Apply now for free business support in Luton – advice and grants to boost your venture

For Sophie Dean access to free advice, coaching and match-funding allowed her to grow her business – learn how it helped.

Sophie wanted her business to continue an upward growth trend and see returning clients. If all went to plan she hoped to earn enough money to go full-time.

“I was an actor and found voiceover originally as a side hustle to keep working creatively when acting work was sparse,” she says.

Sophie has a busy work life and provides voiceover narration for businesses worldwide – explainer videos, commercials, telephone messages and e-learning.

When she discovered a programme run through Wenta that offered match-funded grants saw a chance to succeed.

Wenta has £55,000 on offer in the form of grants through the Central Bedfordshire Programme called ‘Central Start’, it offers free advice, support and coaching to new businesses with the idea of making them prosper and grow.

Sophie was impressed: “They offered a wealth of free training resources. The advisors are great and really know their stuff. I was also interested in their networking events,” she says.

“I received a match-funded grant that I used towards voiceover coaching. The application wasn’t too tricky, there were some things I didn’t know how to fill out in the business plan but I got full support with that.”

Sophie adds: “The coaching I had was invaluable and I have learned techniques that I apply every day in my voiceover work. My yearly turnover has increased since having the coaching and I have more repeat clients.”

The programme

The programme is there for any business.

Georgina Wark, Head of Digital, Communication & Marketing at Wenta, explains: “A new business start-up need not be alone, just having someone to talk it through with can be really helpful – starting out on your own can be a lonely thing.”

“Our business advisors have been there and got the tee-shirt,” she said. “They are all independent advisors, who have been through the process of setting up their own businesses, so they understand.”

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