An enterprise support scheme launched by Wakefield Council is creating jobs and helping people get their business ideas off the ground.
The council’s Business Support Programme has backed more than 100 individuals and businesses and helped create 28 new jobs since being launched in April.
It has delivered 78 enterprise clubs around the district, offering free business advice, help with business plans and cash flows and finding start-up funding.
Christopher East was unemployed when he set up his online trading company Rough Peaks with help from the Business Support Programme.
He has been helped into a new premises at Ferrybridge Workspace, a council-managed business unit, and benefitted from funding for computer equipment.
Now he is venturing into exporting British-made goods to a growing Chinese market.
Mr East said: “The Wakefield Business Support Programme helped me access finance and supported me through the application process all the way, helped me with my business plan and into managed business premises.
“It is good to know that there are business support people with you every step of the way on a new start business venture.”
Wakefield Council said the Business Support Programme helped support six small businesses attend the UK Advanced Engineering Group of Events in Birmingham last month.
As a result of help from the programme, companies themselves had invested £150,000 of their own cash into their ventures.
Council leader Peter Box said: “We continue to do all we can to support local businesses in the district.
“We want to encourage and enable people to set up their own business within Wakefield and we hope by offering specialist support in this way, we can springboard people into creating successful and thriving businesses, giving a vital boost to our economy.”
Entrepreneurs also attended the Wakefield Enterprise Show in the city centre on December 11 to find out about the support available to set up a business.