A HIGHLY-successful business start-up scheme run by MMU Business School is set to grow after winning £1.2 million in additional funding.
Around 400 people will be able to sign up to the New Entrepreneur Scholarship Scheme (NES) after MMU’s Centre for Enterprise secured the record-breaking grant from the Learning & Skills Council.
The scheme allows people in local communities with a winning business idea to have the opportunity to attend university, meet business experts and win a grant of £1,500 to get their ‘big idea’ started.
The three-month NES courses are run at MMU Business School and at colleges across the North West of England - Liverpool, Preston, Rochdale, Ambleside, Wigan, Barrow-in-Furness and Lytham. New courses will shortly be available too in Oldham, North Manchester, Carlisle and Morecambe.
Road to success
Dominic Martinez, NES manager at MMU’s Centre for Enterprise said: "Entrepreneurs are the life-blood of our economy and the expansion of the NES scheme is a boost for hundreds of people starting out on the road success."
George Derbyshire, chief executive of the National Federation of Enterprise Agencies, said: "NES fulfils the Government’s desire to encourage successful entrepreneurial activity and improve business survival through learning. This is a fantastic show of the support that this valuable programme has in the highest echelons of Government."
Manchester entrepreneur Conchita Cowie, who worked in an office for 15 years before setting up a chiropody business, says the NES course was "absolutely brilliant".
She said: "I learned so much about all areas of setting up a business, especially marketing ands tax, and the people were great. I couldn’t have done it without them."
2,000 new firms
Last year, an audit of it’s the NES scheme found that 90% of the 2,350 graduates since 2001 had set up their own business or were doing so.
Notes: NES was originally piloted in Manchester, Cornwall and London in 2000/2001 with Manchester Metropolitan University Business School (MMUBS) selected to carry out the pilot scheme in the North West. The aim was to design a free part-time business development programme, funded by the government, which would help people from less advantaged communities develop business ideas and start and manage their own business.