• Friday , 17 August 2018
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Driving Rural Enterprise


Driving Rural Enterprise

As part of the Dorset Business Growth project, funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), the Dorset Growth Hub is to launch an exciting programme of activities to support and enable both aspiring entrepreneurs and recently started businesses to plan, develop and grow.  The funding will be used to deliver a menu of business start-up activities and events throughout Dorset.  The project will actively promote the concept of self-employment or business creation as an alternative route to generating income, effectively and sustainably. Project activities will run from April 2017 through to end December 2019.

Project Overview

The ‘Driving Rural Enterprise’ programme will provide a comprehensive package of support for developing the skills and capability of potential entrepreneurs and newly started businesses to move forward with direction and structure. For those individuals/businesses displaying high growth potential, we will also provide specific support to assist, for example, access to finance, intellectual property and digital marketing.  Our programme is designed to support sustained engagement, transition and progression through creation of a menu of activities, which can be tailored to the needs of the individual/business. The project also provides for the distribution of grant funding to new enterprises, subject to application and grant panel approval.

Our delivery support and approach will recognise and look to address the challenges faced by rural businesses.

Only Dorset based individuals/businesses are eligible for support and are subject to ERDF terms and conditions.

Indicative Project Activities:

  • Exploring Enterprise – Introductory 3 hour group sessions to promote enterprise development as a credible route to employment and income generation
  • Face to face meetings – individual clients/businesses to identify/discuss specific issues and support needs. General advice and guidance.
  • Business Essentials – 12 hour modular workshop programme, comprising business planning/sales and marketing/finance and record keeping
  • Business Extra – specialist 3 hour workshops, focusing on digital marketing/intellectual property/access to finance/new to export
  • Business Club – monthly meetings to include:

    An interactive presentation on a key business topic
    An open discussion forum to share experiences and ideas
    A networking opportunity for individuals to develop relationships/collaborations
    Meet The Boss – we will look to invite recent start up owners/managers to share their experiences


  • Mentoring – Each new entrepreneur will have ongoing access to an enterprise adviserIf you would like further information or wish to join the programme, please contact us.

    Tel: 03454 586 480 or e-mail: info@dorsetgrowthhub.co.uk