A business support group commissioned by Rochdale Borough Council is celebrating after helping 42 entrepreneurs set up businesses in the borough.
For the last two years the council has worked with Blue Orchid, with the help of grant funding from the European Regional Development Fund, to help people in the borough who want to start up a new business. Blue Orchid provides one-to-one support and workshops for anyone with plans to set up a new business.
Between April and June this year, 42 new businesses started trading in the borough, the highest number since the project started. As part of Rochdale Feel Good Festival on 29 August some of the business start-ups helped by Rochdale Borough Council and Blue Orchid will be there to showcase their businesses and pass on information, tips and techniques about how they started up.
Councillor Peter Williams, Cabinet Member for Business, Skills and Employment at Rochdale Borough Council, said: “The borough was once a powerhouse of the industrial revolution and it is great to see such entrepreneurial spirit still alive and well, helping to build a thriving economy in the area.”
Among the new businesses to start trading is Queenie Beenie’s Crafty Cabin, which offers mobile arts and craft sessions for children and children’s parties. Having enjoyed crafts for the past 15 years, Janine Rez, 34 was inspired to start her own business after receiving continued praise for her creations. Janine had previously made items for customers on request and thought of turning her hobby into a career after friends and family admired her work. Janine’s children and their friends were always keen to get involved in crafts; she saw how much they loved being creative so approached Blue Orchid with her Crafty Cabin business venture.
Shamuna Ahmed, a business advisor for Blue Orchid, provided advice to help Janine pursue her dream and set up her business. As well as receiving one-to-one advice, Janine made the most of the free business support available to her and attended a social media workshop and networking sessions.
Mother-of-three Janine said: “Shamuna helped me stay focused and positive and has kept me motivated. I am passionate about people and want them to enjoy their experience with myself and my business.”
Janine was successful in applying for a £600 grant from the council to support a family event during the Tour de France themed festival at Hare Hill Park in Littleborough in July.
This was a perfect place for Janine to launch her business by creating cycling related craft activities for children in the area and raising her profile in the area. Janine’s business is now going from strength to strength and she held events lined up throughout the summer across the borough and even as far as Fleetwood and Preston. Janine has also secured a collaboration with Gordon Riggs Garden Centre to provide seasonal craft workshops with children.
Jan Melia, Team Leader for Blue Orchid Rochdale said: “Janine fully embraces the help and support that is on offer to her through our start-up programme. She grabs opportunities presented to her with both hands and her attitude is always upbeat and positive.”
For further information on how to start a business contact Blue Orchid on 01706 515710, email email@example.com or visit www.blueorchid.co.uk. You can also speak to Frances Fielding, Economic Development Officer from Rochdale Borough Council’s Economic Affairs team on 01706 926700.
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