Entrepreneurs reminded just a few days left to apply for free e-commerce accelerator

1 May 2015

Yorkshire entrepreneurs are being encouraged to write 600 words about their big online business idea to bid for a place on a free fast-track e-commerce programme.

The Click e-commerce accelerator will be led by award-winning UK business start-up experts Enterprise Nation at Barnsley Digital Media Centre from next month. Applications to join the initiative were opened five weeks ago – but there is still a little time left to apply - the deadline is Friday May 8th.

Emma Jones, founder of Enterprise Nation said: “We have had a fantastic response so far and would love to hear from other business people across the region before the applications process closes.

“Click is designed to support ambitious individuals with a great business idea, new start-ups and fledgling businesses looking to develop an idea and also more established businesses with a fresh idea for online sales.

“The application is quick and easy using our online questionnaire. Essentially, we just want to hear about you, your idea and the market you’re looking to reach; plus how you think you’d benefit from being part of Click.”

The best 12 applicants with business growth potential will gain places on the scheme which is being funded by Enterprising Barnsley, a European-funded business support programme delivered by Barnsley Council.

Click will provide eight weeks of intensive support and technical know-how to help them turn their business idea into a successful online reality. This will be followed up with 12 months of ongoing mentoring for each business as they form part of a new e-commerce hub based at the DMC. Businesses will be provided with free access to this shared workspace for the duration of the programme.

The programme includes a two-day visit to e-commerce experts and entrepreneurs in London and will help develop connections with potential suppliers and clients.

Stuart Turner set up his Barnsley-based e-commerce business, Sushi Sushi, seven years ago and now sells to global customers via his company website and other outlets such as Amazon. He said: “Online sales are key to our business model and have led to rapid growth year on year. The future of business lies in e-commerce. Wherever you are based and whatever services or products you are selling, every business needs a strong online presence and e-commerce capability.”

Visit www.enterprisenation.com/click to find out more. The programme will start Monday June 8th with a launch event on Thursday June 11th.

To be eligible to apply, applicants should have an idea for a new e-commerce business; a desire to take their existing product or service online or be within six months of trading with an online business under development.

Businesses don’t have to already be a Barnsley-based business, but to be part of the programme, they must commit to working in the e-commerce hub at Barnsley’s Digital Media Centre for at least 12 months.

Tracey Johnson of Enterprising Barnsley said: “Excitement is growing as we get closer to deadline for applications. We are delighted to be working with Enterprise Nation who will bring a wealth of expertise and enthusiasm to the project in the unique environment of our Digital Media Centre.”

During Click’s eight week intensive programme, businesses will learn how to research the market; create a website and attract visitors to browse and buy; protect intellectual property and trade online covering all legal requirements.

The course will also help businesses to develop and promote a brand and build a reputation; make sales online and off with a high profile pop-up; get business basics in place including logistics, sales, marketing, social media and finances and make useful connections to support growth.

Enterprising Barnsley is supported financially by the European Union and has attracted £3,015,276 investment from the European Regional Development Fund as part of Europe’s support for the region’s economic development, through the Yorkshire and Humber ERDF Programme.

Notes to editor

Attached photograph is Barnsley e-commerce entrepreneur Stuart Turner of Sushi Sushi.

For more information about Enterprise Nation and the Click programme, please contact Liz Slee on 07540 060112 or email liz@enterprisenation.com

Enterprise Nation is a small business network and business support provider with more than 60,000 members. Its aim is to help people turn their good ideas into great businesses – through expert advice, events, acceleration, networking and inspiring books. Enterprise Nation was founded in 2005 by Emma Jones MBE also co-founder of national enterprise campaign StartUp Britain. She is author of best-selling business books including Spare Room Startup, Working 5 to 9, Go Global and the StartUp Kit. Membership costs £30 www.enterprisenation.com/join

The Enterprising Barnsley programme is part financed by the Yorkshire and Humber European Regional Development Fund Programme 2007 to 2013. The Department for Communities and Local Government is the managing authority for the European Regional Development Fund Programme, which is one of the funds established by the European Commission to help local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support local businesses and create jobs.

For more information visit www.gov.uk/browse/business/funding-debt/european-regional-development-funding

Applications to join the e-commerce accelerator are particularly invited from businesses with growth potential operating in one of the priority sectors identified by Enterprising Barnsley’s ERDF-funders: advanced manufacturing and materials, creative and digital industries, food and drink, bioscience, environmental technologies, sports, the investor economy, social enterprise and sustainable development.

For information about Enterprising Barnsley go to www.enterprisingbarnsley.co.uk or contact Tracey Johnson on 01226 772648 or at traceyjohnson@barnsley.gov.uk

Additional media contact: Steph Pollard on 01226 766900 or 0776 196 4492 or at steph@capitalbmedia.co.uk

This press release was prepared by Capital B Media, a public relations and media training agency based in Sheffield, South Yorkshire. For more details about our PR services, please visit www.capitalbmedia.co.uk

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