Wednesday, November 27, 2013

News: RiDO steps in to fill business support gap

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Rotherham Investment & Development Office (RiDO) has established Rotherham Ready For Business to provide crucial business support for would-be entrepreneurs as they start the journey of setting up a business in the borough.

Managed by, RiDO, the business and regeneration arm of the Council, the local initiative is part of the national Ready For Business programme sponsored by Barclays, and offers potential start-up businesses the opportunity to get ready for business success through proper training, support, advice and commercial investment.

The new RiDO programme fills a gap in business support for new start up businesses after the demise of Business Link and a vast reduction in government funding. In the borough, Barnsley and Rotherham Chanmber runs the New Enterprise Allowance scheme to help unemployed people plan, develop and start their own business. Rotherham Youth Enterprise provides self-employment support and advice for young people under the age of 30.

Rotherham Ready for Business includes a free introductory one-day event for all, which covers the fundamentals of setting up in business including financial forecasting, taxation/VAT, marketing and business planning.

Individuals will then be invited to participate in the next stage of the programme which includes one-to-one assessments with an experienced, independent business adviser; an intensive support programme, leading to the development of a robust business plan, and dedicated ongoing support both before and after the business starts trading.

Tim O'Connell, business development manager at RiDO, said: "Over the past ten years the Rotherham area has been a great location for people wanting to set up their own businesses. Since 2000, RIDO's Business Centres has been home to over 500 businesses, creating around 1,800 jobs, and many former tenants have gone on to become larger, established businesses, operating in global markets."

RiDO runs four dedicated business incubation centres across the borough and provides business support for high growth business and those looking to export.

One business that has benefited from RiDO's offer is Vonhatski Amps, which designs and hand builds professional quality guitar amplifiers and speaker cabinets from their base in RiDO's Century Business Centre at Manvers.

Owner Stefan Suchacki explains how RiDO has helped his business in the early years since its launch in 2011; "Without the support of RiDO it is safe to assume that our high growth strategy would have suffered. With RiDO I know I have instant access to a legion of business professionals more than happy to help in any way they can to bring success to my business, the local area, and the national economy.

"Through the RiDO support network we have benefited from free assistance in a great many areas such as HR, marketing, establishing a profile in Europe, networking, grants, and one-to-one assistance from a RiDO business development professional.

"Any new business has the potential to be a success, but inviting the support of RiDO will make the journey that little bit more enjoyable."

The next Ready For Business workshop takes place on December 12 at Moorgate Crofts Business Centre.

RiDO website
Vonhatski Amps website

Images: RiDO

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