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Friday, 28 November 2014

Cumbria business women make waves on the west coast

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RECOGNITION... Emma-Jayne Gooch and Lisa Stanger picking with their Entrepreneur/Start Up Business award at the Britain’s Energy Coast Business Cluster Awards

LOCAL business support services have recorded that since the beginning of the year more than half of entrants on start-up courses in the area are women.

The business support team at economic development agency Britain’s Energy Coast saw 31 clients looking to start up a business through its Linkstart programme during January and February.

Of those clients, 58 per cent were women.

During 2011-12, it supported 96 businesses, 52 per cent of which were started by women.

Since it was launched 18 years ago, the scheme has helped almost 1,100 businesses, creating over 1,400 jobs.

Shelly Gambles, business support manager at Britain’s Energy Coast, said there has always been a healthy split of men and women looking to start new business in West Cumbria, based on take-up of the Linkstart course. The trend is continuing.

She added: “A total of 14 per cent of the UK population are self-employed but only 29 per cent of self-employed businesses are owned by women, so it’s fantastic to see West Cumbria is well ahead of the national trend.

“Whether designed to work around family life or to carve their own business path, women-led West Cumbrian businesses do have entrepreneurial spirit and determination to succeed in a wide range of sectors ranging from entertainment, tourism and healthcare, to professional services.”

Emma-Jayne Gooch received Linkstart support to help set up NuExec Consulting – a recruitment agency focusing on the nuclear sector which she runs with business partner Lisa Stanger.

Emma-Jayne said: “We both knew how to recruit people, but not how to run a business – so joining the Linkstart programme was important, we learned a lot about running a business and we received lots of valuable information.

“We are now receiving support from the Backing Business programme too – this will enable us to develop our website and help grow the business. We want to take on apprentices who we can train in recruitment and provide the right business skills too.”

The business was recognised recently when it won Entrepreneur/Start Up Business award at the Britain’s Energy Coast Business Cluster Awards.

The follow on business support also helps ensure businesses remain on track in their first three years.

Britain’s Energy Coast’s Backing Business programme has helped more than 700 West Cumbrian businesses to create and safeguard 330 jobs and generate £3.5m in sales since it began in 2009.

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