Paul McEldon, Chief Executive of the North East BIC and Councillor Graeme Miller, leader of Sunderland City Council.
(L - R): Paul McEldon, Chief Executive of the North East BIC and Councillor Graeme Miller, leader of Sunderland City Council.

Government-backed project aims to “unlock Sunderland’s entrepreneurial potential”

A new business support programme has been launched to help grow new and existing businesses across the city of Sunderland.

Enterprising Sunderland, funded by the UK Shared Prosperity Fund and overseen by Sunderland City Council, has been set up to help stimulate business start-up, growth and innovation.

The programme, which is being delivered by a consortium of delivery partners from across the city, will provide advice and support to those already running, or looking to run, their own business.

This includes inspiring residents to consider self-employment and providing opportunities for everyone to access free, tailored advice, workshops and online resources, as well as free, monthly events to help existing entrepreneurs overcome the common challenges often associated with growing a business.

The consortium delivering the programme, led by the North East BIC, includes Back on the Map, Sunderland Bangladeshi International Centre, Sunderland BME Network, The Prince’s Trust, University of Sunderland, Smarta and Sunderland City Council.

Paul McEldon OBE, Chief Executive of the BIC, commented: “We are thrilled to be part of the consortium which has been established to deliver Enterprising Sunderland.

“Sunderland is home to so many entrepreneurs who are blazing a trail globally, yet the city remains well below the UK average in terms of the number of residents choosing to set up their own businesses.

“That’s why programmes such as this, which will help build the confidence of those wishing to set up a business and give existing businesses the support required to innovate and grow, are so important.

“By bringing together like-minded organisations, all of whom are embedded within the city’s communities, will help us ensure this support reaches those who really need it, especially those in some of the city’s harder to reach communities.

“The impact it could have, not only on the local economy but also on residents’ lives, is absolutely huge, so I think I speak for all involved when I say how excited we are to be involved and how we can’t wait to get started.”

Those looking to set up a business can tap into one-to-one support from expert business advisers and attend workshops, in venues across the city, to help them understand everything they need to know about setting up a business.

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