Norwich-based enterprise agency NWES is to start work on a national project to create 6,000 new businesses and up to 10,000 jobs across the country.

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The Ready for Business programme has been launched by a consortium of agencies across the country following a successful £15m investment from the Regional Growth Fund.

It will be run in the East of England by NWES, who will be working with the other enterprise support organisations and Barclays Bank, who have invested a further £1m in the project.

The national programme will specifically target the transfer of public sector employment to the private sector. It will offer a package of support to help the transition from employment to business start up, including one to one advice, mentoring, access to finance support and business planning.

Kevin Horne, chairman of The Cavendish Consortium and CEO of enterprise agency NWES) said the enterprise support organisations and partners had vast experience and success in supporting pre start ups with business advisory and training services - in many cases built up over 30 years.

He said: “It is fantastic that we will now be able to increase our reach through this new RGF funded programme, using our proven expertise to offer a unique and dedicated support package to a large number of future start-ups.

“With the commitment made to this programme, Government has demonstrated the value it places on start-up businesses and the role they play in business growth.”

Steve Cooper, vice chairman of Business Banking at Barclays said: “This is a key initiative that will deliver real benefits to business. The programme of seminars will focus on some of the most pressing issues facing start-ups during their difficult initial period – from how to get started and create a viable business plan through to getting the business in good shape for finance. The new businesses and jobs that will be created through this initiative will be a welcome boost to the UK economy.”

Interested parties can visit the national programme website www.startupedge.co.uk or can contact NWES directly for specific details about events running in this area at www.nwes.org.uk.

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