New funds to drive business up the M3

Peter Grant, Chief Executive, WSX Enterprise

Peter Grant, Chief Executive, WSX Enterprise

A new project to help budding entrepreneurs in the M3 corridor has been launched thanks to a significant grant secured from the Big Lottery Fund and European Social Fund (ESF).

WSX Enterprise is managing the programme which is aimed at people who have been in long term unemployment and young people not in education, employment or training.

Partnering in the project are Action Hampshire, Surrey Community Action and the University of Winchester.

The programme is targeting the unemployed, lone parents, older workers, people with disabilities and people in minority groups.

The Inspiring Enterprise programme – part of Building Better Social Enterprises (BBSE) – will support those looking to set up enterprises, social enterprises or become self-employed.

It offers a host of benefits and those seeking assistance with their future are encouraged to get in touch.

The programme will include a web portal full of information, tools and resources, ‘is it for me?’ taster sessions, workshops, and dedicated mentors.

Peter Grant, Chief Executive of WSX Enterprise, said: “Since the recession of 2008 we have seen a dramatic rise in the number of people starting their own business.

“This project will target specific groups and help individuals set up enterprises, which can often seem a daunting task.

“We are offering a huge amount of help and support which includes a Friday club for peer-to-peer support, networking opportunities and even one-to-one meetings for those who find it difficult to interact in group sessions.

“We will be running ‘meet the boss’ sessions as well as producing e-newsletters and providing on-going support.

“All the partners have a great deal of experience in assisting people to set up businesses and helping them develop their enterprises.

“Already supported equally by the Big Lottery Fund and the European Union Social Fund, Brexit will have no impact on this project.

“We are grateful to our partners Action Hampshire, Surrey Community Action and the University of Winchester, who we will be working together with in the delivery of the programme.”

The M3 corridor runs from Southampton to the M25 and includes Winchester, Andover, Alton, Farnham, Basingstoke, Farnborough, Camberley, Woking, Bracknell and everywhere in between.

For more information contact 07738040706  or visit


Pic caption: Peter Grant, Chief Executive of WSX Enterprise.


Notes to editors:

WSX Enterprise is a not-for-profit company delivering a wide range of business support and entrepreneur services including start-up loans, business mentoring, innovation support and business design. Most services are delivered free or heavily subsidised with government and European funding. For more information, contact 01329 223242 or visit


  • The Big Lottery Fund is the largest funder of community activity in the UK. It puts people in the lead to improve their lives and communities, often through small, local projects.
  • It is responsible for giving out 40% of the money raised by National Lottery players for good causes. Every year it invests over £650 million and awards around 12,000 grants across the UK for health, education, environment and charitable purposes.
  • Since June 2004 it has awarded over £9 billion to projects that change the lives of millions of people. Since the National Lottery began in 1994, £34 billion has been raised and more than 450,000 grants awarded.
  • The project has received up to £1.45m of funding from the Big Lottery Fund and the European Social Fund as part of the 2014-2020 European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme in England. The Department for Work and Pensions is the Managing Authority for the England European Social Fund programme. Established by the European Union, the European Social Fund helps local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support skills development, employment and job creation, social inclusion and local community regenerations. For more information visit