Business Ambassador schemes – Celebrating local entrepreneurs
Optivo / Increase VS have been running a cross channel initiative between France and England since 2018. They aim to put 4,000 unemployed people along the Kent and Sussex coastline through a training course, which gives them the skills to start up their own businesses. Those businesses which are viewed as delivering the most benefit for their local community, as well as those business owners who are the most engaged, will have the opportunity to become Ambassadors of the scheme. This will promote stronger ties between local businesses, the local council and within the community itself. The community will also benefit with local job opportunities being made available, while these Ambassadors are also tasked with offering ongoing support to other local start up businesses. They will also offer support to people who are considering taking their first steps to start up a business.
These Ambassadors are delivering a dual role of mentoring other start-ups and micro businesses in their early stages, as well as delivering networking opportunities for these local businesses. The networking opportunities that exist within the local communities and across the county gives rise to the potential for business collaborations too. In fact, within some of the start up training courses, that have already been run, there have been cross partnerships set up, with different skill sets being brought together to create collaborative small business ventures. These would not have happened without these start-up opportunities being in place.
The impact of being able to deliver start-up training, local networking and mentoring is a recipe for success in supporting micro businesses to be more sustainable. By offering a local mentoring scheme, these local businesses have a contact to engage with when they may be experiencing challenges, as well as the post training support from the start-up training provider.
The start up training skills that the participants are offered cover the core areas of running a business, from tax responsibilities, to knowing how to sell including successful selling techniques, as well as marketing and social media support. The training provider delivers training from experienced entrepreneurs who have run their own businesses, giving the participants the confidence that they know what they are talking about. Participants leave the course well equipped with the fundamental skills that they will need to get their business off the ground. The course is peppered with real life examples of other micro businesses, many of whom have already been through the training to give them the confidence that they can launch their own business and to demonstrate the different types of businesses that people run.
The training provider delivers post training support to participants of the scheme and has a helpline that participants can call to speak with one of the entrepreneurs, who can offer advice on a variety of issues. This coupled with the Ambassador and mentoring scheme outlined above ensures that these businesses are able to navigate the common pitfalls of business and that they can be confident that they have support when or if they may require it. Sometimes this is all that a small business needs.
Get in contact
We’re helping local councils launch start up business training to entrepreneurs and market traders. This includes post course support and some unique offerings. If you’re thinking of running start up courses, why not get in contact with us to see how Smarter Society can help. Either contact us firstname.lastname@example.org or complete our online contact form here.