£4.2m to support people and businesses

By on 15/07/2011 in News

£4.2m to support people and businesses to trade, grow and diversify


Hundreds of start-up and existing businesses in some of the most disadvantaged neighbourhoods in south east Birmingham will benefit from £2.1m European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) grant aid, if Cabinet agrees to accept the offer at its meeting on 25 July 2011.
The grant offer is for the Enterprise Catalyst (2) Project, which gives potential entrepreneurs and fledgling businesses access to advice, intensive support and the ability to apply for small-scale grants of up to £10,000.
In addition to the ERDF grant aid, Birmingham City Council, Birmingham Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Digbeth Trust will make contributions and match-funding to deliver a £4.2m total project. 
The Enterprise Catalyst (2) Project aims to have a real impact on the communities targeted, with a focus on groups disadvantaged in the employment market such as women and the BME (Black and Minority Ethnic)  community. It will be open to all local residents and businesses (excluding retail) in the designated area.
Councillor Timothy Huxtable, Cabinet Member for Transport, Environment and Regeneration, said: “There are many barriers to the creation or expansion of a business and the Enterprise Catalyst (2) Project will bring mainstream services together to provide comprehensive support for a business idea from inception to completion. This great project will add value to and complement the aspirations of the Big City Plan and the Tyseley Environmental Enterprise District.  
“During this difficult economic climate it is crucial that businesses continue to develop to ensure their survival with support offered from the Enterprise Catalyst Project and all its delivery partners. There is every reason for the local economy to flourish.”
Councillor Jerry Evans, Chair of the Enterprising Communities Programme Board, said: “Connecting all the partner services for local individuals and businesses is essential in ensuring that companies, who wouldn't necessarily seek support and guidance to develop their businesses.  Equally individuals who have a sound business idea but are unsure of the help and support available, can gain the help they need to resolve issues and ensure the survival and growth of their business venture. This is especially important in today's challenging marketplace. By providing much needed support to the business community, we aim to boost the regeneration of local neighbourhoods, as well as provide wider benefits to residents, including the creation of new jobs, and provision of additional goods and services locally.”
Notes to Editor:
Enterprise Catalyst (2) Project will bring together experts from Birmingham City Council, the Birmingham Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Digbeth Trust and the Initiative of Social Entrepreneurs Ltd.
The project is being led by Birmingham City Council's Enterprising Communities Regeneration Team, with funding from the European Regional Development Fund and will be overseen by the Enterprising Communities Regeneration Partnerships locally.

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