like walking and cycling but in reality spends most of it reading, watching Netflix and eating cake. She loves animals (especially dogs), musicals, singing along to musicals although she can’t sing and is happiest at work when she’s driving around Dorset meeting DGH clients in beautiful locations drinking good coffee.


Nick is the Operations Director at DGH. After a long career running a variety of businesses in various sectors, Nick joined the growth hub to add a practical slant to the business advice given to Dorset Businesses through the Growth Hub. Having started as Access to finance manager he took over the programme management of the Dorset Business Growth Project in January 2018. Other interests are travel and cookery. Nick is a keen cyclist and had finally gained a place at 2020 ride London ...sadly not this year either.


Steve is a Business Growth Consultant with the Dorset Growth Hub with particular expertise in pre-start, start-up and early business. He is passionate about business planning and has key skills in business mentoring, coaching and training. Steve also has experience running his own business which offers business support. He has previously been an ILM and SFEDI accredited Business Link Advisor working with over 300 business. Prior to that he worked with the Workforce Development Team at the Learning and Skills as a Connexions Work Based Learning attaché. Steve also leads a church in Poole.


David is Our Digital Project Manager. David is passionate about websites and digital marketing. Previously he has worked with the MOD in creating interactive multimedia and has run his own business. Where most people have a wardrobe of clothes he has one filled with computer parts and leads. When he isn't on his computer you will find him sparing and training at his local karate dojo.


Mary Lloyd is the Marketing Manager here at DGH, responsible for piecing together all the marketing efforts, from social and e-mail, to PR and print as well as organising and promoting our events. Mary joined the team two years ago and enjoys putting the rest of the team through their paces at our annual day out – last year it was a retro sports day. Outside of the office you would normally find her on the netball court, but at home Mary is mastering sourdough baking and growing her own veg.


Rich is our Strategy & Partnership Manager. He has been with DGH since it's infancy over 6 years ago and played a big part in helping to shape and re-purpose the business support ecosystem across the region. Rich brings over 15 years experience has in Marketing, Sales & Training as well as running a small retail business.


Dawn is a Business Growth Consultant. She has spent her career involved in money and finance. 10 years trading on the International Money Markets allowed her to indulge her love of travel followed by 14 years of banking experience in International Trade Finance, putting together finance packages from commercial airliner fleets to giftware lines in main grocers. After living in London, Frankfurt and Athens she saw the light and moved to beautiful Dorset, 15 years ago, seeking a better work life balance and to start a family. She enjoys walking with her dog, running, mountain biking, yoga and gardening so much she can only work for The Dorset Growth Hub part-time.


Vaiva is a Project Administrator for the Dorset Growth Hub. She joined the team in June 2018.
Her role within the Dorset Growth Hub involves supporting the management team with the general project administration, administering workshops/events and ensuring that all the paperwork for the ERDF project is compliant with ERDF requirements.
In her free time she loves spending time outdoors or listening to her favourite playlist while running long distances along the beautiful Bournemouth beach.
She is always in the midst of planning the next trip so travels always tops the free time list.


Linda is a Programme Manager, currently working on 2 ERDF programmes. Linda’s main focus is programme contract management overseeing project performance and ensuring programme compliance with ERDF requirements, as well as writing bids, and managing Dorset Growth Hub admin and Business Hothouse access to finance teams.
Linda joined the team in March 2017 and was instrumental in the implementation of the policies and procedures in addition to CRM customization and implementation for the Dorset Business Growth Programme.
Outside of the office Linda likes to keep fit by going to the gym, workout classes and running. In her free time she also enjoys walks in the countryside, especially Dorset’s Jurassic Coast and New Forest.


Shannon is a Project Administrator. She organises all things grant related, from dealing with the initial applications to processing the grant claims. She is often the voice at the other end of the phone when you call the Dorset Growth Hub. As well as supporting the management team with the general project administration. She would like to tell you that she doesn't have much free time because she is so busy with all her hobbies but you will actually find her at home trying to find something to watch on Netflix with her many pets.


Ann is a Business Growth Consultant, delivering pre-start and new business courses for Dorset Growth Hub, and enjoys welcoming new business clients onto our courses. Her areas of expertise include training, coaching, marketing, new business development and relationship management with 14 years of management experience with American Express across Europe. Ann trained as a Business Coach 14 years ago and also runs her own business.


Julian is a Finance Growth Consultant, specialising in accessing finance.
He is a former bank manager, finance director, commercial finance broker, and insolvency examiner. Don’t hold that against him as he's picked up a lot of useful information to guide clients. Technically challenged, he relies on the administration team to bring him into the 21st century but is a very willing late adopter. Out of work he's always up at his allotment or walking/cycling around the New Forest.

What kind of businesses do we work with?

In the last year, we have interacted with over 6,000 individuals & businesses


Dorset Growth Hub, Arena Business Centre, Holyrood Close, Poole, BH17 7FJ

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