YTKO, the UK economic and business development consultancy, has been appointed to deliver the intensive business start-up support (ISUS) programme for under-represented groups. This includes women, minority ethnic and disabled people, and with the right specialist support, many can be helped into creating strong and successful businesses.
Bev Hurley, YTKO’s Chief Executive, said:
“We’re delighted that our record in delivering a strong return on investment to our funders, and making a real difference to our clients, has resulted in this exciting new project. We work with a huge variety of new entrepreneurs, from high growth to multiply disadvantaged, and tailor our support to suit their different needs and challenges.”
Stephen Bohane, Head of Business Development for the South West RDA in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, said:
“It’s vital that we invest to unlock business potential and identify, support and develop our entrepreneurs and wealth-creators of tomorrow. This very focused support will ensure that we capture and nurture that entrepreneurial spirit.”
Toni Eyriey, of Business Cornwall, was on the independent selection team that chose YTKO. She commented:
“YTKO impressed me with their track record and their determination to make a real difference to aspiring businesses. Going forward, I am confident that Cornwall will reap the fruits of their labour.”
YTKO’s programme team, based in Truro, will be working closely with Business Link, the School for Social Entrepreneurs, and a number of other local organisations, and running informal awareness and enterprise taster events around the county. Those who want to progress further can then attend a specialist, flexible training programme covering all the key personal and business skills needed for a successful business.
Eileen Lennon, head of YTKO’s Enterprise Inclusion Team, said:
“Inspiring, motivating and unlocking the potential of under-represented groups to start-up successful new businesses generates real returns for local and regional economies, and financial independence for the individual.”
YTKO’s success in leading the Enterprising Women project, which helped the creation of over 250 sustainable new businesses and jobs in the East of England over an 18 month period, was one of the key success factors in securing the new contract. Enterprising Women was also recently selected by BIS as one of three best practice UK projects to be showcased at the European Charter Conference in Stockholm in October.
A strong track record is reinforced by the experience of YTKO’s enterprise team in successfully engaging and supporting new entrepreneurs from all walks of life, and a unique start-up programme that focuses on ensuring the sustainability of new businesses. YTKO now has a team of over 30 business growth specialists working for both public and private sector clients.