Closing its doors after nearly a decade helping transform lives for the better, we take a look at the incredible success story that is Outset Cornwall.
Officially launched in October 2009 to help stimulate economic development and innovation in the Duchy, Outset has been providing an award-winning programme of business start-up support for almost ten years thanks to funding from the European Regional Development Fund. During this time, the programme has made an indelible impact on the Cornish economy, helping to create over 1,000 new jobs and supporting more than 2,000 people to explore whether starting their own business is for them.
“Outset has supported people on their business journey, guiding them step by step as they develop their own business idea, helping them grow and blossom”
Set against the backdrop of the worst economic recession since the 1930s, with low growth and rising unemployment, starting a business in Cornwall – acknowledged as one of the poorest regions in Europe – seemed an almost insurmountable task.
Never one to shy away from a challenge, successful business development company YTKO, with its fine pedigree of working with a huge variety of new entrepreneurs over many decades, launched Outset Cornwall.
Where many have followed, Outset paved the way with its unique style of start-up support, reaching out to members of the community who previously had been neglected by mainstream business support. These included people facing redundancy and the long-term unemployed; women; disabled people; ethnic minorities and those aged over 50 wanting to embark on a new career. All from very different backgrounds, these people shared one thing: the desire to receive support that could help them realise their dream, provided locally in a language they could understand, with likeminded people, and all for no charge.
For almost a decade, Outset’s team of specialist business advisors have offered clients accessible, jargon-free business start-up workshops, together with mentoring, specialist training and opportunities to network with other budding entrepreneurs.
The Outset team, many of whom have run their own businesses in the past, know first-hand the issues and pitfalls that being your own boss can bring, as Outset Advisor Ian Williams explains: “A lot of businesses feel very daunted that they are out on their own. Outset has supported people on their business journey, guiding them step by step as they develop their own business idea, helping them grow and blossom.”
Outset Programme Director, Kate Perkin, who has been with the programme since the very beginning, feels it has been a privilege to oversee the management and delivery of the programme. “Outset certainly captured the hearts and minds of the people of Cornwall, nurturing businesses through the most challenging early years of their commercial life when so many businesses fail. It has been an honour for me and my team to have played a part in helping transform so many lives and supporting Outset to create an incredible legacy of jobs for Cornwall.”
Did you know?
Thanks to Outset, more than 1,000 jobs have been created; more than 2,000 people have been helped in exploring self-employment, and millions of pounds have been contributed to the Cornish economy.
Funded by the European Regional Development Fund, LiveWest and the Outset Foundation, Outset Cornwall has provided a flexible programme of business start-up support, helping individuals explore their business idea through information sessions, specialist workshops and one-to-one coaching.
"Outset has supported people on their business journey, guiding them step by step as they develop their own business idea, helping them grow and blossom"