Start-up support for Greater Birmingham and Solihull

Saqib Bhatti, Greater Birmingham & Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership.

Start-up support for Greater Birmingham and Solihull

Those just starting a new business in the region can now access a range of tailored support through a new programme called ‘Enterprise for Success’.

Part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund, the scheme offers access to a team of experienced and specialist business advisors who are able to guide clients through the journey of starting a company and provide them with the tools to grow and succeed.

The scheme is supported by a wide range of partners including local authorities across the Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership (GBSLEP), the regional Growth Hub, and the Library of Birmingham and Birmingham City University.

Key topics include business planning, financial forecasting and sources of finance, marketing, and intellectual property – as well as practical information including registering your business and choosing the right structure.

Councillor Ian Courts, deputy leader of Solihull Council, lead authority for the project, said:

“Providing the right kind of support for our start-up community is critical as the lifeblood of our regional economy and an important element of our innovation and growth agendas.

“The talent and breadth of our young business community is incredibly strong and we are creating the right environment for them to prosper and create jobs for the future.”

Saqib Bhatti, director for growing businesses and representing SMEs for the GBSLEP, added: “Greater Birmingham leads the way as the UK’s entrepreneurial hotspot.

“SMEs are vital to the long-term health of our economy, and – through GBSLEP’s support for the ‘Enterprise for Success’ scheme and the work of our Growth Hub – we’re ensuring that our aspiring companies are given every help to realise their ambitions to succeed and grow.”

Dr Mark Gilman, professor of SME Growth and Development at Birmingham City Business School, said: “As you are aware, understanding and achieving your growth aspirations can be extremely challenging.

“Through ‘Enterprise for Success’ we will offer businesses a unique opportunity, as our growth diagnostic helps identify and solve your challenge.

“Our work translates into applicable, accessible concepts, tools and techniques assisting us in creating tailored workshops that specifically meet the needs and demands of Local SMEs.”

Councillor Brett O’Reilly, Cabinet Member for Jobs and Skills at Birmingham City Council, said: “Birmingham is an enterprising and innovative city and this is a great opportunity to use expertise at libraries to build and foster stronger job and employment skills across the city.

“Working with local partners to promote employment and training opportunities is a top priority for Birmingham City Council and this presents the ideal platform to develop joined-up ways to support individuals and businesses to grow and prosper, ensuring that Birmingham and region is a great place for everyone to succeed.”

The Enterprise for Success Programme is part-financed by the European Union through the European Regional Development Fund Programme.

Enterprise for Success support provided includes:

  • Direct one to one support from experienced advisors up to the point of starting a business
  • Online resources and company databases – including IBISWORLD, Mintel, MINT UK and MINT Global
  • Networking opportunities within the start-up community
  • Business planning workshops – including basic financial control techniques, market research and writing a business plan
  • Marketing workshops
  • Financial planning and access to financial support
  • Intellectual Property Advice
  • Public Speaking workshops
  • Signposting to other relevant support organisations and programmes