BUDDING entrepreneurs in Gosport should not be afraid to take the leap of faith towards becoming their own boss.
That was the message at an Enterprise Fair held in Gosport last week, which was organised by the town’s MP, Caroline Dinenage.
The event, at St Vincent College in Mill Lane on Friday, November 16, was held to show people that starting up their own business – while seemingly daunting – is a path to economic prosperity and freedom to do whatever interests you.
Ms Dinenage says that Gosport is still lagging behind neighbouring towns, but that people shouldn’t fear jumping into the world of business.
She said: ‘Last year there were 323 new businesses set up in Gosport, compared with more than 800 in Fareham.
‘But there’s no reason why we shouldn’t have more businesses starting up – we are in a great location and have people with great skills living here.
‘More businesses growing in Gosport would not only improve economic prosperity in the town, but also mean more jobs are available for people.’
Talking at the event were Neil Hallsworth, managing director of Explorer Coffees; Mike Shepherd, founder of the Marine Advertising Agency and Freya Derrick, who set up Hopscotch Day Nurseries.
All three shared advice and encouragement with those interested in starting their own business, or who had already started.
Neil Hallsworth said: ‘When planning Explorer Coffees I knew I needed help – and that help that I received allowed me to formalise a business plan, work out how to fund the business and so on.
‘Don’t be afraid to get help from those around you.’
Mike Shepherd from MAA added: ‘In the early days of your start-up business it can be quite lonely, but that’s not something to be afraid of.
‘Use it as an opportunity to network, go to meetings and see as many people as you can.
‘The most important thing for me is to never give up – and now that everything is online, you can learn new skills and them apply them to your enterprise. There’s no excuse for not knowing how to do something anymore.’
Freya Derrick from Hopscotch Day Nurseries says that although start-ups will face fierce competition from those who are more experienced, this shouldn’t deter people in Gosport from making those first steps.
She said: ‘There are people in business who have done it all before and have everything they need – but it’s about perseverance, self-belief and just throwing yourself at something, even if you don’t think you can do it.’