Manchester Metropolitan University

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Business secrets revealed

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GRADUATES who are beating the recession by setting up in business are revealing the secrets of their success.

Around 100 graduates have set up business at Innospace, a business incubator at Manchester Metropolitan University, and share a total turnover of well over £1 million.

Two years since inventor Trevor Baylis opened the facility at MMU Business School, tenants talk about the experience of going into business and the lessons they have learned at Innospace tonight - September 16 - in association with Future Pro-Manchester.

Madeleine Jarvis, a partner in The Cultureship Practice, says a creative atmosphere is crucial: "Although support initiatives and text books can teach you a lot, the real learning comes when you start an enterprise yourself. If you are made aware of problems early on, then you may be able to avoid making the same mistakes. Find out more by visiting the Culture Ship website.

Tough battle

Rightway Complete Wellness Solutions Director, Rob Woolen, is an Innospace company specialising in employee wellbeing. Clients include government departments, architects, manufacturers and universities. (www.FitForWork.co.uk).

Woolen said: "Running your own business can be a tough battle, especially during the early days when success seems so far away. Self-belief is important, but so is the ability to question yourself and adapt to new situations.

"Strength and flexibility need to be combined. I had to completely rethink my original proposition to make it more attractive in the current financial climate which took resolve!

"If you are thinking of starting up your own business, then be under no illusion as to how hard it will be. But if you have faith in yourself, and take every bit of advice you can, you have the potential to succeed."

Being in the right environment with the right support is crucial to new start-ups, and having the expertise of one of the UK's leading business schools at hand, has produced strong sustainable businesses.

Survival rate

To date, the incubator has a survival rate in the first 12 months of 95%, compared to just 66% for new businesses regionally.

At its city centre base, 11 follow-on offices have recently opened too, allow growing companies to have bespoke space and employ staff.

Innospace provides new businesses with excellent value office space within Manchester City Centre, while also providing an incubation programme including business support, coaching and mentoring and access to an entrepreneurial network of other like-minded businesses.

On October 2, the business incubator will be hosting a birthday event to celebrate its success and the ongoing success of its hundred tenant businesses.

For more information, go to the Innospace website, or call Salman Khalid on 0161 247 3954.

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