Start-up support at hand for Birmingham community


Druids Heath residents are being urged to take advantage of a new initiative designed to help local people start a business.

The brainchild of local councillor Eva Phillips, the year-long project sees NatWest, social enterprise UnLtd, Birmingham Leadership Foundation and young people’s advocates Social Breakfast joining forces to tackle unemployment locally.

Eva Phillips is launching the event because she feels that the Government are failing an entire generation of young people with many growing up in poverty unable to secure the skills they need to get work. Long term youth unemployment is at its highest level since 1993 under Prime Minister John Major and despite talks of economic recovery; there are still areas in the city where unemployment is still more than 25%.

In an area where unemployment is more than twice the national average, residents will be able to access coaching and support to improve their skills or to turn a simple idea into a flourishing business.

The project gets underway on Friday 31 January at an event, which is open to all, being held at Druids Heath’s Maypole Youth Centre between 3pm and 6pm. Steve McCabe MP and Birmingham’s Lord Mayor Mike Leddy will officially open the day.

On the day, budding entrepreneurs are invited to pitch a business idea ‒ which will benefit or regenerate the community ‒ with a chance to win one of ten start-up packages worth £500. Available to individuals or groups, the grant will come with personal mentoring and support from UnLtd and NatWest.

Business experts will also be on hand to offer advice to those wanting to start up on their own and to canvass ideas for future community projects or enterprise activities.

Cllr. Eva Phillips said: “Druids Heath has been in the top 1% of deprived communities for over 20 years and we’re determined to see this change.

Local MP, Steve McCabe said:

“It’s a really great opportunity for young people to put their skills to good use; it’s a brilliant way to get young people to think about what they are good at, what skills they need and where they can apply those skills to secure work whilst at the same time tackling poverty in Druids Heath.”

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