Weston-super-Mare's small business boom can 'benefit whole region'

PUBLISHED: 08:00 02 July 2017

Some 90 per cent of South West workers are employed by small businesses.

Some 90 per cent of South West workers are employed by small businesses.

Ridofranz

A new project designed to give budding entrepreneurs in Weston-super-Mare's South and Central wards a helping hand starting their own business has won £30,000 of funding.

The Mercury has previously reported how the town centre is considered one of the region’s most deprived areas, with health, income and opportunities lagging well behind other parts of North Somerset.

However, a new enterprise project could help to change that, by working to equip people in these areas with new skills, and to support them through the process of launching a business.

Be Your Own Boss is an initiative dreamed up by North Somerset Enterprise Agency (NSEA), in partnership with North Somerset Council’s Skills4Work programme, which has this week won £30,000 of support from NatWest.

The project aims to deliver business start-up advice and careers guidance to more than 180 people. It has been designed to deliver the business management and finance skills people need to make a success of a new venture, while also helping them understand issues like business plans and viability.

Some 90 per cent of people across the South West are reportedly employed by companies of nine people or less, many of which would have started out as solo operations before growing to recruit, train and nurture local talent.

The hope is that equipping more people to start their own firms will see further jobs – and increased opportunities for people in these key areas – follow as a result.

Deputy council leader Elfan Ap Rees said: “Thanks to our successful bid to NatWest, residents from Weston can now receive additional support to develop and test their ideas.

“This support can be crucial in the early stages of a start-up and the aim is to support the creation of new self-employment opportunities which will bring a whole host of economic benefits to the region.”

And Angela Hicks, of NSEA, believes the project can turn the dream of self-employment into a reality for many.

She said: “The funding will enable those who may never have considered owning a business, to take the next steps towards doing so.”

Be Your Own Boss will launch in September, but support is already available if you have a business idea.

To find out more, call 01934 418118 or email info@nsea.biz

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