A fully-funded, after-hours support programme aimed specifically at helping North Devon residents to start and grow a business is launching at the new Node Enterprise Centre in Barnstaple.
Initially held online, Startup Club will give local people thinking of starting their own business or looking to turn their passion into a career, all the resources they need to set up and begin trading, including weekly expert-led workshops and support.
The eight-week programme will feature a series of workshops where individuals will learn everything they need to transform an idea into an enterprise, from creating a business and marketing plan, through to identifying customers and building a brand.
Construction of the Node building on Roundswell Enterprise Park was completed in January and has space for 35 small and medium offices, a coworking space for up to 50 people and a number of meeting rooms. It aims to boost the local economy and create jobs in Torridge and North Devon by supporting potential high-growth and startup businesses.
Startup Club is run by the operators of Node, TownSq, which also operate hubs in Wrexham, West-Sussex, Oxfordshire and Denbighshire.
Julian Dymond, community manager at the Node Enterprise Centre said the right environment of support was key for anyone thinking about launching a business: “For some, the idea of starting a business can be daunting. The thought of having to give up their day job and take the risk of starting from scratch, worrying about how to pay bills while building. The truth is that most businesses don’t begin on a gamble. They are side-projects or ideas that are fostered gently until they are in a position to be worked on full-time.
“However, it can be difficult to know just where to start. The Startup Club programme will give individuals everything they need to turn their idea into an actual business, and they’ll be part of a community of people on the same journey, solving problems together. From the business plan and legal stuff, right the way through to marketing and sales. It will be delivered by other business owners who have been there and done it themselves and understand the challenges we all face in our personal and professional lives.
“We’d encourage anyone considering setting up their own business, or who just has an idea they would like to develop, to get in touch and see how our Startup Club programme can help them.”
Councillor Rufus Gilbert, Devon County Council Cabinet Member for Economy and Skills, said: “This Startup Club is the type of programme that will add real value to the Node Enterprise Centre and this is exactly why TownSq has been brought on board. Starting a business can be a huge step, but the experienced team at Node can take you through the process, one small step at a time to equip you with everything you need to know. This initiative will also help foster a supportive community at Node that will enable startups at to survive and thrive.”
The Node Enterprise Centre has been funded by Devon County Council, the Heart of the South West Local Enterprise Partnership and the European Regional Development Fund.
The Barnstaple Startup Club programme will run online from 18 March to 13 May. To sign up, visit startupclubdevon.eventbrite.co.uk