Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Landmark Figure Shows Be Enterprising Works

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Landmark Figure Shows Be Enterprising Works

Article excerpt

IT'S 3,500 and counting for Be Enterprising - that's the milestone figure recently passed by the innovative programme which has helped more than 3,500 people to create their own jobs since its launch in 2007.

Pioneering a fresh approach to enterprise support, County Durham's Be Enterprising programme has made a major impact in a relatively short time: breaking down barriers faced by those in areas of high unemployment, encouraging entrepreneurial activity and inspiring people to start their own businesses in County Durham.

In this time, Be Enterprising has helped people such as Debra Farrell, 50, who was forced to stop working as a garden designer due to arthritis. Debra couldn't find a job she could manage with her physical problems and decided the answer lay in self-employment. She set up two web-based businesses - magicalcreations.co.uk and ourmagicalday.co.uk - selling handmade gifts, wedding stationery and favours.

Debra said: "After being out of work and struggling to find a job I was starting to lose my confidence. My business coach came to visit me at my house and I showed her my products and the business plan I'd pieced together. Straight away, she told me what I needed to do to get things moving."

The Be Enterprising programme is supported by Solutions for Business - the Government's package of business support products designed to help companies start and grow. The programme is part-financed by the European Union's ERDF Competitiveness Programme 2007-13, after securing pounds 4.1m ERDF investment through regional development agency One North East.

The ERDF programme is bringing over pounds 300m into the North East to support innovation, enterprise and business support across the region.

Shaun Charlton, 27, from Consett, turned his love of graphics and design into a career with the help and support of Be Enterprising. …

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