There is now a short window open to people like you – who are thinking about starting their own business – to get free business support and a grant from the Outset Start Devon programme.
The UK Government’s Community Renewal Fund (CRF) is focused on regenerating communities and enabling more people to benefit from economic growth through investment in skills, enterprise and employment. The CRF, through Devon County Council is funding Outset Start Devon who can help people like you!
The support you can get for free
Our programme is completely free to entrepreneurs in Devon (excluding Plymouth and Torbay). All you have to do to get access to our support is complete our Register your Interest form here.
Once you have done that, one of our business advisors will contact you to invite to you an introductory online session to find out all about the programme.
1. Creating a business plan
The starting point is to find out whether you have a business plan already. If you do, then you can a book 121 session with an Outset Start Devon business advisor, who will review you plan with you.
Once that has happened, you can decide whether you would like to apply for a grant to help finance your new business and/or whether you would like help in growing your business skills (see more on this later in this blog)
If you do not have a business plan, for example where you are only just starting out with your business idea, then you can book onto our online workshops that will take you through the key things you need to know about when starting out – including how to register your business, fundamentals of business finance and marketing and how to create a business plan. After you have attended these sessions, you can work with a Business Advisor, through 1:1 sessions, to create your business plan. Once you have a business plan, you can decide if you want to apply for a grant, and/or whether you want to gain more business skills to help you create a successful business.
2. Apply for a grant
Once you have a business plan that has been reviewed by our business advisor, you may be eligible to apply for a grant to provide you with some finance to get your business started. If you are eligible, you will be invited onto a workshop which takes you through how to apply for a grant, based on the application form you will need to complete. Once you have attended the workshop, you will get support from a business advisor on completing the form to give you the best possible chance of being awarded the grant. Grants for start-up businesses are available from £1,000. Grants do not need to be repaid.
3. Get more training
We will also be running many other workshops to provide training on different things that will help you to start and to grow your business. For example, we can help you to create a presence on different social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. You can learn about how to do market research into your customers, and to work out what marketing activities to use to reach your target audience. We will also provide training on financial management, such as how to maintain a positive cashflow as well as finding out about other sources of funding and how to pitch to investors.
You can choose how you learn by either attending online workshops or using our award-wining interactive learning portal which is filled with guides, templates and articles all about the things you need to learn to be a successful business owner.
Our team of experienced business advisors are also on hand to provide support and coaching, many of whom have started and run successful businesses – so they have been where you are and completely understand the challenges a new business owner faces.
The Outset Start Devon Programme is only running until the end of June 2022, so get in touch and get the free support you need to put your career into your own hands and start a business.