Lancashire enterprises aim high after start-up support

More than 20 of Lancashire's newest entrepreneurs are the first to benefit from a new start-up business support programme funded by Boost Business Lancashire, the county's £7.8m business growth hub.

Boost Business Lancashire (Boost) is led by the Lancashire LEP (Local Enterprise Partnership) and Lancashire County Council and supported by funding from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).

As part of the fully-funded Growth Support Programme, delivered by Winning Pitch and Enterprise4All, ambitious entrepreneurs can attend a two-day Lean Launchpad masterclass, equipping them with the skills to maximise the potential of their new enterprise.

The first group of 23 entrepreneurs attended their masterclass at the Blackburn Enterprise Centre on 13th and 20th April, focused on the concept of Lean Start-up and scaling for growth. The support helps entrepreneurs to market-test their 'big idea' and business model, consider relevant sources of finance, and put plans in place for business growth and personal development.

Rona McFall, head of entrepreneurial solutions at Winning Pitch, commented: "The number of attendees and the strength of their feedback really shows how useful this type of support is for anyone starting out in business with a great idea and ambitious goals."

Amin Vepari, Operations Director at Enterprise4All added: "Starting a new business is tough, and many new enterprises don't survive their first year trading. By fully testing that their business model, idea and plan satisfies their target market, and can be scaled effectively we can increase their chances of success."

Feedback from the event attendees included:

“Excellent programme, expertly delivered and very helpful – I would recommend it.” Sabir Hussain

“Fantastic workshop – It was exactly what I needed.” Elle Gardner

“Great workshop and I got important tips to grow my business..” Carlos Pinto

“Excellent event – it gave me a new focus!” Sahina Ibrahim

Places are currently available for forthcoming Lean Launchpad events in: • Preston - 12 and 19 May • Lancaster - 14 and 21 June • Chorley - 13 and 20 July • Burnley - 4 and 11 August • Blackpool - 13 and 20 September

The Growth Support Programme also provides support for business trading for up to three years, to help them continue their growth trajectory. Business owners can attend a range of masterclasses covering digital marketing, sales, finance, strategy and leading a team. The support is part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund and participation is subject to eligibility. For more information about the programme or to apply, visit www.boostbusinesslancashire.co.uk or call 0800 488 0057.