More than 100 entrepreneurs from across Lancashire gathered yesterday for a major growth summit aimed at supporting new and growing businesses in the county. Hosted by Boost; Lancashire’s Business Growth Hub, the event was part of the #GrowingLancashire campaign which aims to advise and assist more than 4,000 businesses in the county by the end of 2018.
Speakers on the day included Emma Jones of Enterprise Nation, Robert Binns from Cotton Court and Steve Young from Boost delivery partner, Winning Pitch. The event also featured sessions with panellists including Frazer Durris from Businesswise Solutions, Guy Cookson of Hotfoot Design, Anne Williamson from Lucrative Marketing, Catarina King from Society1, Ross Duncan of Easson Media, Rafik Adam from Enterprise4All, Lee White from Cubbies and Nikki Hesford the entrepreneur who launched the Made In Preston lingerie brand and appeared on BBC’s Dragon’s Den.
You can view the photo gallery from the day and see tips and advice from our speakers. The event was organised by Winning Pitch and Enterprise4All. Rona McFall, head of entrepreneurial solutions at Winning Pitch, said: “The summit was about driving business growth, which ultimately will benefit the county as a whole. It’s really hard to launch and grow a business, but the chance to learn from the collective experience of over 100 fellow entrepreneurs and business advisors can only help the business owners who attended.” Andrew Leeming, Boost programme manager, said: “The summit shone a light on how Boost can help businesses grow, what support is available to help business realise their potential and most importantly we heard from entrepreneurs who have been there and done it.”
Latest figures show Boost has helped over 3,500 businesses in the county to access business support, leading to the creation of an estimated 540 new jobs since January 2016 when the growth hub secured £7.8m of funding to run for a further three years.
In that time, 180 new businesses have been established and £10m of new economic activity has been generated. Boost is led by the Lancashire LEP (Local Enterprise Partnership) and Lancashire County Council, and supported by funding from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). A wide range of free and part-funded business support is available through Boost in areas including mentoring, access to finance, innovation, skills and training. County Councillor Michael Green, Cabinet member for economic development, environment and planning, speaking at the event said: “Today has highlighted just some of the tremendous success stories of existing businesses and start-ups launching, growing and creating new jobs.
There’s no doubt that Boost has led to increased economic activity in the county. "The Cabinet recently committed to providing £1m in match funding to help us to attract funding and continue Boost to the end of December 2021. We've already seen a lot of success from Boost, including helping to create over 1,200 jobs in Lancashire since 2013 and we're determined to continue this important work."
Businesses can access support from Boost by calling 0800 488 0057 or by visiting www.boostbusinesslancashire.co.uk