Entrepreneurs in North Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire can continue to access support from The Hive@Mansfield after the business incubation unit successfully secured further funding from the European Regional Development Fund and Nottingham Trent University.
The Hive@Mansfield is the outreach project of The Hive, Nottingham Trent University’s Centre for Entrepreneurship and Enterprise, and aims to help entrepreneurs to develop ideas into successful and profitable businesses.
It covers the local authority districts of Ashfield, Bassetlaw, Chesterfield and Mansfield, and individuals or businesses based in these areas are eligible for the fully-funded Proof of Concept programme, which is run by The Hive@Mansfield three times a year and has supported over 200 individuals since 2006.
The 12-week programme offers training and support in evaluating the commercial potential of an idea; conducting market research and producing a marketing strategy; determining the costs, cash requirements and profit potential of a business; and producing a business plan. It also includes access to Nottingham Trent University resources.
Michael Huxley, manager of The Hive@Mansfield, said: “There is no other service which offers entrepreneurs this level of support in this region. All we are looking for are people with a good business idea and the passion and determination to succeed. This funding means we can continue to help business start-ups, newly formed businesses and spin-out companies.”
Katrina Atherton, business director at award-winning video production company, A Star Media, said: “In an economy where we’re being encouraged to start our own businesses, but business support agencies are being scrapped at a rate of knots, the Hive at Mansfield is a wonderful example of the help and support that should be available to everyone with a business idea.
“The Hive was instrumental in getting A Star Media off the ground. Everyone starting a business knows you need a business plan, but how many start-ups really get guidance in how to put their plan together, and then the opportunity to pitch their ideas to a panel of experienced business people?
“By completing the course at the Hive we could trial our ideas, find a solid approach to working, and cut out any potential disasters before they were allowed to happen. Without the Hive we wouldn’t be where we are today, I’d recommend them to anyone seriously thinking about business and I’m absolutely thrilled their contribution has been recognised through the award of further funding.”
The next Proof of Concept programme starts this month, followed by another in September 2012 and subsequently runs three times a year. Based at and supported by the Mansfield i-centre, the programme is open to applications from eligible individuals and businesses. For further information, call 01623 600829, email: firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.ntu.ac.uk/hive-mansfield