2017 sees 75 entrepreneurs get started

A local initiative to help people in Blackpool start out on the road to becoming an entrepreneur has celebrated another bumper year.

The council’s Get Started scheme based at the Enterprise Centre off Lytham Road has seen 75 new businesses launched in 2017. It has helped create an additional 11 jobs and secured £70,000 in start-up- loans.

Among the new firms launched this year was Mud Kitchens R Fun. James Rashid spent 20 years in the automotive industry and has won many awards. However he wanted a new challenge that would involve the whole family, something his children could do outside that was creative, safe and fun.

James said: “I’m not a joiner but I enjoy building and creating things. It’s rewarding making something that you know will give children and adults lots of fun.

“Blackpool Council’s Get Started scheme has been an invaluable support to me, with both 1-2-1 sessions as well as courses including marketing, on-line presence and financial planning.

“It’s been a challenging journey but an exciting one with the support offered enabling me to make the transition from manager to owner seamlessly.”

Mud Kitchens R Fun

Macro’s Health Bar

Another business which started this year is Macro’s Health Bar on Whitegate Drive owned by Zack Mcguirk, IFBB World Classic Bodybuilding Champion 2016.

Zack is a well-known local athlete who believes healthy nutrition is essential for anyone’s wellbeing. Due to demand he has also opened a Meal Prep business to supplement the Health Bar. Food is delivered direct on a daily basis to clients that share his passion for healthy food.

Zack said: “Get Started have helped me raise Macro’s profile online and demonstrated how a high Google ranking can make a huge difference to anyone’s business. It is great to have someone you can contact that wants to support your business - and it’s a free service!”

Empire Tattoo and Piercing Studio

Another example of the regeneration of Church Street saw the opening of Empire Tattoo and Piercing Studio opposite The FYCreative Centre.

Best friends Sean Powell and Connor Prue are well known Tattoo and Piercing Artists in Blackpool and have put years of experience into their high quality new venture.

Co-Owner Sean Powell said: “Get Started gave us the confidence to launch our business, complete a business plan and access finance.

“The team has supported us from day one and recently assisted with training on how to gain online and social media presence. It makes such a difference when you are a sole trader to know someone is there for you.

“Working for ourselves has always been our ambition and now it has finally arrived we will make this a success for ourselves and our families.”

Lily & Sparrow

Business partners Heather Burke and Ruth White are another Get Started success story as Lily and Sparrow and sell a wide range of lingerie to suit all sizes online

The business which opened May 2017 is based at FYCreatives on Church St; they regularly attend local wedding fairs and local events and orders are now flooding in.

Heather said “We got help from Blackpool Council’s Get Started scheme, we went to them with our ideas in the early stages and they gave us some great advice. Not only have we been given the belief to run our own business we know we can rely on all Blackpool Unlimited staff to support us.

We were given the opportunity to be part of Blackpool Council’s Blackpool Enterprise Week where we were panel members offering support and inspiration to potential new business starts.

Blackpool Enterprise Week

Blackpool Enterprise Week was a resounding success with 304 people attending the various events across the town. This was 25% up in numbers from 2016. The week started with a seminar on start-up inspirations, which saw five local, Get Started entrepreneurs talk about their business journey followed by a Q and A session.

Inspirational Entrepreneurs; Ruth White, Heather Burke, David Slater Growth Manager, James Evans, James Lucas, Gareth Martindale, Cllr Mark Smith, Matt Watts

Other events included growth workshops, funding support, financial planning, online presence, breakfast peer working, green business fund and lots more.

The week ended back at The Winter Gardens where 86 people attended the sales master class.

Neil Jack Chief Exec Blackpool Council, Cllr Mark Smith, Geoff Reeves Blackpool Council

Cllr Mark Smith, Blackpool Council’s Cabinet Member for Regeneration, Enterprise and Economic Development, said: “It has been fantastic to see so many people with the drive and passion to set up their own businesses. The reasons why they want to take this route are really varied. It might be that someone wants to turn a lifelong hobby into a successful company, or wants to take control over their work-life balance. Whatever the reason, the Get Started team is there to help. From developing a business plan to helping secure funding, support is available whether you are a new starter or a seasoned professional.

“That support is the reason why most businesses helped by Get Started are still trading years later, regenerating areas of the high street, putting more local people back into employment and boosting the local economy.

“If you’re thinking about becoming your own boss, or want some advice about how to make a success of it, our expert staff have a wealth of experience and knowledge.”

Contact the team on 477147 or visit www.blackpoolunlimited/getstarted to find out more.