Outset has support solutions for business start-up ideas
Outset, the award-winning business initiative programme, launched on 14 June when the first eight participants received certificates from Swindon’s MPs Robert Buckland and Justin Tomlinson.
The totally free service set up by leading business and economic development company YTKO and funded jointly by Swindon Council and the European Regional Development Fund aims to help create new businesses and new jobs in the town over the next two years.
Pictured, Mayor of Nick Martin unveiling the Outset plaque by Richard Wintle www.calyxpix.com
The first clients took part in eight three hour sessions to unravel crucial aspects of developing a business idea, starting to trade, marketing and managing growth, and how to make a business investment-ready, to secure finance for further product and business development.
Projects include a parent support service, marketing hand made crafts, writing for business, plumbers and setting up a bike hire service. Read about the parrticipants below.
Pictured, with the Mayor, Justin Tomlinson MP, Robert Buckland MP and Manor Singh.
South Swindon MP Robert Buckland said he is confident successful new businesses will emerge from the initiative. “People have great ideas and enthusiasm and Outset helps them focus on what is required to take the next steps to turn those ideas in to reality. It brings together solutions in one place.”
Justin Tomlinson, MP for North Swindon, said Outset was a valuable addition to the town’s economy. “Swindon has the fastest growth rate of start-ups in the South West.
“I talk to many young people who want to be entrepreneurs but need help to move their aspirations forward. As a former small business person, I know how hard it can be to establish yourself. Being able to discuss ideas in a structured way, find ways forward, and receive ongoing mentoring, will be invaluable.”
Describing the services offered by Outset Swindon, Programme Director Manor Singh said: “We really want people to consider enterprise as a valid and achievable route to employment.
"We were thrilled that 50 people attended the launch on 14 June. There is a great of enthusiasm in Swindon for promoting enterprise and we welcome the support of the mayor of Swindon, Robert Buckland and Juston Tomlinson MPs.”
Outset will be introducing business finance advice workshops, regular networking meetings and an online community for clients.
To discuss joining a course, call Freephone 0800 080 3024 or mail: email@example.com
• Over the past three years across Britain Outset has demonstrated a track record of helping up to 20% of its clients to set up their own business or find a job – equating to 1500 brand new businesses and over 1700 new jobs across the UK.
Last year YTKO won the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills’ Enterprising Britain Award for Promoting Enterprise. It then went on to beat 30 other nominees to scoop the European Commission’s Enterprise Promotion Award, the highest accolade for promoting sustainable enterprise in Europe.
The first participants and their project ideas. Photos by Ian Plested of Redhouse Photography
Susan Bruce: Susan attended the Business Start up Course and was one of the first Outset Swindon Clients. She is setting up a Play Centre, which is worked around parents or carers attending with their children to access a variety of children’s play areas, containing toys, books, painting, music etc, at affordable prices. She will also be setting up a cafe that can be used whilst parents are with their children which will be offering healthy options in food.
Susan came onto our course initially wanting to set up a lettings agency. However, through our course realised that she had the ideal skills and qualifications in the area of children’s services and she felt that a lot of money was being charged by providers in this area. In doing her market research she realised that there was a gap in the market close to where she lives and saw the opportunity to provide this service within that area.
She has an open day planned for the end of June where she will be enlisting potential users.
Jan Weston – Parenting Tree: Jan attended the Business Start up Course and was one of our second courses attendees. She is providing an intervention service to parents, guardians and carers who cannot relate in one way or another to the children in their care. This was a service previously utilised by the councils and schools services, however, since cutbacks it is no longer provided in-house. Jan is highly qualified and although had set up the business previously with two partners had to close the business due to lack of sales/contacts and commitment.
Since starting our course Jan has realised that there are other markets that could be targeted and has started the business again, this time on her own. This week she has a meeting arranged with a local school who would like to use her services under contract. Fingers crossed for her!
Gina Dunford: Gina attended the first BSU course and creates and designs material and crafts for a variety of products. Since attending our courses she has concentrated on her designs of printed material in a de-constructed craft kit of Butterfly and Dragonfly jewellery.
Gina has approached two companies – ‘Hobby Craft’ and an American company who have commissioned her kit for sale on their websites.
Sheena Freeman: Attended the Introduction to Enterprise and Business Start Up courses and is looking at starting up an Editorial business, she has contacted a few businesses and things look promising for at least one piece of work.
Peter Alldis: Attended our first Business Start Up course and is looking at starting a business providing environmental plumbing, by laying piping underground to service homes (he needs to attend courses before starting up). Peter is determined to make this work and is booked onto the training courses which will be coming up in the next month or two.
Andy Sutcliffe, below with Steven Marriott-Waite: Attended the Introduction to Enterprise course and has honed many ideas into one that is to provide cycle hire within the area. Andy is still to work out how to provide this service in full and is doing further market research to identify the best area to provide his specialist bicycles, which are covered over and have horizontal seating. (Velocycle)
Steven Marriott-Waite: Attended the I2E and BSU courses and is to provide a plumbing and fitting service of bathroom suites for those with disabilities.
Steven has been working in the industry for years and has worked for all of his main competitors. He wants to provide an easily accessible service of top quality products with excellent customer service at an affordable price to his customers. Steven is looking at raising some finance to start the business off and is working with Outset to achieve this aim.