Somerset’s local authorities are providing free business advice to people wanting to set up their own Green business.
The workshops, run by Business West advisers, are fully funded by Somerset County Council and the four District Councils: Mendip, Sedgemoor, Somerset West and Taunton and South Somerset.
The project is being funded through a Business Rates Retention (BRR) pilot scheme that allows councils in Somerset to retain a proportion of the business rates income locally to invest in developing the economy and improving the way local authority services are delivered.
There are 22 workshops on the Somerset Green Start-up programme until the end of May – and are all run virtually.
Each session takes up to 15 people as long as they are resident in Somerset, or the start-up business has a registered Companies House address in the county.
“If you are in Somerset and thinking of, or have already set up your business as a start-up, but are struggling with some of the more daunting aspects, these courses will help you,” said James Godman BRR Business Support Programme Manager.
Jane Purdy, Business West’s enterprise manager, who oversees the courses said: “With all our workshops there is a Green thread, running throughout. It is all about every business being sustainable. Whatever your business model is, you can embed a Green core from the start.”
Ideas are already beginning to emerge including a market garden to feed the town where it is based with any carbon footprint offset by tree planting, and a writer focused on children’s books based around sustainability.
The free courses last from one to three hours and there are also opportunities for one-to-one sessions. They cover topics from setting up a business to market testing and analysis, business planning, finance, and cyber security.
Places are still available on the courses. Contact Business Adviser Sian Davies (Sian.firstname.lastname@example.org; mobile :07436-346863) or Matt Pilgrim, project co-ordinator (Matt.email@example.com; mobile: 07787-405041. There’s more information here: Start-Up Support Package | Business West