Support aims to boost impact ventures across the eastern region

The CEO of Greater Cambridge Greater Peterborough Enterprise Partnership (LEP) Neil Darwin, visits T

The CEO of Greater Cambridge Greater Peterborough Enterprise Partnership (LEP) Neil Darwin, visits TRB Lightweight Structures, Huntingdon, as part of their National Apprenticeship Week, - Credit: Archant

An advice service for social and environmental ventures has been set up in an attempt to get businesses to view the EU referendum result as an opportunity rather than a challenge.

The free-to-access support, coined Serious Impact, has been launched by charitable organisation Allia, in an aim to inspire entrepreneurship, drive growth and create sustainable ventures.

Caroline Hyde, director of workspace and enterprise support at Allia, says: “Entrepreneurs flourish in times of uncertainty and change. This is because people are more open to new ideas, technologies and ways of working than they are when the economy is stable. While Brexit will undoubtedly mean a period of uncertainty for everyone, we also believe it is possible for local impact ventures to create positives out of the negatives. Serious Impact will help entrepreneurs to understand and prepare for all of the challenges and opportunities of running successful ventures, including those that will arise out of Brexit.”

Since 2013 Allia has supported 400 potential entrepreneurs, start-ups and early stage social and environmental impact ventures, which in turn have created 240 new jobs. Many of these ventures are flourishing; winning awards and investment whilst also creating the impact they intended.

Chief executive of the Greater Cambridgeshire Greater Peterborough LEP, Neil Darwin, pictured, said in support: “The high-quality free advice and more offered via the Serious Impact programme means that local entrepreneurs will be equipped to cope with the issues or changes that Brexit will throw at them, whatever they may be.”

The service will operate from Allia’s Future Business Centres in Cambridge and Peterborough but is available to pre-start, start-up or SMEs

throughout the eastern region.

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To run the programme Allia has recieved £1.7million of funding from a mix of sources including the European Regional Development Fund, Peterborough City Council and Allia itself.