A new drive to prove Norfolk is far from the graveyard of ambition is launched today to get 300 new businesses off the ground over the next two years.

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The Enterprise Norfolk campaign aims to reach out to entrepreneurs who have got business dreams but struggle to find the know-how to turn them into reality.

And creating those new businesses, council bosses say, will benefit the whole Norfolk economy.

Funded by Norfolk County Council, it is a collaboration with six district councils to target would-be bosses looking for start-up help.

The county council says it wants to create 150 new sustainable businesses over two years and £200,000 a year is to be made available.

This is the first time councils have come together to offer a business start-up initiative.

Ann Steward, cabinet member for economic development at the county council, said: “Norfolk has for many years been behind the national average in terms of new businesses and we want to change that.

“There is no comprehensive start-up scheme in Norfolk, though there are some excellent local initiatives.

“By working together... we believe we can fill gaps and offer a tailored solution to meet local needs.

“It’s important for people to feel they are receiving as much support as possible and this can be achieved by offering a service in the area in which they live as well as providing one to one and face-to-face advice.”

Enterprise Norfolk, launched to tie in with Global Entrepreneurship Week, will offer free local support in starting and growing businesses, through business advisers, mentors, workshops and enterprise clubs.

District councils – North Norfolk, Breckland, Broadland, South Norfolk, Norwich and West Norfolk – have all put in funding. They will offer specific services in their patches.

Norfolk County Council is also 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) – an online encyclopaedia and reference resource providing business facts and detailed start up guides.

John Fuller, leader of South Norfolk Council, said: “Opening up Cobra to anyone with a Norfolk library card is something South Norfolk Council has worked with the county council on to push forward.

“It gives our businesses another edge in this fiercely competitive environment as we move out of difficult economic times.”

Caroline Williams, Norfolk Chamber of Commerce chief executive, said: “Research shows if new businesses seek independent advice they are much more successful, so we celebrate this endeavour and look forward to working with the council to make it a success.”

Liz Young, from Dereham, was supported by Norfolk County Council when she started her business, Steaming Ahead.

She said: “Getting the business advice and help from the county council was invaluable at the time, in providing the knowledge and expertise to enable me to turn my ideas into reality. It gave me the confidence I needed.”

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

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

dan.grimmer@archant.co.uk

9 comments

  • And what experience have Steward or any of the other jobsworths got in starting up their own companies then ?.

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    "V"

    Monday, November 12, 2012

  • And as for 'Cobra' - it's more a case of Monty 'Python' when it comes to the likes of Fuller.....

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    User Removed

    Monday, November 12, 2012

  • NCC have gone out of their way over the past few years helping businesses, spending vast sums of the taxpayers money, much of which has been totally wasted like the £4m spent on the outer harbour to mention one of many.

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    John L Norton

    Monday, November 12, 2012

  • Perhaps businesses would be more successful if they didn't get hit with high rates, rents, insurance costs, and bank charges that cripple them in the first place. Rather than dangling a carrot, why aren't you attacking those with the proverbial stick?

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    ReapnSow

    Monday, November 12, 2012

  • As Ingo says, perhaps Ms Steward might like to get involved with a budding company with great ambitions in the west of the county? They're called 'Duratrust' and are a credible alternative to the incinerator that she has tooted about for so long.... maybe she's heard of them? (Unlike the feckless Bill Borrett who is busy sticking his head in the sand again!)

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    User Removed

    Monday, November 12, 2012

  • Can I borrow your magic wand when you've finished with it Ms Steward. Oh no, that's right. This magical 300 new businesses in the middle of the worst recession ever is, as usual, figures plucked out of the sky. Get real, no-one believes the County Council any more.

    Report this comment

    alecto

    Monday, November 12, 2012

  • Will these tax- sponsored businesses have the same relationship with NCC, as it has with our Norse company? How about funding some recycling businesses and start recycling for raw materials, cause I need to find a new contractor, one I can trust not to burn jobs and future businesses, would that be acceptable? Germany, just for comparison, derives 13% of ALL its raw material needs from recycling. Maybe supporting Duratrust in West Norfolk would be a great first step, as well as a plan B.

    Report this comment

    ingo wagenknecht

    Monday, November 12, 2012

  • This is all very well, but Ann Steward is one of the NCC team who turned up at meeting after meeting assuring the people of West Norfolk that NCC would listen to what we had to say about the incinerator, and would not build it if locals didn't want it. (I was there. I heard her say tis several times). This is not a woman to be trusted and if she says they will do all they can to help business she needs careful monitoring to make sure they do. Make notes. Keep records. Make them stick to their promises.

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    Carborundum

    Monday, November 12, 2012

  • Anne Steward you are in favour of waste incinertors that will affect peoples health and will cost the tax payer more money with people having days of work, with things like asthma. Splashing money around trying to prove that you are creating jobs when Murphy's real agenda is to put more people on the dole this does not make sense to me time to start looking for a new job. It is great to see that West Norfolk are leading the way and have an alternative to the stinking Tory Wheelabrator waste incinerator. Wheelabrator go back to America we don't want you anywhere in Norfolk.

    Report this comment

    Jack

    Monday, November 12, 2012

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