Louise Wilkes with her dog Ruby at the Enterprise Norfolk Scheme launch in Dereham Library. Picture: Ian Burt

Campaign launched to encourage more start-up businesses

Monday, November 12, 2012
4.41 PM

A businesswoman who started her own cleaning service after “reaching a crossroads” has said a new enterprise boosting project is “fantastic”.

The Enterprise Norfolk campaign, launched today (Monday) at Dereham Library, has brought together district councils with Norfolk County Council to create 300 start-up businesses over the next two years.

Advice and training in all areas of business will be offered through the campaign which will be funded by £200,000 each year by the county council.

Liz Young, from Dereham, set-up Steaming Ahead in August last year which provides a cleaning service with a difference for the elderly, busy professionals and parents of children with special educational needs.

She said: “It will bring Norfolk more up to date. Norfolk is a place which has improved roads and has become much more accessible to main cities, but it still doesn’t have the reputation it justifies. This will definitely get Norfolk on the map.”

Mrs Young started Steaming Ahead after looking after her mother who died in April last year aged 94.

She left her receptionist administrator job at A C Bacon Engineering at Hingham to become a carer and wanted to start her business to say thank you to the people who looked after her mother.

Through the Jobcentre Plus, Mrs Young completed an open learning computer course, a BTEC in enterprise and entrepreneurship and a government-led course.

“I think the Enterprise Norfolk is a very good idea. It is making people aware. We have got high unemployment in Dereham,” she added.

Louise Wilkes, 48, from North Wootton, King’s Lynn, set up Hands 4 Hounds dog massage business in May last year and started it after contacting a business advice scheme.

Her business is based at three vets - Companion Care at Pets at Home in King’s Lynn, Priory Court in South Wootton and Sunnyside clinic in Roydon. She also travels to homes within a 25 mile radius of the town.

She said: “It has been a challenge in that there is so much I had to think about. I didn’t realise there is so much to it, which is why a scheme like this is fantastic. It gives you knowledge.”

Mrs Wilkes added she would tell anyone thinking about starting a business to do it.

District Councils involved with Enterprise Norfolk are North Norfolk, Breckland, Broadland, South Norfolk, Norwich and West Norfolk.

Great Yarmouth Borough Council is not involved in the scheme at this stage, as it already has a comprehensive programme in place.

County councillor cabinet member Ann Steward said: “This is a really exciting initiative having all district councils working for the benefit of Norfolk. It is about the Norfolk economy and working together.”

The county council is using part of the funding to bring in free use in all 47 Norfolk libraries of a business advice service called Cobra (Complete Business Reference Advisor).

To find out more, visit www.norfolk.gov.uk/enterprisenorfolk