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Sarah Takes the Helm at Matrix

posted 22 Jan 2010, 06:30 by RiDO Rotherham   [ updated 22 Jan 2010, 06:32 ]
Originally Posted: Tuesday 10th February 2009
As the recession turns hundreds of workers’ minds to their futures, a council has opened its latest business centre for start-up companies.

Previous downturns saw rises in the number of people deciding to launch out on their own. Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council is ready if that is repeated this time.

And at its new business centre, Matrix@Dinnington, one crucial new member of staff is looking forward to giving budding entrepreneurs a helping hand.

Centre co-ordinator Sarah Hanson has spent the past three years honing her skills at the council’s three other successful business centres – Fusion@Magna, Moorgate Crofts and Century.

She will now play an important role in the council’s continuing drive to encourage and support entrepreneurs and their young businesses at Matrix.

“We all know how tough things are out there,” she said, “but there’s no doubt that there are opportunities for small entrepreneurial businesses as long as they have the right help.

“Matrix offers not only affordable new office or workshop space at low costs, but also free business and financial advice that can make all the difference to someone starting out in business. We also offer a professional messaging service and meeting rooms for important meetings or presentations.

“Although the current economic situation brings only bad news for some, for others it can open up an opportunity to do something they’ve always wanted to do – like be your own boss.”

On average 85 per cent of companies in RiDO-run business centres survive to year three – that’s slightly down, due to the recession hitting young companies as well as established ones, but it is still 14 percentage points ahead of the national average of 71 per cent.

RiDO works on a daily basis with 105 new-start businesses. It has played a part in “incubating” more than 600 new businesses, which in turn created more than 3,000 new jobs.

Matrix is the first in the south of the borough, and it is hoped it will cater for the new breed of entrepreneurs in the area. It has 17 self-contained offices and 24 workshops – some of which have a mezzanine-level office incorporated for those who don’t want a separate room for handling paperwork. It is about five minutes from Junction 31 of the M1.

But RiDO has already been working hard in the area to help entrepreneurs achieve their goals. Business adviser Rachel Clark has so far helped 47 start-ups get off the ground, creating 108 new jobs in Dinnington.

And the RiDO team has this message for anyone interested in starting up their own business, delivered by business development manager Tim O’Connell: “You can do it! And we’ll help you.”

Prices start at £230.75 a month including heating and water.

For more details on Matrix or the event call Sarah Hanson on (01909) 547000 or go to