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East Midlands Chamber News

Free programme to help entrepreneurs

Ian VilesA second free programme to help would-be entrepreneurs in Amber Valley and Erewash set up their own business starts next month.

Enterprise agency Erewash Partnership is delivering the starter workshops plus mentoring support behalf of the Chamber as part of a countywide initiative that is funded by Derbyshire County and Derby City Councils and Derby and Derbyshire Economic Partnership.

Residents of Amber Valley or Erewash who want to take part have to enrol and register through the Partnership, based in Long Eaton.

They will be offered a package of tailored support, and arrangements will be made for them to attend five workshops. The workshops will be followed by advice, support and guidance from an experienced mentor, at no cost to the participants.

Experienced professionals will lead the workshops, which will take place at Amber Valley Borough Council offices, in Ripley Town Hall. This follows those held in the summer in Erewash, which were well attended.

Starting on 10 October and finishing on 30 November, the five half-day workshops include subjects such as getting the basics right, understanding your market and how to reach it, business planning, bookkeeping and starting with social media.

Now in its 23rd year of supporting enterprise, the Partnership has an excellent record of helping people start businesses, nurturing them while they develop and continuing to give advice and help once established.

In Amber Valley, 11.4% of the economically active population is self-employed, which is higher than the national average of 10.8%, according to figures for the year up to last September.

Of 4,400 businesses in Amber Valley, 88 per cent are micro businesses employing fewer than ten people.

Councillor Trevor Ainsworth, Amber Valley Council's Cabinet Member for Regeneration, said his authority was pleased to be working with the Partnership on this business starter initiative.

“The workshops will be a great support, they have been specially tailored to provide the necessary tools and foundations for anyone considering starting their own business,” he said.

“This programme is flexible so people can pick and choose where they need support and which workshops to attend. There is also an ongoing mentoring offer which is invaluable to this programme, giving reassurance and guidance through the journey to self-employment.”

Over the past three years the Partnership has helped 275 businesses set up in Erewash and Amber Valley. To do that it delivered more than 1,600 advisory sessions. It also helped more than 500 established businesses.

Chief Executive Ian Viles said: “We are delighted to be helping entrepreneurs taking their first steps towards hopefully becoming the business successes of tomorrow.”