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Enterprising West of England programme supports 654 businesses and creates 83 jobs in first 18 months
Since launching in January 2017, the Enterprising West of England programme has worked with over 654 businesses and entrepreneurs across the West of England region to help them start up, improve and scale up. This includes 440 aspiring entrepreneurs who were assisted at the pre start-up stage.
The six Enterprising West of England partners; Business West, The Prince's Trust, YTKO Group, Bristol City Council, Bath and North East Somerset Council, North Somerset Council and South Gloucestershire Council have been delivering a range of support services to businesses throughout the region, part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund.
The support on offer includes match-funded coaching grants, workshops, business diagnostic sessions, and one-to-one business advice. There is also a significant focus on equality and diversity in the programme, with a key objective to provide equality of access to business support services, with specific activities targeted towards young people (18-30 years old), disadvantaged areas and ethnic minorities.
The results are now starting to in and its good news for the local economy: in the first 18 months, more than 80 jobs have been created in West of England businesses supported by the programme.
18 of these were created in businesses in receipt of a Scale up Coaching grant from Business West. This match-funded grant scheme enables business owners to progress their business strategy and leadership capacity with support from an external coach or specialist. Bristol-based Appeal Digital is one of 87 businesses to receive grant funding towards the cost of working with a business coach thus far.
Co-founder Luke Trimmings successfully applied for a £2,040 match-funded grant in 2017. Speaking about his experience of the programme, he said:
“Without support from Enterprising West of England we wouldn't have had the acceleration in growth that we have had. We've gone from two co-founders to a team of six in 12 months, hiring a new person every three months.
The grant enabled us to bring a best-in-class sales trainer into the business for 1-to-1 guidance and support. This led to us doubling our revenue and we are now working to grow the team and further build capacity in the business.”
The Enterprising West of England programme has been commissioned by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) aimed at supporting SMEs to support business growth.
The programme is funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), Business West, The Prince's Trust, YTKO Group, Bristol City Council, Bath and North East Somerset Council, North Somerset Council and South Gloucestershire Council.
For more information or to apply to receive support for your business, visit www.ewoe.co.uk