Earlier this year, the DTI launched the Enterprising Britain 2006 competition to find the UK cities, towns or areas that prove themselves the best places to start and run a business in the UK. And now, the winners have been announced!
North West: The Borough of Knowsley
Knowsley Economic Forum successfully encouraged and supported people to develop their business ideas and stimulated an entrepreneurial culture in Knowsley, turning the area’s employment and economic prospects around. From simplifying business support services to encouraging inter-trading and IT initiatives, and engaging the next generation of entrepreneurs, Knowsley has taken a ‘Total Enterprise’ approach, which has shown impressive results.
Yorkshire: The Rotherham Partnership,
The Rotherham Partnership in Yorkshire provides business support for the residents of Rotherham which has traditionally struggled with unemployment. It has achieved transformational results since it began through a series of innovative and enterprising programmes, as well as engaging young people and under represented groups such as women. The partnership has set up three Business Centres, providing 185 start up spaces to 130 businesses. Rotherham’s business start-up rate is now 15 per cent above the national average.
Scotland: West Kilbride Craft & Design Town
The West Kilbride area has regenerated itself by creating Scotland’s first craft and design town. West Kilbride Craft and Design Town provides affordable studio accommodation for designer makers, creating a focus for craft and design in West Kilbride. To date it has created six studios, one shop, a gallery and attracted 14 new businesses to the town.
Wales: The Glynneath Training Centre
The Glynneath Training Centre has changed the lives of hundreds of local people by providing low cost, high-quality education and training for all adult members of the community. In the last year alone the centre facilities have been accessed by over 600 people.
London: The City Fringe Partnership
The City Fringe Partnership helps to bridge the employment gap between the prosperous City of London and the surrounding boroughs of Hackney, Islington, Tower Hamlets and Camden. City Fringe Partnership has piloted a US initiative called City Growth scheme, in which clusters of businesses work together to advise on what kind of training and support is needed to ensure growth.
East of England: Bowthorpe BizFizz
BizFizz helps people in the deprived area of Bowthorpe to think in an entrepreneurial way and supports them, strategically and financially, in turning their business ideas into reality.
West Midlands: Enterprising Burton,
Enterprising Burton provides financial and personal business support for those who live in Burton-upon-Trent, it runs seminars and workshops in the area to promote self-employment. It has facilitated 250 business start-ups since 1998, over 70 per cent of which are still trading after two years, well above the usual survival rate.
South East: Kent Science Park,
Kent Science Park has transformed itself from an empty research facility into a dynamic community of over 80 businesses. The project supports new businesses by providing them with the opportunity to rent at a discounted rate, as well as offering flexible tenancy agreements and low rents for pioneering knowledge-based business. It also plays a key role in stimulating enterprise in the community through competitions for enterprise and engaging young people.
South West: Enterprising People Partnership,
Enterprising People Partnership comprises of five agencies and looks to address the fragmented business support across Bristol and the need to widen access and participation in enterprise. They have done this through a pioneering approach based on partnership and inter-agency cooperation, which has included the creation of 2 inner city Bristol Enterprise teams.
Northern Ireland: Ballykeel Business Development Ltd,
Ballykeel Business Development Ltd is a non-profit making social enterprise that is changing the attitude to enterprise in one of the most deprived areas in Northern Ireland. Key to their success is the Ballykeel Business Centre, developed on formal waste ground and accommodating workspace units, training facilities and administration support. To date, the centre has created 38 new jobs, changing the perception of Ballykeel into a good place to run a business.
North East: Acumen Community Development Trust,
Acumen gives the people who live in the deprived area of Horden and Easington Colliery the opportunity to start-up new businesses through innovative, enterprising programmes. These include 15 Aim High Centres, bridging the gap between community and mainstream provision; a wheels-2-work scooter scheme, a lorry leasing scheme, childcare opportunities and debt counselling.
East Midlands: Welland Sub-Regional Strategic Partnership
Welland SSP has successfully encouraged and supported people to develop their business ideas and stimulated an entrepreneurial culture in the rural, agriculture area of the Welland. The partnership developed centres that understood the issues facing rural business and delivered pro-active support, as well as programmes around community and social enterprise. Activities were linked together for maximum impact, and supported by a drive to encourage tourism. Since 2004, it has created 1,500 new jobs and over 300 businesses.
For more information on the competition and the winning areas, visit www.sbs.gov.uk/enterprisingbritain.