A £2Million business support programme for the North East has been unveiled which will help over 1,700 people gain vital business skills and create 431 new businesses.
Support will also be given to 164 existing Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) over the next two years.
Business Support in the North East will allow Local Enterprise Agencies to offer a portfolio of support including hands on support from an Enterprise Coach, an intensive two-day ‘Boot camp’ comprising workshops and one-to-one mentoring as well as support to understand the access to finances.
This support for emerging pre-start businesses, including high growth businesses, will ensure they reach their full potential and contribute towards economic rebalancing in the North East.
The project is funded by a variety of sources including £1.06m from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) managed by the Department for Communities and Local Government. Working in a consortium led by North East Enterprise Agencies Ltd (NEEAL) local Enterprise and Development Agencies in the North East have matched this investment with £1.06m of their own funds.
Communities Minister Baroness Hanham CBE said:
A significant number of new businesses and new jobs will be created as a direct result of this project ensuring pre-start businesses can harness their full economic potential. Entrepreneurs from communities in all parts of the North East from North Northumberland to the Tees Valley will have access to this excellent business support programme that offers a real chance to make a difference.
Private sector growth is vital to a strong economy, particularly in the small and medium enterprise sectors, and this project will play an important role in strengthening the North East’s business base contributing to the growth of the local and national economy.
Business Support in the North East will ensure that individuals from a variety of backgrounds - with or without experience in enterprise - receive all the required knowledge to successfully establish a business and in doing so, contribute to the North East fulfilling its economic potential. Through local coherent support the project will also help ensure that small businesses seeking support receive the correct guidance to prevent the business from failing.
There are various offers of help available through the project including Enterprise Coaching, Starting a High Growth Business and Understanding Finance for Business, together ensuring businesses are fully equipped for success.
Support through Enterprise Coaching will focus on intensive awareness raising activities followed by intensive hands on support from an experienced and qualified Enterprise Coach, targeting people in employment who possess the skills and resources to start a business and/or those who may be at threat of redundancy, as well as underrepresented groups and disadvantaged areas.
Starting a High Growth Business package of support will provide an intensive two day ‘Boot Camp’ comprising workshops and one-to-one mentoring to develop the business plan and idea.
Understanding Finance for Business incorporates support from pre-start stage through to full business establishment ensuring businesses are equipped with knowledge regarding accessing loan funds and when to engage with others for financial help.
NEEAL was established in 2007 as a consortium comprising the Enterprise and Development Agencies of the North East, all of whom are non-profit organisations providing enterprise support throughout the region. Based at over twenty different locations across the North East, NEEAL has delivered a wide range of publicly funded projects that have contributed to the economic growth of the North East.
Chairman of NEEAL, Paul McEldon said:
I am delighted that we have secured the funding for this hugely important work. This funding will enable us to establish a regional and fully cohesive offering for potential business start ups across the region. This will ensure accessible and high quality business support is available to anyone considering starting a business which, given the uncertain environment and the importance of rebalancing the North East economy, is fantastic news for the North East as a whole.
The ERDF Competitiveness Programme 2007-13 is bringing over £300m into North East England to support innovation, enterprise and business support. It will help create and safeguard 28,000 new jobs, start 3,000 new businesses and increase the region’s productivity by £1.1bn per annum.
Notes to editors
- The Department for Communities and Local Government is the managing authority for the European Regional Development Fund Programme which runs from 2007 to 2013. This is one of the funds established by the European Commission to help local areas stimulate their economic development.
- The ERDF Competitiveness programme 2007-13 for North East England is focusing on: Innovation - promoting science technology and innovation in businesses and institutions across the region.
Enterprise and business support - encouraging more people to start up in business, particularly those in disadvantaged areas, and helping established businesses develop, grow and innovate.
- More than £300m ERDF investment is available for the region from 2007-13. ERDF investment is limited to 50 per cent of total eligible cost and must be matched by other public and private sources. For every pound of ERDF investment, regional partners lever in another pound for the key priorities of innovation, enterprise and business support.
- For more information visit: www.communities.gov.uk/erdf.
Keep up to date with the Department by following us on Twitter (external link).
Visit our newsroom contacts page for media enquiry contact details.