Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Good News! There is Support Available for New Businesses!

Last week The Women's Organisation played host to the Enterprise Hub Business Start-up Conference.  Residents from the Liverpool City Region who are toying with the idea of being their own boss were invited to come along and hear from successful business owners and enterprise experts to gather inspiration on what is needed to get a business off the ground.

Our first inspirational guest speaker was the impressive Kevin Murphy director of 'RentaSpace'. 

Kevin had built his previous business empire in storage to having 5 UK locations with 22 staff and £5mil turnover.  He sold this and went back through the start-up journey to create rentaspace opening in September 2015.

Some key advice Kevin offered to those attending was:
  • The harder you work, the more you will reap the rewards.  Be prepared for hard graft
  • People & peers - build yourself a good network as it can get lonely being a business owner
  • Be yourself and believe in yourself!

Next up were the warm and inspiring Sue and Cheryl from Apollo Care and Mercury Franchise Consultants. They shared their ups and downs of starting their care business which became such a success they franchised the model!  Cheryl laughed telling the group about looking back at her original business plan which had the small ambition of creating a job for themselves - their business became so much bigger than they expected.  Cheryl talked about how they have constantly set themselves new goals and challenges which is how their business grew from strength to stregth and opened the opportunity for developing their second business 'Mercury Franchise Consultants' taking their own learning of franchising their model to make an income supporting others through the process. Sue confessed that Cheryl does work "every hour God sends" and advised the budding entrepreneurs to be prepared for hard work if they want to make their business the best it can be. 

Nick Bell from event partners Startup Direct let those attending know that there is financial support available to start ups through the government 'start-up loans' scheme.  Up to £25,000 is on offer through this scheme and Startup Direct along with Enterprise Hub can help individuals work out how much finance they need and understand the application process.

After a quick break for reflection, Jo Austin from Enterprise Hub partners The Women's Organisation invited everyone to share their business ideas and hopes for the session, and then stepped the participants through the pros and cons of self-employment, understanding why businesses fail and how to work out if self-employment is for you.

The conference finished with networking and time for everyone to engage with the free support on offer via Enterprise Hub free business tart-up programme for Liverpool City Region. Enterprise Hub is part funded by European Regional Development Fund and offers opportunity to receive expert advice and training to develop key enterprise skills ahead of starting a business. 

There was a real buzz about the event with those attending leaving feeling empowered to look at their ideas more closely.  Some of the comments left at the end of the session included:

"Well structured and informative"
"Brilliant! So glad I came, quelled a lot of my fears and answered a lot of my questions."
"Very friendly and encouraging"
"Speakers very good and appropriate for audience."
"It was useful listening to testimonials from thos in business already."
"I found it very interesting and valuable and very resourceful."
"Really informative"
"Enjoyed the session and found it useful for ideas and also really enjoyed hearing from Apollo and their journey."
"Good ideas - inspiration from talkers."

Massive thanks to Kevin, Sue and Cheryl for being so open and sharing their stories and to our event partners Startup Direct and Nick Bell for helping to raise awareness of financial options for those starting a business.

If you missed this event and are interested in receiving support to start your business you can contact the Enterprise Hub team on 0151 706 8113 or enterprisehub@thewo.org.uk.

We are taking the Enterprise Hub Business Start-up Conference on the road next month, so join us with Startup Direct and Invest Sefton on 20th October at the L20 conference Centre within the Hugh Baird Campus Bootle.  Book your free ticket by clicking here. 

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