New support for Sunderland’s start-up businesses

Budding entrepreneurs are being urged to take advantage of a new programme to help people in Sunderland start up in business.

By Kevin Clark
Monday, 04 March, 2019, 05:00
The BICs Kevin Marquis, Angela Brown, Chair of the CLLD Local Action Group and Coun Peter Gibson

The Prospecting for Enterprise initiative, which is being delivered by the North East Business and Innovation Centre (BIC), aims to boost enterprise and economic growth in the west of the city.

The support, which includes free one-to-one meetings with business advisers and social enterprise specialists, workshops and information packs, is available to anyone who lives in the Pallion, St Anne’s, Barnes, Silksworth, St. Chad’s and Sandhill areas of the city.

Backed by Sunderland’s Community Led Local Development (CLLD) Programme, the initiative has just started and will run until September 2020. The CLLD Programme is a five-year strategy aimed at delivering local jobs and economic growth, supported with funding from the 2014-2020 European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme.

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This means the support on offer is delivered within the eligible communities themselves. All of the workshops and one-to-one meetings will be delivered in each of the six wards, making it more convenient and accessible for those who participate and may otherwise find it difficult to travel to events or meetings.

Kevin Marquis, Social Enterprise Manager at the BIC, is heading up the Prospecting for Enterprise programme: “Prospecting for Enterprise is a fantastic initiative and is a great opportunity for anyone thinking of or simply exploring the idea of setting up a business to find out if their idea is viable,” he said.

“Small businesses are the lifeblood of the economy and programmes like this are vital to ensure budding entrepreneurs have the support and confidence they need to get started. The BIC has been delivering support to businesses for 25 years now and projects like this are at the heart of everything we do.”