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Support on offer for social entrepreneurs

Published 11th October 2016

Budding social entrepreneurs in Sandwell are being urged to apply for financial awards to help kick-start their business ideas.

Sandwell Council has teamed up with UnLtd - the leading provider of support to social entrepreneurs in the UK - to offer a grant of up to £5,000 plus a mentoring and support package.

The scheme is targeted at people who live, work or volunteer in Sandwell and who want to transform their community with an innovative business idea.

The aim is to reduce unemployment in the borough as well as boosting the local economy.

Once applicants have been assessed, the short-listed entrepreneurs will have the opportunity to present their business ideas to a panel of experts.

Successful candidates will get a package of business advice, including one-to-one support to help them develop their idea, and help with planning a budget and making the most of networking opportunities.

Councillor Paul Moore, Sandwell's cabinet member for regeneration and economic investment, said: "There are a lot of highly motivated young people in Sandwell who are struggling to put their business ideas into practice because they don't have the finance or support required to start a business.

"This is a golden opportunity for someone who is passionate about improving their community and gaining skills for themselves. We want to offer sound and proper business advice to those who need it.

"It's vital in the current economic climate that we do all we can to help our businesses develop and grow, and social entrepreneurs are an important and increasing element of the business community.

"Overall there will be long-term financial gains and there will be an increase in the number of new business start-ups in Sandwell."

Since launching in 2002, UnLtd has made more than 10,000 awards across the UK and have supported nearly 100 budding entrepreneurs in Sandwell to explore and test their ideas, write plans and start their businesses, or to achieve alternative outcomes in education, training, volunteering or work.

The closing date for applications is Friday 11 November, 2016.

Anyone wanting more information and/or an application form can email Paul Smith at paul_smith@sandwell.gov.uk