Hundreds of start ups and small businesses supported by CWRT schemes
"We have supported all sorts of businesses from advanced manufacturing, such as automotive prototype manufacturers, to country pub chain and even sports and leisure recreation businesses"
Two business support schemes delivered by Coventry and Warwickshire Reinvestment Trust, part-funded by Warwickshire County Council, have supported hundreds of individuals and small businesses during 2021.
The two programmes - JumpStart and Duplex - offer support at either end of the scale with JumpStart providing free workshops to those with a business idea and Duplex supporting existing businesses looking to grow that need funding for capital purchases.
JumpStart has gone from strength to strength in 2021, having entered a new three-year contract in April after a further £500,000 funding from the County Council assisted CWRT in supporting more individuals than ever before.
During the year 2021, 77 individuals from Warwickshire attended JumpStart and each achieved a minimum of 12 hours of support. Supporting more individuals than ever before during the pandemic, almost a quarter of attendees had been directly affected by the pandemic, having either been on furlough for a significant period of time or having been made redundant and encouraging them to consider their next steps.
In light of the additional pressures of the pandemic, the project added further support to include 1-2-1 mentoring sessions with business support specialist Minal Sodha, along with a session dedicated to understanding HMRC and how to register for self-employment delivered by Anne Wordsworth from CUBE Accounting.
The Trust's delivery of JumpStart and Duplex has also led to the launch of a new pilot programme, The Financial Fit which was created to address the disparity in women-owned businesses taking up finance, and encouraging them to become more financially savvy. The project has had an overwhelming response which is due to start in January 2022.
"We launched the project after seeing the disparity between women in business not only in terms of accessing finance, but also understanding the support provisions available to them," said JumpStart project officer Keely Beamish.
"It has been met with a lot of interest and we are looking forward to seeing how these women business owners become empowered to break the glass ceiling and take their businesses to the next level.”
Meanwhile, during 2021 the Duplex Investment Fund has lent more than £1 million to businesses within Coventry and Warwickshire with 89 jobs contracted and the investment helping to save 42 local jobs. This has resulted in £545,000 of private investment into Coventry and Warwickshire.
"We have supported all sorts of businesses from advanced manufacturing, such as automotive prototype manufacturers, to country pub chain and even sports and leisure recreation businesses," said Leah Blocksidge, Head of Programmes at CWRT.
"Duplex is the perfect investment for those businesses who are looking to invest in capital items to grow or diversify their business but lack the funds to take their business to the next level. The Fund is a grant and a loan in one easy deal and CWRT is dedicated to supporting businesses from Coventry and Warwickshire recover from the pandemic and adapt to the new normal.”
For more information on how to apply for the next JumpStart workshops in February, enquire about funding through Duplex or for more information on The Financial Fit, please visit www.cwrt.uk.com or call CWRT’s friendly team on 02476 551777.