Thousands of budding entrepreneurs are set to benefit from a new European-funded Enterprise Hub that is aiming to help fledgling businesses get off the ground across the Liverpool City Region.
|Maggie O’Carrol, Julia Sweeney & Elaine Bowker
With a mission to support more than 6000 people who are considering setting up their own enterprises and, in the process, help 1,200 businesses to start-up, the Liverpool City Region Enterprise Hub officially launched on 30thJune at The City of Liverpool College.
The Hub will provide support to residents of Sefton, Knowsley, Liverpool, St Helens, Wirral and Halton over the next three years. Business start-up services on offer via the Hub will be delivered by a network of ten partner organisations; The Women’s Organisation, St Helens Chamber, Liverpool JMU, Granby Toxteth Development Trust, Everton Development Trust, Alt Valley Community Trust, The Prince’s Trust, Merseyside Expanding Horizons, SAFE Regeneration and Franchising Works while CEO & Principal of City of Liverpool College Elaine Bowker referenced the importance of ensuring the region has the right skills provision to sustain businesses.
Around 200 influencers from the Liverpool City Region joined the Enterprise Hub partners to launch the project, including some of the region’s leading accountants and legal advisers, who specialise in start-up advice, along with local councillors and support services. Keynote speaker at the event Julia Sweeney, Director, European Programmes & Local Growth Delivery DCLG emphasised the importance of investing in enterprise to sustain our economny. CEO of The Women’s Organisation Maggie O’Carroll declared the Liverpool City Region “Open for Business”.
Enterprise Hub which will be part funded by European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) is being led by The City of Liverpool College, its accountable body, with The Women’s Organisation operating as managing agent for the programme. The initiative is being supported by 5 local strategic partners who will be supporting the programme’s engagement strategy, ensuring Enterprise Hub delivery teams are connecting with diverse communities. These include: The City of Liverpool College, Liverpool Central Library and IP Centre, Liverpool Mutual Homes, Merseycare NHS Trust and Plus Dane Housing.
As part of its involvement with the programme, The City of Liverpool College will connect its own students to the Enterprise Hub, enabling them to access pre- startup and start up advice and support.
Elaine Bowker, Principal and Chief Executive of The City of Liverpool College said, “Start-up businesses are an essential economic driver for the region and a vibrant entrepreneurial sector is a key indicator of a healthy regional economy. We have long supported future entrepreneurs at The City of Liverpool College, delivering a range of business course that equip students with the skills required to run successful enterprises of their own. We already work in partnership with The Women’s Organisation to offer student enterprise services, where students with business ideas can access support and advice to set up their own companies. Leading the Enterprise Hub programme was, therefore, an obvious choice for us and we are hugely excited about the potential it has to help bring thousands of innovative business plans to fruition. By linking our students to the programme we will channel a pipeline of Further Education graduates into the Enterprise Hub, ensuring that this valuable source of entrepreneurial talent is not missed.”
CEO of The Women’s Organisation Maggie O’Carroll said:
“We are thrilled to be helping to steer forward this exciting new enterprise initiative for Liverpool City Region. The creation of new businesses is vital to keep our local and national economy afloat. We hope Enterprise Hub evidences how investment in enterprise services can reduce unemployment, raise aspirations and give people a chance to pursue their dream of business ownership with expert and strategic support. The Enterprise Hub partnership brings together organisations with a variety of expertise ensuring that those interested in getting advice can link with experts who can offer them quality services. We urge anyone who has an idea for a business to get in touch and let Enterprise Hub guide you to getting started.”