Leicestershire funding project setup to support local entrepreneurs

Funding | Midlands

FundingEnterprise Loans East Midlands, a not-for-profit organisation, has joined the Brighter Futures Project to support Leicestershire entrepreneurs looking to start their own business.

Brighter Futures is a community-based project run by ten local organisations throughout Leicester and Leicestershire and is funded by the European Social Fund and the National Lottery, through the Big Lottery Fund.

The responsible loan provider, which provides ethical loan finance through a number of funding streams as well as business advice and support to start-ups and entrepreneurs, joined the programme earlier this year and has been working with a number of potential business owners following referrals from other partners.

Victoria Copestake, business development manager at Enterprise Loans, said: “We are thrilled to be part of the programme as it’s a great support network for potential entrepreneurs in Leicestershire.

“There is no fixed criteria for who we can help or offer finance to, instead we are just looking for people who are unemployed or economically inactive but looking to set up their own business.

“So far, we’ve had referrals for painter/decorators, a pest control business, an e-commerce business that will be run through social media channels, a recording label and a sweet treats business. The wide range of companies is really exciting for us as we are able to work across a number of industries.”

Enterprise Loans launched in 1989 and receives funding through a number of funding streams including Start-Up Loans, the European Regional Development Fund and Regional Growth Fund.

Copestake added: “Looking at available finance options is part of our service but we also offer so much more, including workshops, mentoring and practical advice on topics such as how to increase customers or boost your online presence.

“We are experts in helping entrepreneurs create a solid business plan so that their venture is a total success so I’m really looking forward to working with all our businesses and the future applicants to ensure their business dreams get off the ground.”

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