Music business hopes to hit right note after a year on hold

A Coventry business owner is ready to strike the right chord in 2021 after her business was put on hold for a year.

Debbie Lynne launched Debbie Lynne Music, playing the violin at weddings and events, which builds on her passion for music that began when she was eight years old and has seen her play in a variety of orchestras in the UK and Europe.

Lynne sought help to get the business underway from the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce start-up team through the Coventry & Warwickshire Business Support Programme, which is part funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).

After a year on hold, she is aiming for success in a year when the whole region will be celebrating culture.

Lynne said: “I’d been made redundant and was then in a job I really didn’t like so at around Christmas 2019 I decided I would do something for myself.

“I thought I could really do something with music as it’s been a big part of my life since I was very young, having played in orchestras and string quartets through my career.

“I decided that I would go down the route of playing solo at weddings and corporate events and, before Covid-19 hit, there had been some really good interest and quite a few bookings.

“So, after a really tough year, I’m excited to be able to get out there and start playing again to help make the business a success and I am hopeful that being City of Culture can help me to do that.”

Through the Chamber, Lynne has been given help in writing business and marketing plans as well as attending training courses to help her with the basics of setting up her own venture.

She was also assigned a mentor, Sarah Humphreys.

Lynne said: “Sarah has been so helpful and her support has been tailored to me and my business.

“She has experience in the wedding sector so has been advising me on all of the venues and people I should be contacting, which fairs I should be attending and has been a great sounding board for any ideas I’ve had.

“But it’s not only weddings – I am looking to get into the corporate market and have been networking with the right people to help me on that side of the business too.”

Hardeep Sandhu, of the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce, said: “Establishing a business based on something you are passionate about is a great starting point, but there is so much more to running a company and it’s been great to support Debbie with this new business.

“As a Chamber, we are proud to be supporting creative businesses, particularly as Coventry is all set to start its year at UK City of Culture and we really want the year to leave a positive legacy of more businesses being established in the sector.

“This really is an amazing moment for the city and is a time for creative businesses to shine and an opportunity of wider investment in creativity and culture to leave a legacy of optimism and opportunity.”

Martin Sutherland, chief executive of the Coventry City of Culture Trust, said: “It is clear that City of Culture can inspire new start-up businesses across Coventry & Warwickshire, and for those businesses to be part of the economic legacy of 2021. If individuals have an idea that they want to explore, it is great that there is support available to them, from the Chamber and others, to turn it into a reality.”