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.
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.
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.