Entrepreneurs and start-up businesses in Doncaster are becoming a success, thanks to the work of Business Doncaster and the South Yorkshire wide Launchpad initiative.
This has seen on average 22 new start-up / micro business clients each month in Doncaster provided with an identified route to support those individuals to start or grow their business.
One of the many success stories is Boston & Co based at Bentley Café and Pavilion (below). Owner Amelia Boston had aspirations of owning her own hospitality business and was able to turn that in to reality with the help of the Launchpad scheme.
“It’s been an amazing few months,” she said.
“I messaged on a whim not knowing what help was out there and I’ve had support right from the very start. This has included advice from what grants are available – and what would be needed to apply for them – to various workshops where I’ve been able to ask the questions that may seem a little daunting for someone going in to their first ever business venture.
“The results speak for themselves. We’ve been busy every day and had to take on extra staff. Many of these come from the nearby community, which we feel is really important. We’re situated in a beautiful building within a Green Flag recognised park so are hopeful of a busy summer.
“Ultimately, despite the long hours and hard work, it doesn’t really feel like a job. You get to see the fruits of your labour and we’re all passionate about this venue and the people we serve.”
Launchpad is a business support programme for new businesses. Financially supported by the European Regional Development Fund and delivered by local authorities within South Yorkshire and The Prince’s Trust, the programme provides free help and support to budding entrepreneurs who are thinking of starting their own business or looking for help to achieve business growth.,
First established in 2016, it will continue to provide New Business Support in Doncaster well in to 2023 after an agreement to accept £138,677 of European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) grant money.
Cllr Glyn Jones, Deputy Mayor, Portfolio Holder for Business, said: “Over the course of the last three years we have spoken to – and supported – some 600 start-up businesses across the borough.
“Many of those, like Amelia, are taking on their first ever business and it’s so important that we harness the passion and drive that many of her peers have.
“We are really optimistic that with funding secured and such success stories, that many more start-ups ensure that Doncaster is a thriving place for small businesses.”