Keith Bates

Supporter / Facilitator / Youth worker

Enterprise facilitator.

Description of your role 

Member of a business circle of support for a man with learning difficulties who runs his own business.

Previous experience in enterprise development

Quite a bit of experience running enterprises.


The supported entrepreneur has worked at a part time job at a local supermarket for many year but more recently has been developing artistic skills that have been used to provide easy-read guides to charities and other organisations that support people with learning disabilities.

S/he has illustrated some books too.

Has now been self-employed for a few years but the enterprise is still small.

Field of Business

Works as a graphic facilitator, illustrator animator and artist.

Case Study:

Having started the business a while ago the pandemic made it very difficult to develop new business opportunities and contracts. Systems needed changing and the way R was supported was reviewed. 

The business support circle continued to offer advice and guidance and changed from meeting face to face to having meetings online over zoom.  R’s pa continued to provide support as well and they met regularly on zoom to discuss new ideas.

The module on support and especially the idea of support circles was important in realising the role of the business circles was more than just a 6 monthly meeting and that acting as an ambassador to the enterprise, creating new opportunities and contract links was a vital.  This shift of emphasis from passive advisors to active champions has led to the development of a couple of training opportunities and a new project. The support circle continues to be one route through which early business opportunities come.

The e-learning training is very good but the level at which it is pitched does vary enormously. It would also be good if practical tips on developing support networks could be included.

What are your plans for the future ? 

To continue to develop animations and training films alongside other easy-read and graphic facilitation.