Cirencester business leaders launch unique support programme for local entrepreneurs
A group of six Cirencester business community members have come together to form CIRENCESTER BUSINESS LAUNCH SUPPORT (CBLS) to support anyone in the GL7 postcode with a strong business idea who needs a helping hand to get started.
A non-profit Community Interest Company, CBLS aims to help local would-be entrepreneurs to launch their own businesses by offering free professional advice and mentoring, based on each of the team members’ own areas of expertise. All input will be specifically tailored to the requirements of every successful applicant, whether individuals or groups. Some financial support may be available in specific cases but that is not the main offering.
Every member of the CBLS team has started a business from scratch themselves and now wants to use their experiences to guide others and to boost local business.
The CBLS team includes
- HOWARD SMITH Founder of accountancy firm The Numbercrunchers, offers planning and finance advice
- GAYNOR HUTTON also from The Numbercrunchers, brings business development know-how
- ALLY CASTLE runs media consultancy Ideally Consulting and specialises in creativity and innovation
- MICHELLE MILLINER, founder of Cirencester Sales & Lettings, contributes sales and customer service expertise
- NICK HUNT co-founder and Chief Beer Officer of Cotswold Lakes Brew Co. and former Director of Strategy & Proposition at St James’ Place Wealth Management advises on strategy and market analysis
- ADAM VINES, managing owner of creative marketing agency Lounge Design and current Chair of the Cirencester Chamber of Commerce, will provide marketing, design and branding input
Uniquely, CBLS is not about rewarding those with qualifications or previous business acumen.
The sole criteria is that applications are from local people with an idea for a business, who are not afraid to work hard and are feeling that something is holding them back from taking the leap into running their own company
To get on the programme, applicants will simply have to explain who they are, what their business proposal is, how they see its potential for the future and which specific barriers they are facing to launching their company, so that the experts will know how they can help.
Once initial applications are short listed, business plans must then be submitted, following a template provided. Each applicant will have a mentor to explain and assist with what is required within the plan and formal application. They will help them through the business plan to a first review point before it is put forward to presentation stage and the wider CBLS team.
Howard Smith, MD at The Numbercrunchers, says:
We are so excited to launch CBLS because we all believe in paying it forward when it comes to supporting local business and giving talented people a helping hand
Gaynor Hutton, Business Development Lead at The Numbercrunchers says:
We are really looking forward to discovering the fantastic commercial creativity that Cirencester has and to nurture that into successful, sustainable business which contribute to the local economy
Ally Castle, Director of Ideally Consulting says
CBLS is distinctive because it’s not about giving grants or training and then just leaving people to it. This is relationship-based and truly local. We’re offering tailored hands-on support to new business in Cirencester to get them off the ground, and are going to be walking alongside them as they develop and grow
Michelle Milliner, founder of Cirencester Sales & Lettings, says
Back in 2013, I began my business from my spare bedroom, managing just two rental properties. With no formal training in running a business. I learned everything as I went along, it wasn’t always easy! I’m really keen to offer others the support that I never had when I was starting off
Nick Hunt Co-Founder and Chief Beer Officer of Cotswold Lakes Brew Co., says:
I’m a passionate advocate of business as a force for good, so I want to support others in the development of sustainable and responsible business strategies that bring real value. There’s so much we can achieve through a focus on people, planet, community and a healthy dose of curiosity!
Adam Vines, Managing Owner of Lounge Design, says:
So many people have such fantastic ideas for business but just lack the confidence, experience, knowledge or support to put those ideas into action. All of us at CBLS can relate to that ourselves! I’m keen to meet these entrepreneurs and offer the help they need to get them going
Applications to receive support from CBLS are already open and close on 1 November 2023. Application forms and further details can be found at www.cirenbusinesslaunchsupport.co.uk . Successful partner entrepreneurs will be announced in December 2023
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