The Enterprise Hub was launched in June this year with a target of supporting more than 6,000 would-be entrepreneurs up to June 2018 with 300 jobs already created. Neil Hodgson reports.
A three-year funding programme to help people start their own business has already helped create more than 200 ventures and 300 jobs across the Liverpool city region.
The Enterprise Hub was launched in June this year with a target of supporting more than 6,000 would-be entrepreneurs up to June 2018.
It is estimated that this could lead to the formation of 1,200 new businesses throughout the region.
So far more than 2,350 people have registered an interest in taking up support.
More than 1,600 of these have signed up and are receiving support and around 600 of these have now received at least 12 hours of intensive support.
Backed by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), the scheme has so far provided £1.3m of investment for fledgling enterprises, which range from a crèche for dogs to a specialist samosa business.
A network of partner organisations, including managing agent The Women’s Organisation, St Helens Chamber, Granby Toxteth Development Trust, Everton Development Trust, Alt Valley Community Trust, The Prince’s Trust, Merseyside Expanding Horizons, SAFE Regeneration and Franchising Works, will offer a range of business start-up services.
The initiative is also being supported by local strategic partners, led by the City of Liverpool College, including Liverpool Central Library and IP Centre, Liverpool Mutual Homes, and housing group Plus Dane.
Residents across the Liverpool City Region will be eligible for an array of expert support to help them kick-start their business ideas.
And, as lead and accountable body, City of Liverpool College will encourage its own students to connect with the Enterprise Hub and its pre-start-up and start-up advice and support.
Elaine Bowker, principal and chief executive of The City of Liverpool College, said: “Start-up businesses are an essential economic driver for the region and a vibrant entrepreneurial sector is a key indicator of a healthy regional economy.
“We have long supported future entrepreneurs at City of Liverpool College and we already work in partnership with The Women’s Organisation to offer student enterprise services, where students with business ideas can access support and advice to set up their own companies.”
The Women’s Organisation chief executive, Maggie O’Carroll, added: “Success follows hard work, and we are pleased that the hard work of the Enterprise Hub partners has led to the creation of 200 new enterprises already.
“This demonstrates that there is still a wealth of untapped entrepreneurial potential in the Liverpool City Region, and we will continue working hard to ensure we maximise the opportunity to support individuals to enhance their business skills and create further sustainable enterprises.
“We urge anyone who has an idea for a business to get in touch and let Enterprise Hub guide you to getting started.”
Anyone interested in taking up support from Enterprise Hub can call 0151-706 8113 or email Enterprisehub@thewo.org.uk
Irene takes the plunge
Irene Afful is among the first cohort of Enterprise Hub business start-ups.
Trained mediator Irene has drawn on 30 years of experience, including 25 years in the Police service, to set up Ametrine Enterprise Solutions, which aims to advise on diversity strategies and address the under-representation of minority group at all levels within organisations.
Former Detective Inspector Irene, who was the first black female inspector with Merseyside Police, will also offer personal life coaching and performance coaching for employees.
She said: “I’m very proud of myself. I know I am capable of doing anything I set my mind to. I am a passionate and determined woman, and my confidence has grown immensely since embarking on this adventure.”