Grow those Grassroots
From EU funded schemes to bootstrapped projects, and everything in between, Liverpool is awash with ways to help you start a business or project, if only you know where to look.
Liverpool SOUP is just one piece of the jigsaw for capacity building at an entrepreneurial and community level in Liverpool. The quarterly event provides low level seed funding for four projects a year, but it is in integral part of the wider business support offering that the city has.
In addition to Liverpool SOUP, which is focused on helping community-based enterprises, there is Awesome Liverpool - more properly the Liverpool chapter of the Awesome Foundation - which provides one lucky winner every single month £500 of funding for a project that will make the world more awesome.
If you're setting up a charity or a volunteer-led organisation then LCVS, the Liverpool branch of the national Charity and Voluntary Service movement, can help you avoid pitfalls and mistakes. Fill in their form online here and they'll get back to you with a wealth of information and assistance.
The Enterprise Hub styles itself as the enterprise gateway for business start-up support in the Liverpool City Region. Offering expert advice and support to those who are thinking about starting a business, it is EU funded and is administered by the Women's Organisation, who have a long history in supporting the grassroots in the city region. They run regular workshops and sessions that might prove invaluable in getting your project off the ground. Tehy can be contacted on 0151 706 8112 or at email@example.com.
If your business is in its infancy (less than 18 months old) the Mersey Youth Support Trust run regular business support courses throughout the city region, and are currently stationed in Bootle Library on the fourth Wednesday of every month, 10am-12pm, to help troubleshoot any issues you've got.
Every Thursday afternoon from 1pm, the deputy mayor of the city, Cllr Gary Millar, runs a drop-in business clinic with the support of the IP Centre based at the library. Over the past four years, he and his team have helped hundreds of new and existing businesses make the most of limited resources. If you've got a question about how to give your project or business the best chance, he's always happy to help.
Inclusive Economy Liverpool run a regularly repeated course called Build Your Future, led by myself, consisting of nine weeks of classroom-based peer-led learning, culminating in a big celebration night and a chance to get your new business off to the best start imaginable. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to register for their next course, starting soon.
And lastly, if what you want is to be part of a business and community-led network that is supportive, nurturing and chock full of expertise, you could do a lot worse than coming along to the next Liverpool SOUP event on 3rd October at Tusk on the Cains Brewery site. Doors open at 6.30 and all are welcome.