THE Newcastle Enterprise Package has helped and supported hundreds of people into business over the past 18 months.
With funding of over £3 million, it aims to support the development, growth and sustainability of enterprise throughout Newcastle.
Newcastle City Council has joined forces with a number of external organisations to work with new and existing business, support them, help them grow and ultimately strengthen the economy of the city.
With European and Council funding, initially, for a two-year period up to March 2011, all organisations involved in the package are committed to supporting business across the city in a number of different capacities, including advice, training and funding.
The individual organisations work in different capacities to help people at all different levels from creating an understanding that self employment is a realistic option for the city’s young people to offering specialist support to established businesses that are looking to grow.
One of our services is delivered by Business to Business who provide a full programme of training, workshops, events and specialist advice on a one-to-one basis, to help small businesses across the city win new contracts and tenders.
Steve Burn is the manager of Albion Wheelchair taxis, and approached the package for support as an established business in 2009.
Steve attended training and workshops, and worked closely with a personal business adviser to help build on his early success.
“We are a specialist taxi company with the community and quality of care and service at the heart of everything we do,” he said.
“The care and attention we put into every aspect of our business can make a tremendous difference to the travel experience of customers with disabilities and other special needs.”
The Winning Business Newcastle Programme helped Steve and his team to build on this early success and has helped them become fully prepared and capable of winning and delivering larger contracts and tenders.
Another service directly supports people in Newcastle who are thinking of starting up a business. FIN offers free impartial advice on exploring the possibilities of self employment and helps people lay the foundations for a successful business.
Gloria Cassey, a freelance dog groomer, now has over 120 clients thanks to her own flair and dedication – plus the support of FIN.
Once Gloria’s children had grown up and left home, she relished in the opportunity to set up a business from home and groom her start-up business for success.
Gloria already had the required dog grooming skills – but she needed to brush up on the practical logistics of running a business.
“The simplest piece of advice made a huge difference to me,” said Gloria.
“FIN recommended that I produce business cards to raise awareness of my services and create demand.
“ I did a small print run of 50 and was overwhelmed by the response.”
Gloria’s start-up support adviser, Chris Dawson, explained what a delight it has been watching her business go from strength to strength.
He said: “FIN exists to make the process of starting your own business easier and to help individuals make the right connections and build solid foundations for the future.”
These are only two examples from many people who have benefited from the Newcastle Enterprise Package.
For more information, call 0191 278 1855.