20 Oct

Growth Hub signposts startup support at Loughborough business event

Sue Tilley at Lboro event

The LLEP Business Gateway Growth Hub signposted early-stage business owners to available support during a startup networking event in Loughborough.

The Growth Hub was one of a host of organisations offering support at the Kick Off in Business event at the Careers and Enterprise Hub last night.

Organised by Jane Hunt, MP for Loughborough, it brought together a host of speakers.

They covered topics including business structure, funding and finance, well-being, and business planning for an audience of startup entrepreneurs.

Jane welcomed guests, describing her passion for small business and its important in providing opportunities for people to thrive.

Sue Tilley, Head of Business, Innovation and Partnerships at the Leicester and Leicestershire Enterprise Partnership (LLEP) then spoke for the LLEP Business Gateway Growth Hub.

She described the free signposting service on offer, before briefly covering her own personal story in the textiles industry.

After starting a business at home, Sue built it up over 17 years to a £2.5m turnover.

She told the audience:

There’s a range of support out there. We are the ‘know who’ and can make sense of what can be quite a complicated landscape for you.

Little tiny things can grow into something really big and great, so it’s fantastic you are here.

Don’t get disheartened; it’s hard but there is advice out there. I wish there had been a Growth Hub when I was starting out.

Other speakers at the event included:

  • Martin Hageman, trustee of Sir Thomas White Loan Charity, who detailed its interest-free loans for entrepreneurs aged 18 to 45;
  • Lamide Johnson, Incubation and Acceleration Associate at Loughborough University, on action planning and the Business Model Canvas;
  • Nick Wardle, owner of fitness business the Body Transformation Centre, who stressed the importance of health and wellbeing;
  • Emma Sparks, of the Prince’s Trust, sharing her journey from unemployment through a Prince’s Trust enterprise workshop changed her life. After becoming a volunteer, Emma now manages enterprise support provided by the Trust across Eastern England.

The session was hosted by Rajinder Bhuhi, Innovation and Acceleration Associate at LUinc. – Loughborough University’s incubator.

Loughborough University’s Wayfinder programme is supported by Charnwood Borough Council and the LLEP.

Designed to encourage new business incubation, new businesses already launched through the programme have included professional consultancies, social enterprises, tech innovators, and creative startups.

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