Posted as , , on Thursday 7 July 2016


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Supporting businesses and entrepreneurs in the Black Country

Access to Business, Wolverhampton based Charity and SWEDA (Skills Work and Enterprise Development Agency), Charity based in Sandwell are proud to launch their new ‘RAISE – Raising Aspirations, Inspiring Self-Employment and Social Enterprise’ project. The 2016-2018 project funded by the ERDF (European Regional Development Fund) delivers support to entrepreneurs in the Black Country to set up and run their businesses, specifically targeting new and early stage entrepreneurs from underrepresented groups including women, BME communities and disabled people.

By reducing barriers to business/social enterprise start-up and self-employment RAISE aims to enable local entrepreneurs to thrive; injecting enterprise into the grass roots of local communities and supporting employment growth across our region.

RAISE builds on the previous successful SEED (Supporting Employment and Enterprise Development) project delivered in partnership between Access to Business and SWEDA during 2012-2015, which supported 1445 people resulting in 155 businesses and created in the Black Country providing employment for nearly 200 people.

Josie Kelly, Access to Business Chief Executive said, “We are delighted to have been chosen to receive ERDF funding which will enable us to  support over 900 entrepreneurs and 174 existing businesses to develop and grow their enterprises over the next 30 months.”

Access to Business and SWEDA deliver FREE business workshops, business networking, events, Business Club drop-in sessions as well as access to office services, including meeting rooms and incubation space.  Our qualified advisors provide individually tailored advice and support to enable entrepreneurs and business owners to achieve business goals, overcome challenges and turn their business into a bigger success.

“I am so glad I made the decision after considering it for so long. I am now in control of my own destiny and can fit my work around my family life which is more flexible than before. Our quality of life is now great. This is an excellent project for people considering self employment. It encouraged and motivated me, helping to understand, limit risks and find ways around perceived challenges.” (Client, 2015)

If you are thinking of becoming self-employed and or already have an existing businesses but need support to develop and grow, contact Access to Business on 01902 572397 or SWEDA on 0121 525 2558 to access our support programmes. If you wish to find out more about services available sign up for one of our Self Employment Information sessions which run weekly at both organisations.