Business boost for unemployed


HELPING HAND: The launch of the Inspiring Enterprise project at The Maltings, Farnham, from left, Jason Gaskell, CEO of Surrey Community Action; Erica Sandford of Surrey Community Action; Sandie Davis, Project Manager of Action Hampshire; Liz Wright, Project Manager Inspiring Enterprise, of WSX Enterprise; Val Buckingham, Delivery Manager, of Fredericks Foundation and Chris Darlow, Delivery Manager, Inspiring Enterprise, of WSX Enterprise


A major new project aimed at boosting business opportunities for people not in work has been launched.

Budding entrepreneurs in the M3 corridor region are being invited to participate in the Inspiring Enterprise scheme.

This two-year project is being backed through £1.45 million of funding from the Big Lottery Fund and the European Social Fund.

The intention is to help at least 500 unemployed and disadvantaged people take steps to set up a business or improve their work readiness.

Part of the Building Better Opportunities programme, the project offers advice and support through workshops, taster sessions, training and mentoring.

Not-for-profit business support company WSX Enterprise is managing the scheme and is partnered by Action Hampshire, Surrey Community Action, Fredericks Foundation and the University of Winchester.

It is aimed at people who are unemployed and young people not in education, employment or training, as well as lone parents, older workers, people with disabilities and people in minority groups.

WSX Enterprise Project Manager Liz Wright said: “Inspiring Enterprise will focus on helping unemployed and disadvantaged people into self-employment and social enterprise creation.

“This is a fantastic opportunity to offer participants a chance to increase their skills and confidence and develop their business ideas

“We will do this through a comprehensive package of support, including training, mentoring, enterprise clubs, pop-up shops, ‘meet-the-boss’ sessions, access to finance and one-to-one advice.

“By supporting unemployed and economically inactive people to start and grow a business we hope to ensure sustainability and effectiveness in any new organisations created.

“Our partners bring skills, expertise and experience to the table and have a proven track record of working with our target beneficiaries to achieve business creation or employment opportunities.”

The free support programme, which was launched at a conference for stakeholders at The Maltings complex in Farnham, Surrey, will run for a two-year period until the end of 2018.

Addressing the conference were Dean Packer, of Events R Me, and David Shervill, of Global Music Visions, who both participated on previous similar schemes and went on to launch their own companies.

To be eligible for help through Inspiring Enterprise people must live within the M3 corridor and be currently unemployed.

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

Anyone interested in finding out more about Inspiring Enterprise should visit the web site or call 0800 140 4537

Notes to editors:

Building Better Opportunities

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.

The project has received up to £1.45 million 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.

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News release issued by:
Cliff Moore, Account Director
Deep South Media
Mobile: 07469 158458 Office: 01202 534487