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I was delighted to attend, and indeed speak at, a number of well supported local events last week during the annual entrepreneurship ‘fest’.

As ever, enthusiasm in the new start up area was high and there were some good examples of people from all areas, age, gender and communities eager to work for themselves and start or grow micro and small enterprises.

The recent emergence of a number of schemes designed nationally and locally to support start ups and early stage businesses, including social enterprises in development, with tangible support and mentoring was also encouraging.

Sadly though, as I had anticipated, there was a general lack of awareness among the groups I spoke to of just what is available both in terms of support/mentoring advice and funding for businesses.  Many of the advisors attending, and even the groups organising, the events were also struggling to understand just what was available – so diverse and constantly-changing has the market become.

Perhaps the new Library of Birmingham, which hosted one of the events at which I spoke, with its new status as a major tourist attraction (well deserved in my view), will be well placed in future to attract attention and act as a conduit for entrepreneurs seeking information and support?

November 25, 2013 3:28 pm

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