Start-up business support group that started in Portsmouth pub will be rolled out to the rest of the UK
A BUSINESS support group that was started by nine friends in a Portsmouth pub has been officially recognised and will be rolled out to the rest of the UK.
StartUp Disruptors, an online business support brand, was set up by Becky Lodge, in 2016.
It has now been approved as a professional services provider, to help people begin businesses from home.
The group has joined up with the Solent Local Enterprise Partnership and has been listed on the Growth Hub website.
This is the first phase of a UK roll-out to other LEPs across the UK to provide support to fledgling business owners.
Becky said: ‘We started the online community at StartUp Disruptors, using social media channels, as these were easy to access for people.
‘We worked long hours holding support meetings to help people with questions and to guide them in their early business journeys.
‘It was simply a case of wanting to help people get better support, more quickly.
‘One of the biggest things that was missing, was a safe and receptive community, that didn’t have a funding agenda and could answer the questions that they had.’
StartUp Disruptors, which has more than 2,500 members, has brought together funding partners such as Transmit Startups and Faster Capital for early-stage loan funding.
It has also created a vast community online, of peer led support that’s delivered via Zoom, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn.
Becky, who is also a guest lecturer and facilitator working on the Small Business Leadership Programme at the University of Portsmouth, encouraged SMEs to access free government-backed training.
She said: ‘I’d encourage anyone thinking about starting a business to just get on and do it. Now is absolutely the right time. Pandemics are filled with opportunity, there is a great deal of instability around for everyone at present and we can help to guide people in the right direction.
‘We are excited to work with Solent LEP. This partnership marks the next stage of our roll-out plan.’
Becky, who also runs marketing firm Little Kanga, said they now aim to help 10,000 people from across the UK to start a home-based business.
She added: ‘So far, we have helped over 3,000 people to start a side hustle and many are now employing people with their own shops and offices. That’s simply awesome.’