By Sammie Jones-
A £6 million support package to help people from all backgrounds to start a business was launched yesterday, as part of the Covid-19 economic recovery plan.
Enterprise West Yorkshire is now open for applications from people “at any stage of their start-up journey.”
It has been developed by West Yorkshire Mayor Tracy Brabin, West Yorkshire Combined Authority and the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership.
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.
Ms Brabin 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, 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.