More women seek start-up advice

More women seek start-up advice


By Paul Grinnell / peterboroughtoday.co.uk
Feb. 8, 2008

A
GROWING number of enterprising women from the Peterborough area are
coming up with ideas they are keen to turn into businesses.

Officials
of the Peterborough Enterprise Programme (PEP) say they are delighted
with the number of women that are seeking help from the its business
advisers.

PEP is currently running its annual Start Doing Something New Today to find the city’s best new small business ideas.

The
competition is aimed at people who think they have a great business
idea, but are yet to turn it into reality, or those who have started
their new firm in the last six months.

But since the end of last year’s contest, PEP has been inundated with requests for help to develop business ideas.

Figures
released by PEP show that since the end of last year’s competition,
last March, and the launch of the current contest, there have been 393
clients – 236 men and 157 women – who have received business advice.

Most of the queries were from people aged 25 years to 44 with the eldest being a person of 69 and the youngest aged just 17.

Entrepreneurs
often try to latch on to the latest mood or trend and Peterborough is
no exception with seven people looking to set up as domestic energy
assessors for the Government’s new Home Improvement Package.

Lifestyle
and health were high on the agenda with ideas for juice or smoothie
bars, various ethnic and environmental ideas plus jewellery, crafts and
waste management, health assessors and personal trainers.

The most interesting idea was an emigration consultant for people who wanted to move to Australia.

PEP’s Samantha Elmore said more and more women and keen to take the plunge and set up their own fledgling businesses.

She
said: "The percentage of women seeking to set up as a sole trader has
increased and in particular women from the ethnic minority communities.

"There seems to be a growing confidence in their desire to succeed as women in their own right.

"The
average age range of clients appears to be lower than last year and
significantly seems to be the result of a conscious decision to be
self-employed rather than a result of redundancy or unemployment."

Director
of the Peterborough Enterprise Programme Katie Hart said the right
support can make all the difference when starting out on your own.

She
said: "Hundreds of great business ideas never get off the ground
because people don’t have the confidence or the support to see it
through.

"This competition is about proving it can be done, and offers a helping hand to the most promising ideas."

Sponsored
by Hegarty Solicitors, MacIntyre Hudson, Athene Communications, HSBC
and The Evening Telegraph, the competition culminates in an awards
evening on March 12.

Entry forms are available by calling PEP on 01733 426500, e-mailing businessidea2008@cambsenterprise.co.uk or from the PEP offices in Cathedral Square or other sponsors’ offices.

The closing date is February 18.

The winner gets a £2,000 cash prize, trophy, and a year’s free business mentoring from the panel of judges.

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