KuKu UK business heroes reach 100 days of COVID support

KuKu UK business heroes reach 100 days of COVID support

KuKu Connect, a business membership service which connects businesses and entrepreneurs, will reach its 100th business-focussed daily update video bulletin on Tuesday (4th Aug) whilst simultaneously helping thousands of businesses everyday, with a range of innovative and quirky free services. KuKu who have been called business heroes have helped in excess of 30k businesses and charities from across England and as far as Wales, helping to keep organisations going and raise vital funds for charities during COVID-19, with KuKu still here supporting any business or community organisation for free.
Stephen Goddard and Philip Brooks-Stephenson, young entrepreneurs and KuKu Connect Co-Founders, have not only provided their daily Carry On KuKu bulletins, they have set-up social media groups, offered social media support, have promoted other organisations and their own news, events and support out to 30k+ businesses each day, which have in turn helped organisations to keep connecting, keep positive, given daily business tips, offers and other opportunities and events to benefit their own businesses. 
Stephen and Philip commented on their forthcoming 100th milestone saying, “During COVID-19 businesses have clearly not been able to physically meet up and network but at KuKu Connect we felt that it was vital to keep businesses talking and connecting.  To that end we immediately began offering free support to any business or charity, not just our members, using the power of digital connecting and our audience platforms to help all businesses during this time of crisis.
“To date we have connected thousands of businesses together during COVID-19 and whist our own business is on pause, we made the decision to stop KuKu Connect Membership payments to support those experiencing financial hardship. We are delighted to be able to help other businesses still do business, make connections and develop relationships.  Part of our activity has been our Carry on KuKu daily video bulletins and we are thrilled to be about to reach the 100 mark with our daily episodes, there have been so many examples of success for businesses and the feedback and praise from other organisations has been a real motivator for us, in what has been our the hardest ever period for our business activities.”
The Carry on KuKu daily video bulletin offers viewers’ business tips and advice as well as promoting different organisations whilst giving shout-outs for businesses and charities who are supporting each other and / or the NHS during COVID-19. Each morning Stephen and Philip get dressed up to record and broadcast a positive news style broadcast from their kitchen, turned mini studio, sipping away at tea in china tea-cups or with a cheeky cocktail. Added Philip, “We do have some fun with it too, of course.  We choose a daily song with which to keep up motivation and positivity and our catch phrase for the Carry on KuKu bulletins is ‘Carry on Going, Carry on Smiling and Carry on Connecting’.  I think it’s fair to say that we’ve taken our inspiration from both the Great British spirit of pulling together and the Carry On films so a little bit of humour mixed into our bulletins seemed only right.”  
The KuKu Cocktail Hour free virtual networking event ran over Facebook has been another hugely popular, effective and free service, where Stephen and Philip dressed in black tie present a virtual networking event where they promote different businesses and charities, have been helping other organisations with their own COVID fundraising activities, and offer businesses valuable new connections and offers from the business community; the cocktail hour is different to any other networking event online with one business networker commenting it was ‘almost as good as GoggleBox’, with many others remarking on KuKu’s service and impact as heroic, selfless, inspirational, offering a vital life-line to many businesses, both large and small from securing sponsorship for a football club, to taking part in the Royal Ascot NHS fundraiser, highlighting struggling charities, promoting brands such as Lexus and Disney World, through to local micro-businesses who have just started their enterprises as lockdown started, all this has been achieved through KuKu’s COVID support services. Stephen and Philip started their COVID support work in March pre-lockdown and have undertaken all their efforts themselves with no team or external resources and they are still working hard as their August milestone approaches and will continue on into the rest of the year ahead. Due to sheer number of businesses coming to KuKu for help. The KuKu boys even furthered their support by offering businesses free membership to KuKu Connect to help them through the pandemic, many of who are still unable to trade or are in lockdown restrictions.
“Businesses of all shapes and sizes have had to be extremely creative during this time,” say Stephen and Philip.  “KuKu Connect continues to respond by offering online business networking with a difference – the KuKu Cocktail Hour – which is live broadcast over Facebook and where we dress up in Black Tie, cocktail in hand and connect, introduce and promote businesses who join the live feed, as well as promote some of the positive news, tips, advice and support offers that have come through from businesses. It has been amazing to see in the region of nearly 5k viewers on just one of the cocktail hour events, with businesses connecting in from as far as Wales, Ireland, the US, France and Italy, which is brilliant exposure for all the great organisations we have freely supported and promoted within each of the cocktail hour events, which run every two weeks on Facebook, in addition to our morning video bulletins ant eh other free COVID support services.’
Just one great example from KuKu was, using this shout-out service KuKu Connect has also helped to raise over £1,500 for the NHS, which was used to donate over 1500 PPE visors to nursing and care homes.  Stephen added, “Dean from DW Signature Designs contacted us after hearing about our Carry on KuKu daily video bulletins and asked if we would help him fundraise for the NHS.  Of course we said ‘yes’ immediately and set about sharing his fundraising idea across our membership and non-members alike.  The response was phenomenal and we are very, very grateful to everyone who took part.”
Dean Williams from DW Signature Designs in Leicestershire added, “If it wasn't for going on the free KuKu Connect cocktail hour networking event which was set-up for businesses to help them through the pandemic I wouldn’t have had my orders grow.  Through KuKu Connect I met Harmi from Pathway Group and I have now been able to manufacture over 1,500 visors for NHS staff, care homes and key workers, which have gone out across the Midlands. I’ve now raised over £1,500 pounds in less than a month on my Go-Fund page with donations being made direct to the NHS and a local hospice.  As a further result it looks like I could be manufacturing a new visor design which will turn into a small business venture by supplying the NHS frontline staff as I can now manufacture over 1,500 visors per week and I am now looking into buying more machines to double my manufacturing.  A massive thank you to KuKu Connect.  They have enabled me to help the NHS, care homes and key workers, start a new business venture and a new division of my own existing business."
Dean is not on his own when it comes to praising KuKu Connect’s amazing support services. Katie Neeves – national Trans Ambassador commented, "The current pandemic has affected many businesses in a very dramatic way, but KuKu Connect’s Stephen and Philip have been there for us every day with their brilliant Carry On KuKu business bulletins.  I have two businesses - a photography and video business and a trans awareness training business, but both of those rely on my being close to people, so as soon as we went into lockdown, my entire income disappeared.  I had to diversify quickly, so I am now offering to help people look like film stars when they are video conferencing by advising them on their lighting, camera position, background and sound.  Carry on KuKu has been an essential vehicle for letting the local business community know about my new offering.  Not only have Stephen and Philip featured me in their daily bulletins and cocktail hours, but they have allowed me to post photos and videos on their Facebook and LinkedIn pages which has definitely helped to bring in new clients." 

