Entrepreneurial boost

The chances of success for East Anglia’s entrepreneurs got a significant boost recently with the launch of ‘Big Fish’.



This new campaign aims to raise awareness of the newly extended programme of support and funding available to entrepreneurs via the East of England Development Agency (EEDA), whose role is to improve the region’s economic performance and ensure the East of England remains one of the UK’s top performing regions.



Big Fish facilitates access to EEDA’s full programme of support to all the region’s entrepreneurs regardless of sector, size or business stage.



It includes an online diagnostic tool to help participants test their business idea, plus more tailored advice and events. New to the region will be an investment readiness programme for entrepreneurs or companies at a more advanced stage of development.



The support package, which draws on Business Link’s expertise, also offers access to a network of investors (banks, angels, venture capitalists and EEDA’s Finance for Innovation team) which will complement the funding available from EEDA in the form of grants for innovative companies.



The campaign officially launches on 6 October 2008 with a so-called Bootcamp event. This will offer more than 200 of the region’s entrepreneurs the opportunity to spend a day learning from Doug Richard, an entrepreneur and angel investor.



Richard Ellis, chair of the EEDA, said: ‘We are excited about the potential for Big Fish to drive take-up of our new programme of support for entrepreneurs. Big Fish builds on the success of ‘Running The Gauntlet’, which EEDA has run for the last three years. We’ve listened to feedback so the new programme is more focused on the individual needs of each entrepreneur or company. It offers more opportunities to learn and network, and will also help entrepreneurs identify and access the funding that best meets their needs. Entrepreneurs will be able to progress through the support programme at their own speed, drawing on the advice and help they need at each stage in their development.’


To sign up for the Bootcamp with Doug Richard, or to view a video about the event, go to www.bigfish4business.com. Places are said to be limited.