New support for entrepreneurs in Barnsley
15 February 2012
A new scheme has been unveiled to help encourage more entrepreneurs in Barnsley.
The news comes as the town is highlighted as one of the worst in the country for business start-ups, with half as many new businesses being created compared with places like Brighton and Aberdeen.
The town is also in the bottom ten for the number of businesses that exist per head of population.
SmartStart, which will be free, will run from April 1 at Barnsley Business and Innovation Centre (BBIC) at Wilthorpe. It will be part of the second phase of Enterprising Barnsley
, a European-funded business support programme that has helped create or protect more than 1,000 jobs in its first phase.
Tim Milburn, Chief Executive of BBIC, said: “What we want is for people to come along for a chat to see if we can help them with a business idea they may have. If it’s a good idea and we can help, then we will.”
Under the SmartStart scheme potential entrepreneurs will be given one-to-one advice by a business coach and invited to a series of workshops covering everything from sales and marketing to leadership and management.
Enterprising Barnsley phase 2, which will be funded by European Regional Development Fund money, and is a partnership between Barnsley Council and BBIC, will also offer support to new businesses under BBIC’s Genesis programme.
Genesis is aimed at businesses in the first year or two of life and includes office accommodation, intensive business support and business development workshops.
Both programmes are aimed at businesses with growth potential. The business sectors eligible are: advanced manufacturing and materials, digital and creative industries, financial and business services, bioscience, sports technology, environmental technology, and food and drink technologies.
The Centre for Cities 2012 report put Barnsley in the bottom ten for business start ups, with just 24.8 new businesses created for every 10,000 people. In Brighton, Aberdeen and Milton Keynes the number is nearer 50 and in London it is 65.
Barnsley is also in the bottom ten for the number of existing businesses per head of population, with more going out of business than being set up.
Tim said: “There are some great businesses in Barnsley, but nowhere near enough of them. We need to help people find their feet and foster and nurture their new businesses.
“All we look for is someone prepared to give their time and energy to developing their business. All we ask is that they are serious about growing the business.”
The Genesis and SmartStart projects are part of the Enterprising Barnsley Programme which is supported financially by the European Union. The project has attracted £2,259,511 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 News Editors