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New FREE business start-up programme for South East Midlands residents

3rd November 2017

Do you live in the South East Midlands and have thought about setting up your own business?  Now’s the time to take that leap of faith as a new, free, specialist start-up business support package is launched to provide budding business-owners with the tools to help your business succeed.

Social enterprise Wenta, The University of Northampton and The University of Bedfordshire have joined forces to form ‘The South-East Midlands Start-up Programme’ (SEMSUP), a business start-up support programme, part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).

Bringing together Wenta’s expertise as a business-to-business social enterprise, with two of the region's leading universities,  this new programme will provide an exclusive and free package of support including: online & face-to-face mentoring with one-to-one business advice; workshops; networking opportunities; grants; webinars and access to incubators/start-up workspaces to help all new business owners collaborate, learn and develop.

The programme will run until September 2019 and aims to strengthen entrepreneurial and enterprise culture across the South East Midlands. 

Akram Din, Project Lead for ERDF at Wenta, said: “We are delighted to announce the roll out of the South East Midlands Start Up programme, offering a comprehensive range of free tried and tested support to people who are either thinking about or wanting to start a business. For the first time, this programme will also offer specialist start-up support for Social Enterprises.”

Malcolm Johnston, Head of Enterprise at Northamptonshire Growth Hub, said: “It can be tough starting a new business anywhere and so I’m delighted that the University of Northampton is providing new incubation workspace in Daventry and Northampton as part of our contribution to the South East Midlands Start-up programme. We are excited to be helping new start-ups by providing them with an entrepreneurial environment and free coaching from our experienced adviser team”.

Andrew Cook, Business Enterprise Adviser at Inspire2Enterprise, said: “Research shows that 80 per cent of micro-enterprises in the UK who seek advice and training as early as possible remain in business after three years.”

Dr Nicholas Lancaster, Director of Innovation & Enterprise at The University of Bedfordshire, said: “The University of Bedfordshire has an impressive reputation for high-quality teaching, world-class research, and strong support for businesses and start-ups. The South-East Midlands Start Up Programme represents an exciting new direction for start-ups in the region and offers excellent opportunities for entrepreneurs to tap into crucial knowledge, expertise and facilities available in Wenta and partner organisations.”

To register for The South East Midlands Start-up Programme (SEMSUP) email or call 01582 522318.
For more information on the support available visit


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