Cardiff scheme helps those with an Entrepreneurial Spark
If you’re looking for a helping hand for your start-up business, Entrepreneurial Spark could be a perfect fit for you.
It’s a free business accelerator for growing ventures which are at an early stage.
Those who are accepted onto the scheme undergo a programme of between six and 18 months which develops their entrepreneurial skills.
The Nat West-backed scheme has ‘hatcheries’ across the UK – including one in Cardiff.
Other sites include Bristol, Manchester, Leeds, and Belfast.
The first ‘hatchery’ opened in Birmingham in 2015 and there will soon be 13.
The idea is to give start-up businesses access to expert help to ensure more succeed.
The scheme helps would-be entrepreneurs and those who have already established start-ups with intensive boot camps, space in their chosen ‘hatchery’ (office), free IT and wifi, and expert training from a pool of more than 50 experienced mentors.
There are networking opportunities and Entrepreneurial Spark partners RBS Group and KPMG also provide support.
Its Chief Executive Officer Jim Duffy says: “People considering setting up a business or at an early stage consistently tell us that support and advice is what they need most.
“With small companies undoubtedly being the lifeblood of the economy and creating the majority of jobs, this support is crucial to cementing a balanced and sustainable recovery.”
As this is a free scheme, it’s perfect for start-ups who are watching their cash flow.
The services like the office space, IT support, networking, and mentoring would normally cost a new business thousands of pounds a year.
One notable success of the scheme has been the double glazing app Double which won the backing of one of the Dragons on BBC’s Dragon’s Den programme, Moonpig’s Nick Jenkins, along with investment from Bebo founder Michael Birch.
The scheme’s businesses are called “chicklets” – and last year the turnover of its 660 chicklets topped £85 million.
The Cardiff ‘hatchery’, based at Central Square, is holding boot camps in early August and has an intake of 80 businesses twice a year.
Find out more about the project here: http://www.entrepreneurial-spark.com/locations/#cardiff