New initiative to help start-up businesses grow

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Would-be entrepreneurs who are thinking of starting up a new business could be helped by a new government initiative, Start and Grow, announced last week.

The programme, which is funded by the Regional Growth Fund, was launched at Nwes in Norwich on Thursday, and aims to build on the success of the Ready for Business programme, which ends on March 31.

Start and Grow is targeting businesses which are investing to stimulate growth and create employment from an early stage and offers a package of support to help them grow faster, achieve higher survival rates and recruit more.

Andrew Wilson, who is head of enterprise services at Nwes, said that the scheme will be accessible to people at Bishops Lynn House in Lynn’s Tuesday Market Place and the Boathouse and JobCentre plus offices in Wisbech, where workshops are due to be held in April.

He said: “The focus is on those who are trying to employ people from the beginning of their new business so that it will have an impact on the local area. For example, it could be something like a cafe, restaurant or hair salon, where the new business will be employing a team of people.

“We specialise in giving people the confidence to do it. When people are setting up for the first time, sometimes they are not quite sure if they have missed something and we are here to offer advice.

“We will bring a structured approach and will offer mentoring, so once they have set up their business, they can keep coming back to us for advice. Our aim is to give new businesses sustainability and ensure that they have the knowledge and skills that they need.

“A lot of our time will be spent looking at marketing and finance. We can advise people on how to access start-up loans and help them to get a proposal together. Getting enough customers is crucial when planning and we can make sure they have guidance.”

For more details about Start and Grow contact Nwes on 0845 6099991 or visit