Springboard programme to help get new businesses off the ground

Friday 28th May 2021 9:06 am
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THE School for Social Entrepreneurs (SSE) Cornwall has successfully delivered online support to more than 100 new Cornish social entrepreneurs in 2020 during lockdown, and is pleased to announce that it is now rolling out the highly successful ‘Springboard’ programme to North Cornwall which includes areas of Newquay, Tintagel, Bodmin, Bude, Launceston and St Columb Major.

Attending the Springboard programme can help people take the first steps towards changing their ideas into reality and gives people the support and encouragement they need to set up a new community business.

The team says that often when participants come to SSE Cornwall, they have seen a social need in their local community and want to help, or they want to establish an ethical business that puts community at the heart of its operations. From bakers to beauticians, from marine biologists to gardeners SSE has helped a wide variety of people with a range of skill sets take the first steps to starting up their new business.

The Springboard programme gives participants the space to discuss an idea with others and the skills to help them develop it. Whether it’s helping someone with social anxiety, being flexible for busy parents with little time to themselves or being there for an older person who has just been made redundant SSE are able to provide tailored 1:1 support which can help them overcome obstacles in their personal lives and give them confidence to start their own business.

Mike Partridge, lead learning manager at SSE, said: “It’s been a challenging time for Cornwall, but during lockdown we have seen a brilliant array of community business ideas. Now is a great time to set up a project that will create social or environmental change, with Cornwall at its heart.

“We’re offering practical learning to help turn ideas into a real-life projects. It’s free and built around the needs of the participants. Quite often participants will come to us with several ideas and we help them unpick which idea is the most viable and rewarding for them.

“During the sessions with us they learn valuable business skills and meet like minded people that provide a great support network for them going forward. Over the years SSE has supported so many people in this way.”

One past participant of SSE Cornwall is Ben Holt from the Rockpool Project. Ben’s passion is marine biology and he had a very determined idea of what he wanted to do. SSE helped him envision and build a plan and The Rockpool Project was born. His business has since gone from strength to strength and they were recommended in the Guardian Top Ten Citizen Science activities in the UK in 2019.

Ben said: “I’m not a business person, I’m a marine biologist. Joining SSE gave me the chance to explore my idea and the training, skills and support I needed to turn my idea into reality.”

Springboard will be running until November 2022 and is funded by CLLD and EU Structural and Investment Funds. To find out more visit www.the-sse.org/courses/springboard-the-ideas-greenhouse

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