Residents invited to join free business training course

  |  Published: Mar 25th 2015
Business training: Val Letheren and Paul Funnell
Business training: Val Letheren and Paul Funnell

High Wycombe residents from all backgrounds and walks of life have the chance to learn how to set up their own business on a free 12-week course aimed at promoting local enterprise.

The one-day-a-week training scheme will end with a Dragon’s Den-type event in which the winners may be able to gain extra support or funding for their ideas.

The initiative – called Strive - has been promoted by a partnership of Buckinghamshire County Council, Thames Valley Housing, Home Group housing and Marsh & Micklefield Big Local, a lottery-funded community trust.  Each organisation is contributing about £3,000 towards the project.

“We know that there are many people in our local community who are itching to start up their own business but don’t know quite how to go about it,” said Val Letheren, Chairman of the Council’s High Wycombe Local Area Forum which helped to initiate the project.

“We want to give these people the skills and confidence to become entrepreneurs and work for themselves. It doesn’t matter how big or small their ideas are, the point is that most people can set themselves up in business far more easily than they could ever imagine.”

There are 25 places available on the course which begins with a Taster Day on April 22 at the Wrights Meadow Centre in Wycombe Marsh where applications for the available places can be made. Training for the successful applicants will be provided by Enterprise Cube who have a proven record of success working with Housing providers and local authorities.

Mrs Letheren added: “The idea is that we cater for all types of businesses including for example, gardening, fine foods , ironing or the launch of branded products. Our aim is to provide people with the knowledge of how to set themselves up as a company, how to effectively and economically market themselves and how to succeed and hopefully make money.”

The 12-week course which will run on Wednesdays from 10am-4pm.  The first five weeks covers everything people need to know when starting a business. The next seven weeks are aimed at putting in place what people need to make the business work.

Paul Funnell, of Enterprise Cube, said: “The programme is for anybody, giving practical tools delivered by entrepreneurs for real people. We believe anybody can start a business and have seen hundreds of people start.”

The Rev'd Paul Willis, Chair - Marsh & Micklefield Big Local Partnership, said: “There is so much strength and sustainability to be gained in multi-agency collaboration founded on shared vision and pooled resources, and where a willingness to venture together is underpinned by the sincere shared hope of enabling a transformation of people’s aspirations into reality.”

The two Housing Associations and Marsh & Micklefield Big Local are encouraging and prioritising applications from their own residents, while the Local Area Forum is sponsoring applications from the wider community of High Wycombe and Downley.

If you are interested in finding out more, contact Matt Deprez at Home Group Matthew.Deprez@homegroup.org.uk

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