Inclusive growth was top of the agenda at a recent event to celebrate the award-winning business start-up service OutSet.
The event brought together Bristol Mayor Marvin Rees and other key business leaders, who have been working alongside OutSet to provide vital support for the region’s budding entrepreneurs, including those in more disadvantaged communities.
In the OutSet programme nearly half (47%) of its entrepreneurs are from BAME backgrounds and it is closely aligned to the city’s inclusive growth agenda.
Attendees heard from speakers Marvin Rees, Mayor of Bristol, Bev Hurley CBE, CEO of OutSet and Ellie Webb, a local entrepreneur who with support from OutSet launched Caleño Drinks, a non-alcoholic spirit brand.
To champion some of the now thriving entrepreneurs who have worked with OutSet, 10 local start-ups were showcased at the event, with offerings ranging from hand-made bags and chilli sauces to high-end kitchen design.
Now in its 10th year, OutSet have supported over 6,000 businesses across the South West, creating over 6,859 jobs.
The service has helped over 23,000 individuals become entrepreneurs in the region, through free programmes of enterprise workshops and advice.
Speaking at the event, Bev Hurley CBE, CEO of OutSet comments: “For nearly 10 years we’ve been working in partnership with Bristol City Council to reach and develop entrepreneurs in some of the most under-represented communities in the West of England.
“Working with Mayor Marvin Rees and Bristol City Council has been a fantastic experience for our OutSet project. The city’s commitment to inclusive growth and its thriving entrepreneurial spirit, enhances our service and we hope to be here in another 10 years celebrating another 6,000 new businesses!”
Bristol Mayor, Marvin Rees, comments: “Services like OutSet help our city continue growing into a place of culture and creativity. We want to deliver an economy in Bristol that is inclusive and sustainable for all. To do this, the business community must work together to ensure everyone has the opportunity to fulfil their potential and share in the future growth of the city.”
The last two years have seen OutSet’s Bristol branch help 200 individuals and start over 30 local businesses in the city, as part of the Enterprising West of England project, funded by the European Regional Development Fund.