In the week that a national report has placed Milton Keynes in the top ten cities for business start-ups and productivity, MK Council has announced it is to invest a further £55,000 to support female entrepreneurs, having already committed £35,000.
The Council is providing the funding to the ‘Hubs Nesting Programme’ run by the Love Local Hub based in the Centre:MK. The Love Local team provide mentoring, support and a start-up space for female entrepreneurs, and a city centre showcase where business owners can highlight their products and services. The team have helped 50 new businesses in the last year through it’s ‘bootcamps’, many of which are now developing an online presence and even considering opening their own premises. The new funding will continue this support and bring new businesses onboard.
The Love Local Hub is part of the Council’s commitment to helping women get back into work, as research suggests they’ve been disproportionately affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, and have been almost twice as likely as men to lose their jobs through the crisis. The project falls within the Council’s £3.1m Economic Recovery Plan to support businesses and provide training to help local people find work.
Deputy Leader of MK Council, Cllr Robin Bradburn said: “The Love Local Hub has been fantastic in helping new businesses get up on their own feet and I’m delighted that we’re strengthening our partnership with them through this new funding. The pandemic has left many people struggling and we know women, and particularly those in the retail sector, have had it the toughest. It’s partnerships like these that will help us deliver a fair and prosperous recovery. I’d strongly encourage new businesses to get in touch to see how the Love Local Hub might be able to help them.”
Samantha Poole, co-founder of Incubation Nation and the Love Local Hub, said: “Through our continued support for women owned businesses within Milton Keynes and as part of the Covid recovery agenda, we are delighted to be able to offer our valuable business bootcamp courses in store, which makes our supportive and creative hub and shop more able to support women locally in developing and growing great businesses. The result is shoppers also get a great shopping experience and a chance to support local in a top 10 UK shopping centre.
“Our mission is to support women post-pandemic to achieve equal opportunities to grow their business successfully. With our mentoring programme and business bootcamps, women can confidently build and grow sustainable businesses whilst supporting their family and the economy.”
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