£6m support package to help people across the region start a business

At today's virtual event, the Mayor of West Yorkshire and Combined Authority in partnership with Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership, officially launched Enterprise West Yorkshire - a £6 million support package designed to inspire and help people from all backgrounds to start a business.

3 November 2021

Part of the Covid-19 economic recovery plan, Enterprise West Yorkshire is open for applications from people at any stage of their start-up journey. The free programme helps people explore self-employment as a career option and offers guidance and training to develop business ideas and set up a business. The Combined Authority hopes the support will help increase the diversity of start-up business owners across the region and attract those most underrepresented including, women, ethnic minorities and those who identify as disabled. According to insights from the Enterprise Research Centre, less than 7 per cent of UK businesses are owned by ethnic minorities and less than 10 per cent by women.

In the last year, the LEP and local partners have seen a surge in demand for start-up support. Working in partnership with AD:Venture, the Combined Authority has commissioned expert service providers People Plus and Digital Remit to work closely with communities to deliver a series of interactive workshops and seminars, mentoring and resources covering how to plan, launch and grow a business.

Tracy Brabin, the Mayor of West Yorkshire, said:

“I am delighted to launch Enterprise West Yorkshire to help people from all communities and backgrounds to build successful businesses and create new skilled jobs”.

“We have a wealth of talent in West Yorkshire, and I had the pleasure of meeting with many brilliant young people earlier this year who all had fantastic business ideas and a drive to become successful entrepreneurs.

“As we recover from the pandemic, I hope this new programme will inspire more people to consider starting a business and even help bring life back to our high streets that have suffered from high profile closures.”

Sir Roger Marsh OBE, DL Chair of the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership and NPII said:  

“I am delighted that through the LEP, we are going to support over 1,500 new business start-ups and help many more in the region to explore their career options.

“Our economic recovery plan sets out our vision to grow a more inclusive, resilient and sustainable local economy with more productive businesses, better levels of skills and entrepreneurs from diverse communities.

“Enterprise West Yorkshire is a fantastic opportunity for those impacted by the pandemic to embrace a new entrepreneurial direction. I’d encourage everyone to get in touch to access free support to start a new business venture.”

The three-year programme, funded through the £38 million per year secured through the Mayoral Devolution Deal in 2020, expects to support 1,500 people to start a business in the region. The final phase of the programme, launching in early 2022, will provide intensive and targeted support for people with the potential to become successful innovative entrepreneurs.

If you are considering starting a business, have a business idea or have launched a new business within the last 12 months, visit the-lep.com/EnterpriseWY to apply to Enterprise West Yorkshire or for more information.