With 28 clients already self-employed, and many more preparing for self-employment, we’re certainly seeing the entrepreneurial potential being unlocked in Norfolk. All of this has been possible because of the team’s success in mobilising the Norfolk business community. With more than 2000 hours in our Mentor Time Bank as at the end of June, thanks to generous donations from 75 mentors, the Outset Norfolk team has leveraged significant levels of additional resource and expertise into the project.
As a result of community outreach and effective partnering, in combination with our own highly effective demand generation activities, we have already engaged with 585 people – exceeding the programme’s target!
Strong gender representation is a consistent strength for YTKO Group’s Outset programmes. Each of our projects benefits from our award-winning expertise in supporting women entrepreneurs from pre-start to start-up. Partnering with our flagship Enterprising Women community to deliver specialist workshops and events for local women, we’ve succeeded in maintaining our high level of engagement with women, which currently stands at over 50% – well above levels achieved by mainstream business support providers. The team have also recently been delivering women-only Business Start-up training and personal development courses to complement and help to prepare clients for referrals to Business Link.
Outset Norfolk had its television recently on BBC Look East, when we secured an interview for one of our first self-employed clients – specialist painter and decorator Chris Collins – on the local news to discuss employment barriers experienced by the over-50s. For Chris, self-employment was a way out of a frustrating period of unemployment – and he was given the confidence to go it alone with the support he received from his Outset mentor, local self-employed tradesman Peter Chimonides. Read more »
You can find out more about the project in our Interim Programme Review, which provides breakdowns of the clients engaged and demonstrates how the team have successfully helped to neutralise barriers to engagement via community outreach and partnership working. The report is hot off the press and available for download now.