Redcar and Cleveland Enterprise Team has already delivered a multi-million-pound boost to the local economy.
And this year that work is set to continue – by supporting established businesses across the borough to achieve business growth.
The story began in March 2007 when Redcar and Cleveland Council was successful in winning £10.8m of LEGI funding to boost the local economy.
The Enterprise Team was formed to administer the LEGI fund on behalf of the Council and had a four year commitment to change the culture in the area by focusing on: starting up new businesses, growing existing businesses, supporting social enterprise and delivering enterprise education.
In 2010 the Enterprise Team was successful in securing European Regional Development Funding to further the work – focusing on helping people into self-Employment.
Since then the team has encouraged and supported people living in the borough to consider setting up their own businesses, and has worked with hundreds of people to help them overcome any fears they may have about starting a business, before guiding them through a series of relevant topics like marketing, accounts, using social media and staff recruitment.
It’s an effective mix and one that is changing the economic landscape of Redcar andCleveland.
Not only have the Enterprise Team coaches helped people take a different course in life, they have also introduced scores of young people to the possibility of running their own business, many of who would otherwise be facing unemployment.
The team has provided advice and support to people of all ages and all skills levels, and all of them shared a dream – to carve out a future working for themselves.
Since the end of 2011 more than 150 residents have gone on to launch their own business – from a celebration cake maker to a woodcutter – and those businesses are forecast to put £5.81m back into the local economy.
That’s around £60m over the next ten years – no mean feat in today’s economic climate.
Families and individuals are now shaping their own futures, creating their own wealth as well as creating employment for others.
For some it’s meant being able to escape benefits and earn a living for the first time in their lives, for others it’s allowed them to follow their dreams of making money doing what they enjoy.
New businesses have been created across all sectors including digital, leisure, education, creative industries and health.
Hundreds of people contacted the team with a dream of starting their own business and more than half were helped to turn that dream into a viable business plan, making them ready to trade.
If those start-ups continue to trade for ten years – and with continuing support from the Enterprise Team to achieve business growth there’s no reason they shouldn’t – they will make a major contribution to the borough, not just via jobs creation and attracting investment but by providing inspiration to others thinking about launching a business.
The achievement was welcomed by Councillor Mark Hannon, Redcar and Cleveland Council’s cabinet member for economic development.
He said: The Enterprise Team is there to nurture and bring along new businesses, to encourage an enterprise culture in this area. A number of years ago a report from Government showed this area had one of the lowest rates of start-up businesses and the Enterprise Team is a fundamental part of our plan to try and change the philosophy of this area and encourage people to try and work for themselves.
“The resulting cash injection into the local economy is quite significant, which is why it’s important that this work continues.”
Early this year (2013) The Enterprise Team won further funding and is now focused on business growth, supporting established SMEs across the borough who want to expand.