AN INNOVATIVE trade and training project will support and guide entrepreneurs and start-ups as they begin their business journey.
New Skills New Start is a UK Government initiative funded via the UK Community Renewal Fund, led by Ceredigion Council, and delivered by Antur Cymru Enterprise.
Participants will be able to test their ideas, products and processes in the county’s town centres and advisers will be on hand to deliver guidance via workshops, one-to-one sessions, and mentoring.
The pilot scheme runs until July and is also focused on breathing life into Ceredigion’s high streets and retail areas, uniting potential and regeneration.
Project Manager Julie Morgan says Antur Cymru is committed to helping individuals explore self-employment, giving them a launchpad and helping build confidence while gaining pivotal experience in a real-time, real-life environment.
“We are looking forward to working with entrepreneurs and people with ideas they want to develop into businesses, overcoming any barriers or issues they may have and giving them the tools and resources to take that first step,” said Julie.
“The wider project will bring together different elements all centred on business support, and the feedback we’ve had so far has been incredibly positive.
“There is a lot of demand out there and an appetite for innovative ideas that will reinforce a post-Covid recovery in our town centres, and not just in retail, the initiative can and will be applied to multiple sectors.
“From food and drink to arts and crafts, giftware and more, we want to hear from people who are ready to take their business plans to the next level.”
Among the town centres to welcome the programme is Aberystwyth, where a New Skills New Start Trading Space pop-up premises will open on Wednesday February 16.
As well as free training, traders will have access to resources including IT equipment, marketing, branding and finance guidance, and networking contacts.
Bespoke coaching will ensure support is tailored to the sector and needs of the individual, identifying and overcoming any obstacles to success.
“If successful the scheme will be rolled out further, so it is a fantastic opportunity to drive innovation and give local economies a boost,” Julie added.