GrowBiz, the community-based enterprise service for Eastern and Highland Perthshire, has had a busy year.
Jackie Brierton, enterprise co-ordinator at GrowBiz, said that more than 70 clients have been in touch since the start of 2012.
She said: “Some have been in the early stages of developing ideas or setting up new enterprises, and others have been keen to grow existing businesses in the local area.
“With a number of business start-ups in the pipeline, Growbiz has supported around 25 enterprises to start or expand since January 2012.”
The new businesses are being started in a wide range of sectors, including tree surgery, garden machinery mechanics, animal grooming and behavioural expertise.
“One client has an innovative new product for the disability market”.
As well as providing one-to-one support for businesses, Growbiz has also facilitated a number of peer support meetings, where businesses get together and share experiences and challenges, and has worked with Perth and Kinross Council’s business growth team in a series of business collaboration meetings in Blairgowrie and Alyth.
Jackie said: “These proved to be very popular and a new series of meetings has been arranged for January and February 2013, with all local businesses welcome to join in.”
She added: “GrowBiz operates on a strictly confidential basis, and meetings with clients are held in a location which suits them. It doesn’t matter what stage people are at with ideas and businesses, GrowBiz is happy to help. In addition to providing advice and a listening ear, we can help connect clients to people and organisations who can help.”
As part of this, the organisation’s plans for 2013 include developing a project to engage young people with local businesses.
Jackie said: “With jobs for under-25s still scarce, we are looking to pair up local youngsters with an interest in enterprise with business clients. Many business owners need help with social media and technology, and that’s where young people can help, with their knowledge of communication channels such as Facebook, YouTube and Twitter.
“In return it’s hoped that the businesses will be able to give the young people some work experience and an understanding of what’s involved in setting up and running a business. GrowBiz is also planning to establish a mentoring network in the local area, and to encourage more women and older people to consider setting up in business.”
To contact Growbiz, go to www.growbiz.co.uk, or email email@example.com