David Pearson, Director at East Midlands Chamber of Commerce commending KuKu Connect support to the Chambers of Commerce adding, “KuKu Connect have done a great job and have worked alongside the Chambers of Commerce in raising opportunities for business people.” 
Ninder Johal, DL - founder Nachural Entrepreneurship & Signature Awards & West Midlands Growth Company Board said, “KuKu Connect are one of the key networking organisations in the region, but now in the UK, so it is no surprise that they have put all their efforts into supporting the business sector and wider community, as that is in the DNA of what KuKu is all about.  Without any hesitation they took to helping and saving businesses, even before lockdown with no thought to their own survival. They have set-up innovative and engaging services which are both filled with positivity, advice and opportunity, which has been effective in continuing business activity for thousands of businesses who taken up the support KuKu Connect has given freely. 
Many businesses have been resilient but few have put others needs before their own and there only a few organisations like KuKu who have wholly focused on supporting other businesses.  KuKu Connect is a shining example of selfless service to other businesses and community organisations and I applaud the massive, positive impact they have had and for so many."
Stephen and Philip added finally “We have also been sharing news submitted to us by businesses across our social media channels and have set up new channels to support businesses through this time including a new Facebook group called KuKu Connect Corona and LinkedIn group called KuKu Connect.  We are genuinely here to help and invite any business to benefit without any charge.”   KuKu Connect are here to help all businesses keep going and one thing they will promise you is that their activity, however you engage with it, will definitely have a very distinctive KuKu Connect flavour to it!
 


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