Entrepreneurs encouraged to boost business in town

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A NEW project is set to be launched to try and encourage entrepreneurs in Barnsley, which has been named as one of the country’s worst towns for business start-ups.

Half as many new businesses are created in Barnsley compared with places such as Aberdeen, and the town is also in the bottom 10 for the number of businesses that exist per head of population.

Starting on Sunday, April 1, the “SmartStart” project will run at the Barnsley Business and Innovation Centre.

It is part of the second phase of “Enterprising Barnsley”, a European-funded business support programme.

Tim Milburn, chief executive of the Barnsley Business and Innovation Centre, said: “What we want is for people to come along for a chat to see if we can help them with a business idea that they have. If it’s a good idea and we can help, then we will.”

Under the SmartStart scheme, potential entrepreneurs will be given advice by a business coach and invited to a series of workshops covering everything from sales and marketing to leadership and management.

The “Centre for Cities 2012” report put Barnsley in the bottom 10 for business start-ups, with just 24.8 new businesses created for every 10,000 people.

In Brighton, Aberdeen and Milton Keynes the number is nearer 50 and in London it is 65.

Mr Milburn added: “There are some great businesses in Barnsley, but nowhere near enough of them. We need to help people find their feet and foster and nurture their new businesses.”

For futher details visit www.businessstartsatbbic.co.uk.