£2.3m project to support entrepreneurs
Budding entrepreneurs are to receive help getting their businesses off the ground through a new £2.3million project led by the University of Wolverhampton.
Enterprise Action is a three-year project designed to support entrepreneurs in the Black Country and the Marches areas of the West Midlands to start up a business.
It is hoped that the project, funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), will assist 480 entrepreneurs and lead to the creation of 250 new enterprises.
Beneficiaries will have the opportunity to apply for financial support, access to business facilities, business development workshops and consultancy over a six-month period.
The project is primarily aimed at enterprises in the science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) and creative sectors which are less than two years old.
It will deliver enterprise support to fledgling entrepreneurs and innovators, inward investors looking to locate in the Black Country area, students, graduates and University associates.
Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Professor Ian Oakes, said: “Enterprise Action will enable the University of Wolverhampton and regional partners to empower entrepreneurs and innovators to start and grow new sustainable businesses, creating jobs and prosperity.
“Promoting entrepreneurship in the Black Country and the Marches will enable the creation of a substantial number of local knowledge-led businesses, leading to new high growth starts and therefore supporting local economic plans.
“Enterprise Action will bridge the “gap” in support between graduate and young person enterprise and established SME support by promoting innovation and entrepreneurship within business start-ups in an area with low knowledge-led enterprise levels.
“As the University of Opportunity, we are committed to delivering learning, research and engagement opportunities which target the economic and social needs of the areas in which we operate, so we are delighted to have been awarded this ERDF funding which will enable us to support local entrepreneurs.”
The programme will target potential higher growth businesses of less than two years old, which will benefit from targeted fast-track support and financial assistance to achieve product commercialisation.
The value of the three-year project is approx. £2.3million. It is envisaged that over that timeframe, 480 entrepreneurs will be assisted leading to the creation of 250 new enterprises during the lifetime of the project, with 120 receiving continued support to create new jobs within those enterprises during and after the period.
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