Cash grants and free support for businesses under three years old or new start-ups available in Central Bedfordshire
Thanks to Government money secured by Central Bedfordshire Council, a host of help is now available for new start-up businesses to boost the local economy.
Grants of between £300 and £3,000 are available to help you get your business idea off the ground.
What is the scheme?
Wenta is a not-for-profit organisation which has supported over 83,000 businesses since 1983. It’s now working on behalf of Central Bedfordshire Council to deliver the Central Bedfordshire Start Programme and has more than £55,000 to give away in one-off grants by the end of March.
The whole scheme is free to join and will include 1-2-1 advice to help guide you through the process and help you develop your business idea, 12-hours of training and support and the chance to apply for a cash payment. The money has come from Central Government through the UK Shared Prosperity and Rural Shared Prosperity initiatives.
There’s support, guidance and training available on everything from marketing to manufacture, taxes to websites.
“Our business advisors have been there and got the tee-shirt,” says Georgina Wark, Head of Digital, Communication & Marketing at Wenta. “They are all independent advisors, who have been through the process of setting up their own businesses, so they understand.
“The beauty of that is that 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.”
Georgina says the scheme is there for any kind of business – the single-parent wanting to run a part-time business from home in the evenings, someone ready to branch out as a sole trader or someone with a business idea they want to get off the ground.
“We are here to help them through that. The scheme aims to boost the economy and so we want these businesses to thrive and be a success,” says Georgina.
Who is it for?
This scheme is open to anyone thinking about starting their own business – it could be the germ of an idea, a side-hustle, or you may already have scoped out a detailed business plan and be ready to start or you may be running your own business – as long as it’s less than three years old you could qualify.
Applicants must be over 18 and the business must be a legitimate one and be deemed suitable for public support by Bedfordshire Council. You should also have a basic outline business plan including financial projections.
How does it work?
It’s easy; firstly you need to register your interest, book a free 1-2-1 session with an advisor and read the criteria. To qualify for the cash you need to have a specific idea of how it will be used and demonstrate the need for it for your business. It can’t be used to by IT equipment.
After that your advisor will talk you through everything you need to know.
Register your interest now