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Hundreds of people in Peterborough are being offered a helping hand up the ladder of new business success.

The latest initiative in the city will offer fully-funded advice, support and encouragement to budding entrepreneurs of all ages; and rather than have to face an intimidating Dragon’s Den, the business hopefuls will have experts behind them all the way.

The launch of Peterborough BEAT (Business Enterprise Advice and Training) will help people who want to set up their own business in the city.


It could be anything from engineering to hairdressing and apply to anyone from school leaver to pensioner.

“There is huge potential in Peterborough and we have already started meeting clients,” said Sergio Aschettino, Business Advisor for BEAT, an initiative delivered by the NWES business advice group. “We’d like to see around 750 clients in the first year and give practical advice and support on starting a business, whether it is for someone born with entrepreneurial flair or wanting to turn a hobby into a career. They might be 16 or 80.”

He said BEAT already had strong contacts with all the important agencies for new business help in the city, but their aim was to reach out to people with the start-up ideas. The service includes one-to-one business advice, structured training courses and workshops on subjects like business plans, cash flow and marketing, with support in approaching banks or help for obtaining loans.

The BEAT team can even guide people in certain Peterborough postcode areas on how to apply for the New Entrepreneur Scholarship which offers a £1500 grant to help with business start-up costs.

“Our help can be so varied and not only for funding larger projects. We’ve assisted a young mobile hairdresser to find funds for curling tongs and a SatNav, and also a plumber to purchase more tools and public liability insurance,” added Suzanne, Business Development Trainer for BEAT.

“NWES has a 25-year history of encouraging enterprise in the East of England”, commented Stuart, BEAT Business Advisor, “but at the end of last year, EEDA’s Investing in Communities initiative opened up the opportunity for us to move into Peterborough. The team is flexible and will go out to community centres to meet people or even meet them at their bank. We aim to take the message into schools as well. It’s a free service and we are trying to spread the word.”

A Thursday morning drop-in shop is already planned at the Westwood Centre for potential clients in the area and the BEAT team will focus on city wards like Dogsthorpe, Bretton, Central and Paston where drop-in mornings are being planned. You can meet the team and pop by for an informal chat on Thursday 13th and Friday 14th March when they will be at the Queensgate Shopping Centre in the East Mall, opposite Marks & Spencer.

The BEAT team, comprise of Sergio Aschettino, Stuart Day-Coombes and Suzanne Odell, who bring a multitude of knowledge and skills attained from having previously owned businesses and worked in the banking industry. They understand only too well the challenges that are involved in becoming your own boss.

For more information call 01354 660900 or email [email protected]

March 2008 - Peterborough UK Community Website

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