Online service launches for businesses - Business Leader News

Online service launches for businesses

Colin Skellett

Colin Skellett

A free online service for businesses has been launched by the West of England Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP).

Business Navigator is the first LEP-backed service of its type to go live anywhere in the UK.

It will provide business people in North Somerset and the wider region with a calendar of local events and networking opportunities as well as details of business support organisations that can help them.

Colin Skellett, chairman of the West of England LEP, comments: “We are delighted to be leading the way with this new Business Navigator.

“It’s exactly the kind of free resource that businesses need to develop and grow and so create the new jobs that the Enterprise Partnership was set up to deliver.

“This is just the start of the process and I am confident that as the site develops and more businesses make use of it we will see the benefits in the months ahead.”

The LEP originally created a simpler version of Business Navigator in 2011 as a hub to signpost business support for Bristol, Bath and beyond.

This improved version is still supported by the LEP but is now owned and funded by CareTechnica.

Martin Coulthard is part of the team developing Business Navigator, having previously spent two years running BEN, the Bath & Bristol Enterprise Network.

He comments: “Companies and social enterprises often find it hard to locate the support they need.

“Our hope is that Business Navigator can really help local enterprises to find the partners and make the relationships that will see them thrive.

“We want to hear from users of the service about how they would like to see it develop, and we’ll do our best to implement improvements as quickly as possible.”

West of England Local Enterprise Partnership is an organisation that has brought business and four local authorities together in a bid to create 95,000 new jobs by 2030.

The service can be found at