About Us

Bubble Enterprises is a team of people, specialising in imparting skills and knowledge to startup and new spin out ventures. We work with a range of clients from individuals to organisations of all types in the third sector and commercial companies where entrepreneurial expertise is required. Whether it’s equipping you with business skills or growth strategies we will work with you and your organisation to turn your idea into a profitable business.

Like all businesses, Bubble started life as an idea. Our idea was to create a business incubator that would provide early stage business support to individuals and organisations. We knew that start up businesses that benefited from business support are more likely to stay in business in the long term and we wanted to be part of making this happen.

We approached Manchester Business School with our idea and in 2001, we successfully launched Manchester Business School’s Incubator and our business, Bubble Partnership was born.

We quickly realised that the skills set entrepreneurs required could be applied to communities and individuals who operated on the margins of society to provide them with an opportunity to take control of their own futures.

This led to the creation of our sister company, Bubble Enterprises CIC, and the development of our innovative Bubble Enterprise Engagement Programme. The programme is aimed at entrepreneurs who are new to the idea of running their own business and people who have not previously considered themselves to be potential entrepreneurs.

Since we developed the programme, we have helped over 750 people to explore enterprise, many of whom have gone on to start their own businesses.

It’s the differences economically and socially that new enterprises can make to individuals and communities that is our passion and it’s why we work with many of our entrepreneurs and organisations throughout the life of their business.

Meet our people

Leigh Wharton – Director

Leigh is a founding Director of Bubble Partnership Ltd and Bubble Enterprises CIC. He specialises in providing consultancy to high growth clients, as well as support to individuals and organisations entering, starting or developing new business ventures. Areas of expertise include preparing companies for market entry and making the first sale to helping companies create structures to maximise investment and growth. Leigh was one of the North West Development Agency Business Angels Network advisory team which provided a finance support service of guidance to entrepreneurs seeking informal investment. Leigh is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts (RSA), Manufacture and Commerce. Some of the clients Leigh has worked with include Jepson Holt Ltd, Pixie Children’s Wear Ltd, UK Plumbing Supplies (Finagold Ltd), Ask A Price LLP, Gentry Grooming Company Ltd, Stringsta Ltd and Martin Conquest Ltd

Belinda Barnard – Director

Belinda heads up Bubble’s cafes and catering operation. The cafes utilise the skills of people with mental health difficulties by providing employment and volunteering opportunities, demonstrating Bubble’s ethos of providing sustainable opportunities for social and economic inclusion. Previously, Belinda was Managing Director and joint founder of Mica (UK) Ltd, a company which followed a worldwide model of group branding and marketing for independent hardware retailers, which grew to 200 member stores nationwide, with retail sales in excess of £65 million. Some of the clients Belinda has worked with include Jepson Holt Ltd, Pixie Children’s Wear Ltd, UK Plumbing Supplies (Finagold Ltd), Ask A Price LLP, Gentry Grooming Company Ltd, Stringsta Ltd and Martin Conquest Ltd

Don Phillips – Chair

Don has been Chairman of Bubble Enterprises since 2007 and is a Non-Executive Director, Consultant and Coach. He has built his experience over thirty years in leadership roles at the leading edge of the IT industry. He worked at Hewlett-Packard Ltd, Arrow ECS Ltd, Kavanagh Systems Ltd and Theorem Solutions Ltd as well as founding developing and selling the intellectual property of his own business Lloyd-Davies Associates Ltd. His skills have developed in Corporate Governance, Sales, Marketing and Operations underpinned by an extensive knowledge and practical experience of implementing IT systems and processes. He has long had a keen interest in social enterprises and how ‘service users’ can use their skills and entrepreneurial flair to aid their recovery and achieve social and economic inclusion. He is particularly keen to explore alliances with the ‘commercial world’ to assist making these enterprises sustainable.

Partners and Clients