Thanks to business start-up experts, Outset Cornwall, 2017 has seen hundreds more Cornish businesses form.
Outset Cornwall has been delivering an award-winning programme of business start-up support thanks to funding from the European Regional Development Fund since 2009. Over the past eight years, Outset, whose offices are aptly based in Pool Innovation Centre, has helped boost creativity and innovation, having a major impact throughout the Duchy and contributing more than £6.5 million to the local economy!
The programme provides tailor-made business start-up support, helping individuals to further explore their business idea through informal information sessions, bespoke workshops covering a range of vital business topics, one-to-one coaching and exclusive networking and trade events.
Taking the leap into self-employment can seem daunting, but hearing the varied reasons people have for setting up their own enterprises with Outset’s help can be both encouraging and inspiring.
Many emphasise the greater flexibility in working patterns that allow them more time to balance their work with other important elements of their lives. Alison Bick, for instance – an illustrator and designer in Newquay – tells us how she began her own business, the result of a desire for a career change. She tells us: “Starting my own business has given me so much flexibility and allowed me to build a connection with others going through the same process.”
Being your own boss and making your own decisions is also important to Outset clients, as Truro based Paul Nuttall explains: “I wanted to choose working hours that suited my family life, and this has given me a great sense of achievement.” Paul, who gave up work to care for his wife Ali, set up Paul’s Odd Jobs, offering a handyman service to people living in his local community. “My drive for going it alone was to help others like myself who find it hard to afford the high costs charged by many big companies,” he finishes.
For many, turning a passion into a career would be a dream come true. This is just what Steve Coonick of Wadebridge has done, thanks to the fantastic Outset support. Steve’s passion for design and the desire to make physical objects that people can enjoy was the inspiration for setting up KOOS Furniture. Master cabinetmaker Steve designs and creates bespoke and custom fine furniture from sustainably sourced hardwoods. “My best business decision by far was to contact Outset,” he explains. “They have helped me with business advice, from accounting to web design and everything in between.”
As well as current clients that are receiving support from Outset, the programme has played a major part in launching some of the region’s highly successful and award-winning businesses. These include Cornwall Solar Panels, winner of the National Solar Panel Installer Award 2016; multi-award winning luxury cake makers, Peboryon, who featured on Channel 4’s Extreme Cake Makers, and talented young entrepreneurs Grant Batty and Rich Stephens of video production company, Pixel Rain, who were among the winners of Cornwall’s inaugural ‘30 under 30’ awards this year.
So, whatever your circumstances, if you’re fed up with the nine-to-five and want to achieve a better work-life balance, why not let 2018 be the year you turn that business idea into reality and become your own boss?