Helping hand for future businesses

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YOUNG people in Portsmouth who are brimming with great business ideas but don’t have the capital to turn them into reality are to get a helping hand.

In recent years, graduates and individuals without previous experience running a business and requiring smaller amounts for start-ups have found accessing finance difficult – especially at a competitive rate.

To try to help out, the University of Portsmouth has teamed up with not-for-profit organisation Parity Trust to provide a new Enterprise Loan Fund.

Individuals involved with the Creative Industries Business Advisory Service and Portsmouth Centre for Enterprise will be able to apply for a loan in order to get their ideas off the ground.

The aim of Parity Trust, based in North Harbour, is to improve economic activity and the organisation says it is keen to help encourage businesses locally.

Its chief executive, Simon Frost, said: ‘The government has recently started to focus on the need to promote finance options for young people in setting up their own businesses, helping these young entrepreneurs and potentially contributing to economic growth in our community.

‘We have been working on the idea of enterprise loans for young people over the past few months, having already identified a need for enterprise loans in the local area and have proactively worked with the University of Portsmouth to address this.

‘We want to ensure that the package of finance, support and mentoring really works to help the business succeed, and we believe that this scheme could become an important tool in improving economic activity within the Portsmouth area.’

The launch of the Enterprise Loan Fund coincides with the successful Regional Growth Fund bid and development of the Cell Block project which will provide studios for new businesses at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard.

The University of Portsmouth will use the premises to support around 300 creative businesses and 100 private sector jobs each year, as well as providing a mentoring service to fledgling businesses.

For more, visit paritytrust.org.uk.

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