Cumbria is a great place to start a business.
Not just because it’s an inspiring lace to live and work – statistically, your business has a better chance of survival here.
The annual business failure rate is 9.7% while the national average is 11.6%.
Read here how BSUS helped UnbiBu meet demand for British-made underwear
Our strong performance is in part due to the support available to businesses, in particular start-ups, through the Chamber’s Cumbria Business Growth Hub.
Nationally, 40% of new businesses cease trading within five years so access to help in the early stages can be the difference between success and failure.
The Growth Hub’s Business Start-up Support Scheme – BSUS for short – is a £1.4m project that encourages people to think about starting up and helps new businesses in their pre-start phase and challenging early years of trading.
Thanks to funding from the Chamber, the European Regional Development Fund and other partners, this support is free.
Hear tips for start-ups in this podcast with Growth Hub adviser Justine Douglas
BSUS is open to anyone thinking of starting a business and to SMEs under three years old. It has helped 1,600 individuals looking to start a business. Around 700 have started so far with more in the pipeline.
Suzanne Caldwell, Deputy Chief Executive of Cumbria Chamber of Commerce, said: “Lots of people think they’d like to start a business but never look into it properly then always wish they had. Others, when they finally do, wish they’d done it years ago.
“While it can seem daunting there’s lots of help available so contact us, whatever your age or background, to find out more and see if start-up is for you.”
The package of FREE support includes a three-day course covering the basics of starting a business, plus:
Read here how BSUS assisted one of Cumbria’s brightest young entrepreneurs
- One-to-one meetings with a business adviser to review and develop the business idea.
- Training covering business planning and self-employment, an introduction to marketing/market research and sales forecasts, promotion and sales, an introduction to planning and managing finance, taxation and bookkeeping, using the internet and social media.
- Help to develop your business plan and get your business up and running.
- Membership of Cumbria Chamber of Commerce.
For more information on BSUS click here or call Cumbria Business Growth Hub today on 0844 257 84 50.
The New Enterprise Allowance Scheme (NEA) a national Department for Work and Pensions initiative to help unemployed people launch their own business.
Read here how NEA helped Mark Knowles set up a global travel business
Cumbria Chamber delivers NEA through the Growth Hub as the prime contractor for Cumbria, Lancashire and Merseyside, having beaten significant national players in a tough competitive tendering exercise.
LinkUp:StartUp workshops enable job hunters on Jobseeker’s Allowance, new Universal Credit and certain other benefits to explore whether self-employment is for them.
If they want to take things forward they can then ask their job centre adviser to refer them onto the scheme.
To help them get started they can access one-to-one support from a business mentor to help them develop their business plan and get started, plus workshops, financial support for six months and the opportunity to apply for a start-up loan of up to £25,000.
Follow-on support is available after they start trading.
Read here how NEA put fizz into Janice Watson’s mobile Prosecco bar
Across the region, NEA has supported 10,100 individuals looking to start a business, with more than 6,500 created so far.
Cumbria Business Growth Hub is a Chamber-led initiative launched in 2012 as one-stop business support service.
It has worked with 7,200 businesses, delivering intensive support to 2,200 of them and in doing has created or safeguarded more than 7,000 jobs and generated around £300m additional GVA for Cumbria.
Partners range from local authorities to government departments, the University of Cumbria, Cumbria LEP, Lancaster University, training providers such as Gen2 and SP Training, and FE colleges.
Currently, the Growth Hub has programmes with four of Cumbria’s six district councils – Allerdale, Carlisle, Eden and South Lakeland.
The funding that supports the Growth Hub comes from a range of sources including Cumbria Chamber of Commerce, the European Regional Development Fund, Allerdale Borough Council (Sellafield Ltd’s Allerdale SIIF, distributed by Allerdale Borough Council), Barrow Borough Council (FEDF Coastal Communities Fund Supply Chain Initiative, the Coastal Communities Fund is funded by the Government with income from the Crown Estates marine assets; it is delivered by the Big Lottery Fund on behalf of UK Government), Carlisle City Council, Eden District Council, South Lakeland District Council and Cumbria LEP.
The BSUS project is receiving up to £1,112,686 of funding from the England European Regional Development Fund as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020. The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government is the Managing Authority for European Regional Development Fund. Established by the European Union, the European Regional Development Fund helps local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support innovation, businesses, create jobs and local community regenerations. For more information, click here.© Cumbria Chamber of Commerce