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UK Steel Enterprise Launches Funding For New Rotherhan Businesses

posted 21 May 2013, 06:41 by RiDO Rotherham   [ updated 21 May 2013, 06:42 ]
UK Steel Enterprise has launched a new scheme to support business start-ups in Rotherham with a funding pot of £25,000, of which £15,000 will be targeted at young entrepreneurs aged up to 30 years of age.

UK Steel Enterprise is working in partnership with Rotherham Investment & Development Office (RIDO) and Rotherham Youth Enterprise to promote the new Kickstart Fund, which can provide a combination of loans and grants.

The company is a wholly owned subsidiary of Tata Steel. Its Kickstart Fund provides grants of up to £500 to start-up businesses to purchase essential equipment and or services that can get them trading. Its main investment fund provides business finance in amounts from £25,000 up to £750,000 to more established companies in South Yorkshire and other areas affected by changes in the steel industry.

Keith Williams, Regional Manager for UK Steel Enterprise says he is looking forward to building on the success of previous Kickstart funds in Rotherham.

“Our experience of supporting new-start businesses in Rotherham shows that relatively small sums of funding can make all the difference when it comes to starting up. Applicants can get support from our partners at RIDO and Rotherham Youth Enterprise which helps them with business planning and mentoring through the early stages. We’ve helped over 200 people start a business in Rotherham since 2009 and this new fund should see even more new businesses launching and becoming sustainable.”

One recipient of Kickstart funding is Ben Taylor, a young Rotherham reptile enthusiast who has set up a new business manufacturing funky vivariums. He has received support from a combination of Rotherham Youth Enterprise, RIDO’s Business Centres and UK Steel Enterprise.

Ben (30) launched TVT Vivariums in March when he started making bespoke and unique reptile homes from RIDO’s Century Business Centre at Manvers, where he has been granted a six month rent free period.

With the help of a £500 grant from UK Steel Enterprise’s Kickstart Fund he was able to buy specialist tools and stock that put his enterprise on a far more professional footing. 

“The funding I got from UK Steel made all the difference to me starting the new business. Instead of using my old DIY kit to make the made to order vivariums, I now have a professional set of tools which make all the difference to the finished products. My clients come from all over the UK and each one wants an individual look and finish to show off their reptiles. No two vivariums look the same as I add all sorts of finishes – some with glitter, some painted – anything to stop them looking bog-standard,” said Ben Taylor. 

Keith Williams of UK Steel Enterprise says Ben has shown just how quickly a business can take off with good marketing: “Ben has only just started but by cleverly using social media like Facebook to promote his business he has already secured a good level of work with orders coming in from Scotland to Essex as well as from local customers in South Yorkshire. Our aim with the Kickstart Fund is to support people like Ben who have the drive to be successful.” 

Jackie Frost, Manager of Rotherham Youth Enterprise paid tribute to the young entrepreneur in saying; “Ben is a great example of what can be achieved with hard work and determination.  We are happy to have helped Ben in the grant application process and look forward to providing further support as the business develops.”

UK Steel Enterprise has set aside finance from its Kickstart Fund to target young entrepreneurs in Rotherham with small scale finance that can make all the difference when starting a new business. 

Anyone wanting to make an application to the Kickstart Fund should call Rotherham Youth Enterprise on 0114 269 5053.