A helping hand for people with a business idea


Plymouth’s would-be entrepreneurs could get a helping hand, thanks to a scheme designed to help people give business a go.

Plymouth City Council is part-funding an enterprise coaching programme which aims to help people develop self-employment opportunities as well as start and sustain micro and small businesses, including conversations around alternative business structures such as cooperatives and social enterprises.

The city is teaming up with Outset to offer support to people from the more deprived and disadvantaged areas of Devon, such as Plymouth, Torbay and Torridge, and those underrepresented in enterprise.

Inclusive growth is at the heart of the Outset ethos. Now in its 10th year, Outset have supported over 6,000 businesses across the South West, creating over 6,859 jobs. The service has helped over 23,000 individuals become entrepreneurs in the region, through free programmes of enterprise workshops and 1:1 advice.

Plymouth’s contribution with match will be £362,000 to run the programme in the city with the emphasis on working with a diverse community, helping individuals from all backgrounds in areas such as Whitleigh, Honicknowle, Ernesettle and Ham and North Prospect where there are traditionally fewer start-ups.

The overall Outset Enterprise Coaching programme is worth over £1,702,020 across Devon.  The European Development Fund is contributing £1,020,612.

Part of the package includes enterprise coaching to support people with practical advice on how to write a business plan, pitching and presenting ideas as well as finance and marketing advice.

Councillor Chris Penberthy, Cabinet Member for Housing and Cooperative Development said: “This project aims to give support and confidence for people who might have a great idea but need more help to turn it into reality.

“Deciding to go into business is a huge decision for some people.  Having someone to help you prepare and do the leg work beforehand goes a long way to making that big leap a success.”

As well as Plymouth supporting by way of in-kind salaries, the Council is contributing £75,000 Social Enterprise Investment Fund money to help individual entrepreneurs with small grants.

This programme follows in the footsteps of the Plymouth Urban Enterprise programme which began in 2011 and over five years engaged over 4,000 people, created 400 jobs, and offered £1.8 million loans to nearly 150 clients.

For more information visit the Outset website.