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22 May 2017

£3.8m programme offers extensive free business support

An injection of £3.8m in funding from the European Regional Development Fund, Bath and North East Somerset Council, Business West and other partners across the West of England is extending the range of free business support available in B&NES.

What’s on offer?

Through the new Enterprising West of England programme, B&NES-based residents, start-ups and established small businesses will be able to access:

  • Extensive one-to-one advice sessions with experienced small business and specialist advisors.  Sessions can offer feedback on new business ideas, business plans and sales strategies, and offer advice on finance, employment issues, social media and more;
  • Group workshop sessions on a range of topics, including starting in business and finance basics;
  • Grant funding towards the cost of intensive coaching to help businesses with growth plans.

Cllr Patrick Anketell-Jones, Cabinet Member for Economic Development, said: “We know that good quality business advice can drive business growth and create jobs.  Since 2013, the free business support and advice service funded by the Council and delivered by Cool Ventures in Bath and North East Somerset has helped to create over 90 start-ups, and has advised over 700 businesses; helping them to become more resilient and to reach their full potential.  We’re very optimistic about the opportunities that the Enterprising West of England programme will offer to many more fledgling and established businesses in Bath and North East Somerset.”

Brett Edgecombe, owner of IT consultancy 101 Data Solutions, is clear about the benefits of the service. He said: “Cool Ventures helped us to look at our business objectively, with fresh eyes.  We worked with them to develop a strategy, and implement processes which offer the very best service to customers. We’ve had great feedback and would highly recommend the service to other small businesses.”

Cool Ventures will continue to be the first point of contact for the service in B&NES, delivering advice to start-up and established businesses, and guiding them towards the most appropriate sources of funding and support within the Enterprising West of England programme and elsewhere.

How to access the service

For more information, and to book onto the service, head to www.investinbath.co.uk/business/support/getadvice