Outset Norfolk was commissioned to provide enterprise support to under-represented groups in Norfolk, and offers free support and guidance to people who are interested in exploring self-employment, via group information sessions, individual one-to-one meetings, a mentoring service and referrals to partner provision for further training.
At just over half way through the project, we have helped almost 200 people to explore the benefits of enterprise, 15 of which have so far started up businesses, with many more preparing for self-employment.
With all this going on, the programme has received some great publicity. Outset Norfolk featured in a double-page spread in the Norwich Evening News, and had its television debut on BBC Look East this week as part of PR activity surrounding employment barriers for the over-50s.
Recently self-employed painter and decorator, Chris Collins, and his mentor, local plumber Peter Chimonides, featured on Look East to discuss employment barriers for older jobseekers. Chris and Peter are a perfect example of the impact of the Outset Norfolk mentoring scheme. Since being partnered back in March, Chris has benefited from Peter’s understanding of self-employment and industry knowledge, enabling Chris’ confidence, and his business, to grow from strength to strength.
Around 30% of Outset Norfolk clients fall into the over-50s age group, the majority of which have been made redundant through recent government spending cuts. We’re very pleased to be able to help support and promote the success of some of our over-50s clients – proving that it’s never too late to be successful in enterprise!
It’s not just Chris who has benefited from Outset’s mentoring scheme. Since the launch of the programme in November, we have matched nearly 40 clients with mentors for further support.
Our Interim Programme Review is hot off the press and available for download now. As a result of community outreach and effective partnering, in combination with demand generation activities, we are currently exceeding all targets for this stage of the programme and have already engaged with 500 people – the target figure for the end of the programme in September!
Having been successful in reaching a variety of ‘under-represented groups’ (including women, black and ethnic minorities, and those at risk of and experiencing redundancy), we are working hard to continue to deliver the programme to such groups throughout key areas across Norfolk.
View the full report, with detailed breakdowns and results to date.
The programme would not be where it is now if it were not for the generous support from the Norfolk business community. To date, a total of 72 local businessmen and women have collectively pledged over 1900 hours of support to the Outset Norfolk Time Bank.