Joining the female entrepreneurs, MP Sarah Newton attended to find out about the support available to women looking to start a business in Cornwall. During the networking lunch, Sarah discussed the challenges that the group of potential business owners faced and what support would be most helpful to them.
Sarah said “There is now a lot of help for people wanting to start up or grow their business in Cornwall. I encourage anyone interested to explore what is available. It was inspiring to meet such a talented and determined group of ladies with a wide range of good ideas to turn their passion into a good living for their families. Setting up a new business is hard work but can be an excellent way to achieve a good work life balance, especially for women with caring responsibilities.”
The attendees saw the benefits of the programme first hand from clients and mentors as they spoke about their engagement with the programme. Claire Randall of Spysquad HQ opened the session by inspiring the group with her journey on the Spark programme. Of the programme, she said “Even though I’ve run businesses before… [Spark] has been really really useful… I wouldn’t have been able to do this without Spark.”
Gill Pipkin and Eva Seymour followed with an open discussion about the benefits of the mentoring that is available through the programme. As a client on the programme, Gill, of Gill Pipkin Consultancy, spoke about how her mentors have each brought something different to her and her business. She mentioned how invaluable it is to have ‘critical friends’ to work with.
As Gill’s mentor, Eva, of Well Put Words, mentioned how great mentoring is for both parties by sharing ideas and best practices with the mentee.
Spark is a fully funded programme through the European Regional Development Fund. Delivered by Truro and Penwith College, it supports businesses registered less than 12 months ago and those looking to start a new business.