A free and comprehensive support service has been launched to help ambitious entrepreneurs set up and run successful new businesses in the Sheffield City Region.
Sheffield City Region Launchpad is a new fully inclusive and co-ordinated programme of start-up support which aims to help create hundreds of new businesses across the region over the next three years.
The £4 million programme is being delivered through the Sheffield City Region (SCR) Growth Hub, launched by the Sheffield City Region Local Enterprise Partnership last month, and involves a consortium of the region’s local authorities, and the Princes Trust.
Through Launchpad people just starting to think about working for themselves and new business owners keen to grow their companies and create jobs can quickly access a wide range of new and existing business advice, workshops, seminars, one-to-one coaching and mentoring services.
SCR Launchpad programme manager Anna Smith said:
Launchpad has been set up to ensure that wherever entrepreneurs are based in our region, whether in the city of Sheffield, in our growing towns or in rural communities, everyone has equal access to the best quality business development support.
Its aim is to ensure that no-one misses out on the support they need to help them set up and grow their business. Wherever they are based they can contact Launchpad and a start-up business advisor will talk through their business aims, discuss their needs and signpost them to the most appropriate support.
Launchpad is being delivered through a collaboration of the region’s local authorities and business support organisations, led by Barnsley Council’s business support arm, Enterprising Barnsley.
Developed and delivered under the SCR Growth Hub banner, Launchpad brings together the wide range of start-up support services provided by these partners and combines them with new services being provided through the Sheffield City Region Growth Hub.
The initiative is backed financially by the Sheffield City Region Combined Authority and has attracted £2,359,613 investment from the European Regional Development Fund as part of the Europe Union’s support for the region’s economic development.
Chair of the Sheffield City Region European Structural Investment Funds Sub-Committee James Newman said:
Through unprecedented collaboration across the Sheffield City Region’s local authorities and business community we have co-ordinated all our efforts to identify and support pre-start and early stage businesses with growth potential.
Our ultimate aim is to increase economic growth and create jobs through fostering the development of new businesses across the whole region. The simple message is that if you want to set up and grow a business in the City Region you should contact Launchpad and its team of advisors can help you access a region-wide network of support.
This is exactly the type of programme that European funding should be supporting and we expect Launchpad to become the definitive springboard for successful business start-ups in the Sheffield City Region.
Launchpad is open to new businesses in Barnsley, Bassetlaw, Bolsover, Chesterfield, Derbyshire Dales, Doncaster and North East Derbyshire, Rotherham and Sheffield and offers entrepreneurs anything from access to free workshops and events to one-to-one mentoring from successful entrepreneurs and business owners. The Princes Trust will provide business support to 18-30-year-olds across South Yorkshire.
The Sheffield City Region (SCR) Growth Hub, through which Launchpad has been developed, is designed to be a single point of contact for all businesses across the nine local authority areas. It was launched by the Sheffield City Region Local Enterprise Partnership last month.
The overall ambition of the Sheffield City Region LEP is to help create 6,000 new businesses and 70,000 new jobs by 2025, by encouraging innovation, investment and collaboration.
Similar Launchpad start-up support programmes have been established by LEPs through their Growth Hubs in other city regions across the UK.