Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Trying to Help Others to Help Themselves; Business Editor Mike Hughes Highlights Two Prime Examples of Businesses Helping Tackle Disadvantaged Communities in the Region

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Trying to Help Others to Help Themselves; Business Editor Mike Hughes Highlights Two Prime Examples of Businesses Helping Tackle Disadvantaged Communities in the Region

Article excerpt

Byline: Mike Hughes

HUNDREDS of potential entrepreneurs will benefit from European funding through a project aiming to embed entrepreneurial culture among communities in the North-east.

By 2013, The Prince's Trust is aiming to help 855 potential entrepreneurs to be enterprise ready, comprising 555 men and 300 women, of which nearly 600 are from disadvantaged areas.

The project has been awarded pounds 700,000 from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) Competitiveness Programme 2007-2013, managed by One North East.

Match funding is being provided by donations from The Prince's Trust as well as pounds 10,000 from Northumberland County Council.

The Prince's Trust Enterprise Coaching project is designed to encourage those people facing a number of challenges and disadvantages to make the cultural shift required to become more enterprising. This will be done in an informal atmosphere at accessible locations across the North-east including Middlesbrough, Gateshead, Newcastle and Durham.

Ian Bolton, Head of Public Sector at The Prince's Trust, said: "We hope that the project will help people to understand that self employment is a viable career option, helping bridge the identified gap between enterprise thinkers and doers."

Stage 1 of the project will involve staff engaging with disadvantaged clients and if both parties involved agree it is the right option will continue onto stage 2 - a four-day Explore Enterprise Experience programme that will deliver intensive, accessible and engaging enterprise sessions specifically designed to be practical and interactive.

Participants will progress to one-to-one coaching support sessions to develop their plans and establish action needed to move forward. Finally, individuals will pursue their enterprise dream, receiving continued support where necessary.

Lesley Calder, Head of European and Skills Strategy at One North East, said: "This ERDF funding will support life changing experiences that will give people the confidence, skills and experience they need to become more enterprising and think seriously about self employment and setting up in business. …

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