MEPs visit Outset Bristol

YTKO Group’s Outset Bristol is a £1 million European Regional Development Fund and Bristol City Council funded project, providing free training and support to people who are considering starting their own business in Bristol. Their training programme, which is delivered in community centres across the city, comprises 16 three-hour workshops aimed at taking their clients all the way from considering self-employment to starting their own business.

Pictured (from left to right): Christian Chopin (Principal Administrator, Committee on Regional Development), Seán Kelly MEP, Lee Hughes (Head of Enterprise, YTKO), Oldřich Vlasak MEP, Andy Dean (Programme Director, Outset Bristol), Vilja Savisaar-Toomast MEP, Joachim Zeller MEP and Catherine Bearder MEP

The MEPs, who came to visit the project on Thursday 16 June, all sit on the European Parliament’s Committee of Regional Development and so were interested to see how Outset Bristol is giving people from all backgrounds the chance to be a part of Bristol’s economic success.

The MEPs were given the full ‘Outset’ experience, first taking part in a workshop with clients, before enjoying a networking lunch that gave them the opportunity to talk to clients going through Outset Bristol’s business start-up support programme. The workshop helped to give the MEPs a greater understanding of the client journey, and an insight into the challenges Outset Bristol’s clients face in the current economic climate.

“I was delighted to see – and feel – the buzz that is Outset Bristol,” says Catherine Bearder, an MEP for the South East region and a member of the visiting delegation. “My colleagues were all very impressed with the results that a small amount of funding can do if it is put in the right hands. They all enjoyed taking part in an exercise and it demonstrated so well the way that the learning and support is approached at this project. I also enjoyed meeting the entrepreneurs’ and hearing about their schemes, there seems to be no lack of ideas in Bristol and I look forward to returning soon to see how they are getting on.”

If you would like to see more photos from the visit please go to Outset Bristol’s Facebook page.