New programme of support for start-ups and new companies in Devon to provide a lifeline for businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic

YTKO has welcome the award of £1.05 million from the UK Community Renewal Fund to support micro businesses across the county to take up new opportunities emerging following the COVID-19 pandemic. The funding which comes through Devon County Council is part of a range of support for innovative projects through to mid 2022. 

The Community Renewal Fund seeks to promote community resilience and pilot new approaches to support both businesses and people. YTKO will be delivering support to start-up and early trading stage businesses and working in partnership with Devon County Council. 

The support will include information sessions, training workshops, online learning, mentoring, networking and peer support to help businesses gain the business skills and tools they need for sustainable growth and to create new jobs. A grant scheme will also assist people/businesses to purchase equipment, create new jobs (including an Internship Scheme), install new technology and expand into new markets. 

The support will be delivered through Outset Start Devon which helps individuals thinking of setting up their own business and becoming self-employed. GetSet Grow Devon is designed to help small businesses who have been trading for less than three years, with less than ten employees. Both programmes will specifically target the construction, tourism & leisure and retail industries who have been hardest hit by the global pandemic. In Devon, over 30% of workers were either furloughed or made redundant in the initial 12 weeks of the lockdown with up to 90% in the target sectors becoming unemployed. 

Lee Hughes, Deputy Chief Executive Officer for YTKO said, “We are delighted to have been selected by Devon County Council to deliver a comprehensive start-up and growth support package which has never been delivered anywhere in the UK before. With over 40 years of experience, helping over 7,000 entrepreneurs start sustainable new businesses and helping over 22,000 companies to grow through our publicly funded work, YTKO is ideally placed to help Devon businesses thrive.”

Devon companies have until the end of June to engage with the Outset Start and GetSet Grow programme and can find out more by visiting They can also find out about the range of other support programmes available through YTKO at

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