In true ‘Big Society’ style, Outset Norfolk bridges the gap between the public and private sectors, with local businesspeople willing to help create and support Norfolk’s future businesses by donating their valuable time to the Outset Norfolk Time Bank. In just over a fortnight since launch, over 400 hours have been donated to provide coaching and mentoring to under-represented enterprise groups and people in disadvantaged communities – with a key focus on certain areas such as King’s Lynn, Thetford, Norwich, Cromer and Great Yarmouth. We are confident that this programme with help to raise awareness of, and encourage people towards an understanding of, enterprise as a feasible employment option.
Helping to arrest the decline in the county’s business start-up rate, Outset Norfolk will unlock the county’s entrepreneurial potential, and then facilitate referrals onto existing start-up training providers, providing a pipeline of clients ready to take the next step on their enterprise journeys with Norfolk’s enterprise specialists and training support providers. The 4-stage programme comprises information sessions and workshops, one-to-one guidance meetings, individual coaching and mentoring, and connections to further start-up training or support. If clients decide that enterprise is not the right option for them, they will be referred to other sources of support, such as employment and volunteering.
Bev Hurley, CEO of YTKO Group, commented: “We’re confident that this will grow into a fantastic resource to help support people who may be thinking about self-employment or starting up and who need support. Whether someone runs a corner shop or café, is a self-employed plumber or web designer, a manufacturing or professional services company, their experience and knowledge of business will help others to build the confidence and know-how to start their own new enterprises – Norfolk’s businesses of the future.”