Beat the recession by being creative

Amid the difficulties of recession-hit Stoke-on-Trent, there are still numerous opportunities for budding entrepreneurs to start a successful business.

Schemes set-up by Midland Heart, and more prominently BizFizz before that, give local people with talent and ideas, any advice and support they need to create their own business.

Midland Heart is one of the UK’s leading housing associations and their Enterprise and Partnerships Co-ordinator, Carolyn Powell, said it had created numerous opportunities.

Carolyn, 55, who also ran the BizFizz project for five years, said

I started BizFizz in 2006 as a general approach to helping people start their own businesses.

During our five years, we were supported by Midland Heart and we helped to start-up more than 100 new businesses.

Carolyn also insisted that the recession shouldn’t put people off trying to start their own business. She continued

It changes people’s approach – they may be a bit more cautious. But it doesn’t change how we offer support.

Some fantastic businesses start up during hard times. You just need to have that unique aspect and that is down to how much research you do.

Carolyn’s work is mainly focused on Burslem, and on creating links between local people and businesses because “that’s what communities are all about.” Another Midland Heart scheme: ‘Home, Live, Work’, looks at housing people in the area while also helping them to develop their own business.

Carolyn explains

We’ve created accommodation in Burslem. It is specifically aimed at people who want to work from home – creative and start-up companies in particular.

There is a wealth of untapped potential in Stoke-on-Trent, Carolyn believes, and the chance is there for people to become financially independent, even if they don’t know it yet.

Carolyn added

There is great talent all over Stoke-on-Trent.

Local people always have skills and ideas, which could be turned into a new business. I would encourage people to research an idea. Find out as much as you can about what you want to do, because there might be a chance that you never thought existed.


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