Celebrating our 2000th start-up, £1 million raised, and set fair for 3000 new jobs by Dec 2013

Mohsen-Vassif-Rob-Guy-Zuzana-FancovicovaYTKO Group is celebrating its role in achieving the two milestones of securing over £1 million of funding for Plymouth SMEs and supporting the creation of its 2000th new business through Outset, the company’s flagship business support programme. And it’s well on track to achieve the next big goal of creating 3000 new jobs by the end of December – in only 3.5 years!

The £1 million funding raised milestone was reached following a successful application for funding by Mohsen and Zuzana Vassif (pictured with Outset Business Finance Advisor Rob Guy), Directors of Zuzimo Intercontinental Restaurant Ltd.

The pair worked with Outset’s specialist finance advice team Outset Finance to get investment ready, which led to the securing of two loans from South West Investment Group (SWIG) and Fredericks Foundation.

Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills Vince Cable said: “Congratulations to Outset for achieving this milestone and supporting the Government’s drive to build a culture of enterprise. I hope this will inspire even more entrepreneurs to start their own business.”

Funded by The European Regional Development Fund and local councils, Outset is at the forefront of encouraging business creation in the UK, particularly for demographics facing the biggest barriers to enterprise. These include the long-term unemployed, women, under-25s and over-50s, and people living in areas of social deprivation.

The 2000th business was started by Alison Gardner, a former Tourist Information Officer from Huntingdonshire, who was made redundant and approached Outset to get help with her business idea. She now owns a tearoom in the heart of St Neots, employing 5 staff members.

In 2012, YTKO Group was awarded the prestigious Grand Jury Prize for inspiring entrepreneurialism at the 6th European Enterprise Promotion Awards (EEPA) for the achievements of Outset after winning the Enterprising Britain Award.

YTKO CEO Bev Hurley said: “We work with people from a range of different backgrounds and experience levels, from disadvantaged clients to high growth science and technology entrepreneurs, and provide a tailored service for each according to their needs.

“The positive statistics from our public sector projects – for example, 54% of our clients are women and 26% come from a BME background in our urban programmes – reflects the level of thought and care we put in to our projects to be inclusive and accessible by all – we firmly reject the label ‘hard to reach’!

“I’m delighted that we’ve achieved these significant milestones and look forward to announcing the 3000th new job in the new year”.