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Business Creation Partnership

Partnership information



The Business Creation Partnership was created to address the problems and overcome the barriers that disadvantaged groups in Northamptonshire face in seeking employment. The entrepreneurial activity of setting up small businesses is a way of both creating employment and empowering disadvantaged individuals and communities. Recognising this, the DP has been piloting new ways of supporting the business creation process based on targeted research to identify the specific needs of these disadvantaged groups.


The vision of the project is to enable disadvantaged groups to play a full part in the social and economic success of Northamptonshire through the process of new business creation. The overall aim of the Business Creation Partnership is to develop, implement and evaluate new ways of providing effective business start up support to disadvantaged groups in Northamptonshire.

  • Develop a strategy for overcoming the obstacles confronted by each disadvantaged group in both urban and rural areas during business creation
  • Train a group of fully accredited business support mentors from within the disadvantaged communities and provide appropriate professional support
  • Enable the group of business support mentors to assist beneficiaries from disadvantaged communities in the process of business creation
  • Award beneficiaries with a Certificate in Enterprise and the corresponding Year 1 Foundation Degree credit thus enabling members of disadvantaged groups to continue with a Foundation Degree in Enterprise at The University of Northampton should they wish to enhance their position in the labour market
  • Undertake systematic evaluation of the outputs of the project, both in terms of new businesses created and new employment opportunities generated (hard outputs), and in terms of the development of the confidence, self-esteem and skills of the beneficiaries (soft outputs)
  • Develop the infrastructure that will underpin the process of business creation in disadvantaged communities, to include: i) new training material; ii) innovative access to this material using new web-based technologies and work-based learning; iii) the accreditation of business support mentors from the disadvantaged communities using existing DTI approved qualifications.
Target Groups
  • BME community
  • Ex-offenders
  • People living in the rural community
  • Women



Round 1 to Round 2

This Development Partnership was not involved in Round One.

Transnational partnerships


Maria Cabello, The University of Northampton, , Simon Denny, The University of Northampton,


Action 2: 30 June 2007
Action 3: 30 September 2007

Equal theme

Business creation


The Sunley Management Centre which is part of The University of Northampton has formed a partnership with the newly created Enterprise Solutions Northamptonshire (ESN) to deliver the Equal project. ESN is the trading name of the Northamptonshire Co-operative Development Agency (NCDA) and is an accredited Local Enterprise Agency. The NCDA has been supporting cooperatives in the county since 1981. Sunley Management Centre, also formed in 1981, has been delivering accredited corporate management development programmes through The University of Northampton. The Centre also has a reputation for supporting disadvantaged groups.


BME groups, Ex-offenders, Rural communities, Women
Total beneficiaries: 157

Intended impact/ sustainability

The DP has set up Business Support Northamptonshire which will supersede the Equal project to offer the same degree of support after the present funding stream ceases. Individual beneficiaries will receive a business qualification while on the project, adding to their portfolio of skills and providing the option for further study, should they wish to pursue this.

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