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'Go Your Own Way' course gets 11 new businesses off to a flying start

Monday, 26 March 2018

Sue Cooper Go Your Own Way Award

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Thanks to a generous grant from the Hampshire & Isle of Wight Community Foundation (HIWCF), part-funded by the European Social Fund, over 30 lucky Radian tenants got the opportunity to take part in an innovative ‘Go Your Own Way’ course, which enabled them to learn about the fundamentals of self-employment, as well as kick-start their businesses. The £11,152 grant to Radian’s award-winning Employment Support Team (EST) partially funded the courses, aimed at unemployed local people who were looking to start their own businesses.

The ten week course provided participants with bespoke training, website and social media advice, one to one business mentoring from local entrepreneurs and a whole range of other support and learning opportunities. Chris Adams, Radian’s Employment and Training Manager, said: “Overall, our project has been a huge success and has seen many positive outcomes achieved for those that took part, including eleven brand new businesses being formed and five existing businesses being refreshed.”

Sue Cooper, Go Your Own Way participant and founder of ‘The Project’, a not-for-profit organisation which collects and redistributes waste food and other items from supermarkets and big retailers, said of the scheme: “Radian support has helped in many ways and meeting other likeminded people has been inspirational. The business plan, benefits advice, accounting information, IT and much more is proving invaluable”.

The programme is a result of the call issued by the Department of Work and Pensions to commission European Social Fund projects. These projects are aimed at supporting organisations to reach out and work with individuals who may have complex barriers between them and employment. With further funding secured from the European Regional Development Fund to run similar projects across the south over the next three years, it is hoped that many more people will be able to benefit from the scheme.

Joe Maloney, another GYOW alumnus and founder of Revival Property Services, had this to say to anyone thinking of signing up: “Do it! And be willing to let the process take you on a journey with your business ideas that you might not have considered beforehand”.

If you'd like help going self-employed and want to find out about future Go Your Own Way courses, as well as other available support, click here.