Nottingham City Council is funding a new pilot project to provide support to inner city areas to help people develop their business ideas in order to create successful small businesses.
The Enterprise Ecologies pilot project targets people from disadvantaged areas or socially excluded backgrounds who perhaps have found it more difficult or are less wiling to access business support and finance to help them develop their business skills. Although these groups of people often have the wisdom and desire to succeed in business, the lack of opportunities can prevent or limit start up activities.
Cllr Hassan Ahmed, Portfolio Holder for Employment and Skills at Nottingham City Council said: “The Enterprise Ecologies project aims to engage with disadvantaged groups to help develop their business skills and support each person with their individual needs to succeed in business. The project comes at a time when people need some extra support during this economic uncertainty and provides wider job prospects for residents.”
The project is currently running in Clifton, Radford, Hyson Green, Lenton and Dunkirk. Each area has its own dedicated Community Business Adviser who attends local events and community activities to establish a community presence and engage with potential entrepreneurs.
The programme is part of the Business Link Start-up service and is being delivered locally by NBV (Nottinghamshire Business Venture). It’s due to be rolled out to the whole of the city as the City Council has now received funding from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).
One company already benefiting from the support and guidance of the Enterprise Ecologies project is company The Thought Garden and owner Adam Bartle-Griffith.
Adam Bartle-Griffith said: “The Thought Garden delivers alcohol misuse awareness workshops for the private and public sector and is due to start trading in September 2009.
“I met Samina who is a Community Business Adviser from the Enterprise Ecologies project at a regular Breakfast Club that I attend in Lenton. I had thought about my idea for a while but only started to focus on it when I started receiving the support from Samina. I needed help in structuring a business plan, prioritising ideas, planning, and training. I received one to one support on a regular basis there was always someone to talk to about my ideas to give me focus. “
Samina and Avril, Regional Contracts Manager-Business Link East Midlands, introduced me and encouraged me to apply for the opportunity to attend the HIVE in Mansfield. This gave me the training that I desperately needed to start my business. Without the support from Business Link I wouldn’t have progressed with my idea.”