Many businesses have spent the last year hanging on and weathering the storms of Covid-19 and Brexit, so it may seem an unlikely time to consider starting a new business (or growing your existing one). However, with an adaptive mindset, it could be the perfect way to get a head start as the economy picks up. Even better if you can get free support to help start your business!
A programme of mentoring and business support can also give you an edge over the competition. Watch any episode of Dragons’ Den and you’ll notice how the entrepreneurs with more than one offer will evaluate their choices based on the advice and connections the Dragons bring to the table. The Dragons understand this and, when they go up against each other to secure an investment, that’s exactly what they sell to the entrepreneurs.
“In recent years, businesses in Barnsley have been more likely to survive the first 3 years of operation than across the wider economy.” [Barnsley Council’s Economic Renewal Action Plan, March 2021].
Help for small businesses in the Barnsley area
Due to the social and economic legacies in the region, Barnsley Metropolitan Borough Council (BMBC) has been committed to developing a culture of enterprise in the area for several years. This has led to a “Growth in the number of businesses [which] outstripped local, regional and national averages between 2016 and 2020” [Barnsley Council’s Economic Renewal Action Plan, March 2021].
With the pandemic bringing new challenges, BMBC has once again committed to creating the right conditions for people to start new businesses. One such initiative is the ‘Barnsley Inclusive Economic Strategy’. In practice, this means that The Business Village can now offer growth support packages for eligible businesses, including subsidised rent and tailored business support.
You can also find out more about the exciting Barnsley 2030 project launched on June 22nd 2021. Barnsley 2030 is a fantastic opportunity for us all to work together to tell the story of our borough – so we can visualise a future for everyone. The project focuses on what every one of us does across the borough that makes Barnsley the place that it is.
Business support from the Business Village
By tailoring our offer to the needs of individual businesses, we can provide the best possible conditions for growth.
Those businesses accepted onto our scheme will therefore receive a bespoke offer of both financial support and mentoring over a 2-3 year period.
Offers will include elements of the following:
Business owners on the scheme will be offered subsidised rental and service costs for an office in The Business Village. With access to free car parking, a fully staffed reception area, telephone provision and ultra-fast broadband, it’s the perfect location to grow a business.
Opportunities to develop local networks:
Our team are well-connected in the Barnsley area and this knowledge can help our supported businesses to develop great links with other business owners. In other words, we help get them in front of potential clients, partners, investors, suppliers, networking groups, and/or mentors.
We also hold on-site events (via video conferencing during the pandemic) to help connect businesses in the area with each other.
Business growth and support:
One of the most exciting parts of our new scheme is the business growth and support on offer. With expertise from The Business Village management team, colleagues within BMBC, partners in the wider Barnsley and Sheffield City Region business communities, and Newable (one of our partners), we can provide a full range of support to boost success.
So whether someone needs legal, financial, marketing or HR knowledge, we’ll know the right person to speak with!
Who is eligible for this business support package?
Because of the sheer amount of investment going into each business, we’re looking to work with those which have growth potential.
Our aim is to help build the Barnsley economy so if you’re a small business looking to increase your turnover year on year, and recruit employees, read on!
The other essential criteria is one of the following:
- Running a small business from your home in Barnsley and wanting to move into your first office space in the area.
- Running a small business from an area outside Barnsley (this could be from your home or an office space) and wanting to base yourself in the Business Village.
Our location is ideally placed for people currently living and working in the Clayton West, Holmfirth and Penistone areas. Denby Dale, for example, is only a 15 minute drive and we’re close to the M1 and Barnsley town centre.
How to apply for business help
Anyone interested in this package of support should first visit our web page and click ‘Apply Now’ to complete an expression of interest form.
We’ll check eligibility and invite those meeting the criteria for a COVID friendly site visit or a virtual interview via Zoom or Microsoft Teams. We’ll also need to read through your business plan before arranging a more in-depth chat to discuss your specific offer and then get you started on our high growth plan.
So, if you meet the eligibility criteria and would like to join our creative and dynamic workspace, connect with friendly, like-minded businesses, plus receive a package of bespoke business mentoring, we’d love to hear from you!