Friday, November 14, 2014

News: Ready for Business in Rotherham

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A national start-up programme is being delivered successfully in Rotherham and helping new enterprises get "investment ready."

Ready for Business began in 2012 following support from the Government's Regional Growth Fund and Barclays. Supported by the National Enterprise Network (NEN) it has been operated by Rotherham Investment and Development Office (RiDO) in Rotherham since September 2013, providing general business start-up training and support.

The scheme works with start-ups with a particular focus upon helping make those businesses investment ready. The programme provides individuals with concentrated support in the pre-start stages of their new business, including intensive enterprise training via free Barclays Get Ready for Business Seminars, one-on-one help from a dedicated business advisor to explore and assess their business ideas and offer expert analysis into developing a business plan.

Tim O'Connell, head of business and retail investment at RiDO, said: "Rotherham is a real success story when it comes to business investment and support. RiDO is consistently open to new ideas and people who are looking to fulfil their business dreams.

"We've helped support numerous start-ups, from retail units to manufacturers and provided the support network to help them thrive.

"We're serious about business and by using the NEN network, we have the support in place that can see businesses succeed.

"The NEN network has been incredibly useful for us in a number of ways. It helps both potential and new business owners to get advice from people who have been there, as well as learning how to avoid pitfalls and those useful tips and tricks that only those who have been through the experience know."

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In Rotherham, support includes an "Introduction to Self-employment Workshop", a shorter "Masterclasses" programme, which focuses on book-keeping, basic accounting and tax, and "one-to-one" support, where individuals work with an experienced business advisor, with the aim of getting viable business ideas to the point of start-up. Follow-up support is then provided in the first few months of businesses and as they mature.

Rotherham has already seen 17 new businesses and 28 jobs created through the Ready for Business project this year. This includes South Yorkshire's brightest new boutique recruitment agency, Hatfield Clark Recruitment Ltd.

Rachel Hatfield of Hatfield Clark Recruitment Ltd, said: "We knew that Rotherham was part of the "Ready for Business" project and we could see that there was a gap in the market for our offering - so set about seeking out the support we needed to make our dream a commercial reality.

"Initial advice and information from Martyn Benson and the Ready for Business project plus follow-up support from Bob Langley was an important part of that process."

Hatfield Clark website
RiDO website

Images: RiDO

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