Enterprise Hub 2 will inspire next generation of Mersey entrepreneurs

Tuesday saw the launch of the second phase of the Enterprise Hub programme which has already given help and support to thousands of fledgling Liverpool city region entrepreneurs

Enterprise Hub
Guests pack in to The Women’s Organisation for the Enterprise Hub 2 launch


Liverpool city region’s “one front door” access point for business support is extended and expanded in a significant step forward for driving entrepreneurship across the region.

Tuesday saw the official launch of the second phase of the Enterprise Hub programme, marking the continuation of support available to those who are thinking about starting or growing a business.

The launch event took place today in a special celebration at The Women’s Organisation, which is the lead and accountable body for the Enterprise Hub and attended by special guest speaker Julia Sweeney, director of European Programmes and Local Growth at the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government.

Also addressing the packed room was the Lord Mayor of Liverpool, Cllr Anna Rothery, and Liverpool City Region Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram. Other guests included Enterprise Hub partner organisations, along with business support providers, funding specialists and some of the region’s leading figures in enterprise.

Start-up support

Enterprise Hub coordinates and simplifies the business start-up and growth support available across the Liverpool city region by bringing together partners to deliver business support, advice and training.

Since launching its first phase in December 2015, Enterprise Hub support has helped to create over 1,060 new businesses so far. Thousands of budding and early-stage entrepreneurs have benefited from the programme over the last four years, with nearly 6,000 individuals registering for support.

In a change to the first programme, this second phase of support now includes the provision of business growth support for those in their first three years of trade.

This move comes in response to the successful first phase of the programme which showed that there was real entrepreneurial spirit across the region, resulting in the creation of more than 1,000 new enterprises. This second phase is now able to ensure the sustainability of those businesses through an ongoing programme of support.

Sustainable growth

Julia Sweeney said: “I am very pleased to help launch Enterprise Hub 2. Tailored, comprehensive support is really important to SMEs and the Hub will build on the success of Enterprise Hub 1 to enable more businesses to achieve sustainable growth.”

Mr Rotheram added: “I know from personal experience, having set up my own building company when I was in my early 20s, that establishing a small or medium sized enterprise can often be fraught with hurdles and challenges.

Enterprise Hub
Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram speaks at the launch of Enterprise Hub 2


Statistics show that roughly 80% of UK companies fail within their first year – so it’s vital that organisations get the support they need early on – if they are to have a chance of success.

Enterprise Hub offers fully-funded support is available to residents from all corners of the Liverpool city region, with delivery partners working in Sefton, Knowsley, Liverpool, St Helens, Wirral and Halton.

It brings together a network of eight partner organisations to deliver business advice, training and support; The Women’s Organisation, Everton Development Trust, Granby Toxteth Development Trust, Merseyside Expanding Horizons, Wirral Chamber, St Helens Chamber, The Prince’s Trust, SAFE Regeneration.

Strategic partners for the project are Liverpool Central Library Business and IP Centre, ComMutual, Plus Dane Housing and Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust. While Writing on the Wall and Liverpool Domestic Abuse Service (LDAS) are community delivery partners.

Vital resource

Maggie O’Carroll, chief executive  of The Women’s Organisation, said: “The initiative has so far proved to be a vital resource for those budding entrepreneurs who have an entrepreneurial idea, but not necessarily the know-how to turn it into a sustainable and profitable business.

Enterprise Hub
Maggie O’Carroll addresses the launch of Enterprise Hub 2


We know that this support has been vital to reducing unemployment, raising aspirations and giving people that all-important opportunity to pursue entrepreneurship. All of which play a key role when it comes to keeping our local and national economy thriving.

With this refreshed focus on business growth support, we now have real opportunity to build on the first phase and enable the ongoing development of enterprises of real substance. I would urge anyone who has a business idea they would like to explore, or those who might be navigating the tricky early years of self-employment, to get in touch and see what support is available.”

The Enterprise Hub programme is part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), which aims to help local areas stimulate economic development by investing in projects, like Enterprise Hub, which support innovation, business growth and job creation.

For more information contact the team on: 0151-706 8133 or at  enterprisehub@thewo.org.uk

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