Fifteen people have now successfully set up their own businesses after benefiting from advice and support on the D2 Business Starter Programme run last year by enterprise agency Erewash Partnership.
More than 100 would-be entrepreneurs attended a series of free workshops in Erewash and Amber Valley. This has resulted in creating 21 jobs.
The Partnership is now preparing to run the programme again in each of the two areas on behalf of East Midlands Chamber. This is part of a county-wide initiative that is funded by Derbyshire County and City Councils and Derby and Derbyshire Economic Partnership.
The programme is available to residents in Erewash and Amber Valley, who have to enrol and register through the agency, whose headquarters are based in Long Eaton.
An individual tailored package of support is offered, which includes one to one mentor support and a series of workshops, these are led by experienced professionals and are designed to compliment the mentoring sessions.
Workshops include subjects such as an introduction to self-employment, marketing, business planning, bookkeeping and social media.
The free half-day workshops will begin in Erewash on April 11 and continue until May 25. Workshops will be repeated in the autumn in Amber Valley.
The largest number of jobs created has been at The Factory Kitchen, a licensed restaurant in Mundy Street, Ilkeston. Owners Kevan and Jane Pierrepont, who were previously in engineering, set up the business in August. They now employ six members of staff in a variety of positions.
“It was good. It gave us a fresh insight to help our new business which was different to before,” said Jane.
Mark Ratcliffe accessed all areas of the programme and attended all five workshops. Mark set up Marlon Training Associates in Ripley which trains people who work with new computer systems, processes and working practices. Previously, Mark had worked for a high street bank for 31 years. He realised he could use his skills and experience but required help and support to set up and run his own business.
“Each workshop was really useful with good practical advice and the mentoring was excellent,” he said.
Partnership chief executive Ian Viles said:
“Any successful entrepreneur will say that starting a business is not easy and there is an old saying that if you fail to plan, plan to fail.
“Our programmes provide would-be business owners with sound, helpful advice, based on proven techniques which is backed up by years of successful experience by mentors – to hopefully eliminate potential pitfalls and so give a solid foundation.
“We are delighted with the number of people who have started their own businesses, boosting the mixed local economy. We wish them every success and are confident others will follow.”