Applications roll in for Spark Up 2015

Since opening applications less than a month ago, the organisers behind Liverpool’s only free business accelerator programme have been taken aback by the quality and diversity of business start-ups applying to join their scheme, but say they would like even more businesses to get in touch.

The Spark Up scheme was launched by Liverpool & Sefton Chambers of Commerce, and aims to link entrepreneurs with the resources they need to launch and thrive quickly and sustainably. Organisers hope that the scheme will create as many as 500 ‘super businesses’ in the Liverpool City Region by 2020.

Over 6,000 new businesses with a Liverpool post code where registered with Companies House last year and the city entered the top 25 of a national league table for business start-ups for the first time ever.

Organisers of Spark Up hope to attract many of these new businesses and also help Liverpool move even further up the league table in 2015 by helping start-ups drive forward their growth, as well as supporting new business creation.

Spark Up is a five-month business boot camp, which includes free mentoring, city-centre office space and access to IT facilities. Entrepreneurs receive boot-camp style master classes designed to help them maximise their business growth plans.

In March this year, 15 businesses were selected to take part in the pilot programme, which has been hailed a success, but founder of Spark Up, Jenny Stewart, is hoping to be able to offer even more entrepreneurs the chance to take part in next year’s programme which starts in March 2015.

She said:

“The response to the launch of next year’s programme has been great and we have been inundated with applications and requests for further information, but we’d still like more businesses to get in touch.

“Last year we were lucky enough to be able to offer 15 bright start-ups a place on the programme, but this year we would like even more and we are hopefully looking to offer around 40 places. But we won’t just offer these places to anyone. A place on the programme has to be earned.

“We are looking for driven, passionate and committed individuals with a business or business proposition to take part in Spark Up 2015. They don’t need to have all the skills, as our mentors, workshops and master classes will help to develop these. As long as they have a strong business idea and can demonstrate to us that they have what it takes to make it in business, then we would love to hear from them.”

The Spark Up pilot helped to generate a combined extra £205,000 worth of investment opportunities for the participants, increased their collective turnover by around 103% and created employment opportunities for an additional 17 local people

Ms Stewart added: “The Spark Up pilot has demonstrated that there is talent in Liverpool and that we have the means to generate growth from within. We just need this talent to come forward and help us make Spark Up 2015 even bigger, better and bolder than before.”

Applications for Spark up 2015 are now open and close January 30th at 4pm. Successful applicants will be informed by February 9th and the programme will commence March 2nd 2015. Application forms can be found here:


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