Boosting business capacity through Oldham Enterprise Trust – Oldham Council

Posted on 9th July, 2014

What is the Oldham Enterprise Trust?

The Oldham Enterprise Trust (sometimes referred to as a Fund) is an innovative co-operative partnership between the Oldham Business Leadership Group, Oldham Council, the Business Growth Hub, Business Finance Solutions and Blue Orchid that delivers a combined funding and business support offer unique to Oldham.The Trust was established in July 2013 and is a competitive fund that looks to support sustainable business and business growth ideas. The Trust will boost the Borough’s next generation of entrepreneurs by giving them a ‘hand up’ to help them get start-up businesses and self-employment ventures up and running. The Trust has already received a £1 million launch donation from local businessman Norman Stoller CBE, who gifted funding from the Stoller Charitable Trust.

How does it hope to make a difference?

The trust fund aims to achieve the following:

  • Supporting enterprise and entrepreneurialism in young people.
  • Supporting the creation of job opportunities for young people
  • Supporting new and existing businesses
  • Supporting the aims and ambitions of Get Oldham Working

How does it work?

This is a competitive Trust, driven by local business leaders working co-operatively, that will offer direct funding support as well as linking successful applicants in to a wide range of other funding sources. It is focussed very much on Oldham, on enterprise, and on creating jobs – particularly jobs for Oldham’s young people. It supports viable business propositions with the potential to add value to the Borough and bring about lasting benefits for residents.

The key roles of the fund are that it:

  • Provides loans (on average £5,000) and small grants (on average £1,000 – primarily targeted at 16 and 17 year olds) to sucessful applicants.
  • Is available to all aged 16 and above who are residents of, or students in, OMBC; or are willing to locate their business within OMBC for a minimum of 12 months
  • Provides links to funding sources; Start Up Loans, New Enterprise Allowance, Regional, Growth Fund and NW Loan Fund to improve the Oldham take up of these national and regional funds with the fund as an additional source as required.
  • Links funding with expert business support to give applicants the best chance of success both pre and post application

Applicants are given a programme of high quality, free business support to help them prepare their funding application for an assessment panel. Additional business, funding and finance support is also available once the application stage has been completed.

Why is it important?

The fund is an integral part of the Get Oldham Working (GOW) initiative which brings Oldham Council together with partners across all sectors in a bid to create 2,015 new work-related opportunities by 2015. By working together, and with everybody acting across the public and private sectors, everyone is able to make a positive difference and reap the benefits of stimulating and supporting business growth across the borough. The fund is about encouraging innovation and enterprise amongst the residents of Oldham, in particular young people. For Oldham’s economy to change and prosper it is vital that the right support –  both advice and financial – is available. The fund works to deliver this support and will be key in helping to unlock people’s talent, ideas and potential as well as helping the economy in Oldham to grow.

For further information please visit the following link: http://www.oblg.org.uk/the-oblg-oldham-enterprise-fund/