AN innovative pilot business support programme, EnterprisingYou, has been making waves in Tameside, helping self-employed individuals thrive and contribute to the local economy.
Launched in 2019 by the Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) and funded by the Department for Education (DfE), EnterprisingYou has added over £12.7 million in business revenue to self-employed workers across Greater Manchester.
This fully funded business support service offers a comprehensive range of resources, including workshops, coaching, and health and wellbeing support. Its aim is to empower and uplift self-employed and gig economy workers in the region. So far, over 3,000 participants have benefitted from EnterprisingYou, creating a positive ripple effect across the Greater Manchester community.
One inspiring success story is that of Ngwafu Tansie, owner of Gwafuvegan, a Droylsden-based business specialising in affordable vegan West African food.
Tansie joined the EnterprisingYou programme to take her business to new heights. Reflecting on her experience, she said, “The focused approach, the expert business coach support, and the quality of the courses you have access to are second to none, and you always have someone you can contact to help whenever you need.”
EnterprisingYou was conceived to address the challenges faced by the self-employed workforce, as highlighted in a stark report by the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) in 2018. Despite their significant contribution of over £270 billion to the UK economy in 2017, the self-employed often struggled with fiscal and financial challenges. The programme specifically targets Greater Manchester residents with earnings below £27,000, providing much-needed support and resources.
Yvonne Sampson, Head of Enterprise at GC Business Growth Hub, emphasised the importance of helping self-employed workers thrive. “Programmes like EnterprisingYou offer help and support and are designed in a way that people will eventually be able to stand on their own. We’re really proud to have helped thousands of self-employed people in Greater Manchester to succeed,” Sampson said.
The programme’s success has been remarkable, leading to two extensions since its inception. Alongside the impressive £12.7 million in added business revenue, EnterprisingYou participants saw a reduction of £663,246 in benefits claimed and a substantial £4.7 million increase in businesses’ profitability. As the impact of the “cost-of-living crisis” continues to be felt, initiatives like EnterprisingYou are making a real difference in communities across the UK.
To celebrate three years of EnterprisingYou and its triumphs, GC Business Growth Hub hosted an event at Manchester’s historic Midland Hotel. The event brought together alumni, representatives from Greater Manchester’s local authorities, universities, and all those involved in delivering the programme. Talks led by Andy Burnham and the EnterprisingYou team highlighted the vital role the programme played in unlocking opportunities for the Greater Manchester self-employed workforce.
Looking forward, EnterprisingYou remains committed to supporting self-employed workers across Greater Manchester. With its potential for national expansion, the programme could make a profound impact, adding £136.7 million to self-employed business revenues and increasing self-employed business profits by at least £50.6 million.
As EnterprisingYou continues to uplift entrepreneurs and drive economic growth, it stands as a shining example of how targeted business support can empower individuals and communities alike. For those interested in learning more about EnterprisingYou and the help it provides to self-employed individuals in Manchester, visit their website at [enterprising-you.co.uk](https://www.enterprising-you.co.uk/).