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Making your business idea a reality

Lancashire is a vibrant hub of innovation and is home to countless successful businesses of all shapes and sizes, covering all sectors.

The county is a place where creative minds and investment come together to create new and exciting business opportunities. But in today’s economy launching, growing and sustaining a business can be hard, so how do you find the support you need?

Whether you’re a start-up, a growing business, an entrepreneur with an idea or an investor looking to provide funding, connecting with the right people can be difficult.

As Lancashire’s business growth hub, Boost plays a central role in supporting and leading companies towards the assistance and the guidance needed to grow and develop.

The latest figures show that Boost has helped almost 3,500 business in the county to access business support. This support has helped create an estimated 750 new jobs across Lancashire since January 2016.

There are hundreds of business people across Lancashire who have stories to tell about their journey in business, how they got to where they are and who helped them along the way.  These include:

  • LYPH, a Lancaster-based fashion design company which has opened up new international markets thanks to Growth Mentoring support.
  • Batchbrew, a Burnley based gin distillery that fulfilled its biggest order and forecasted a turnover increase of over 300 per cent after successfully applying for a £20,000 Rosebud loan through Access to Finance.
  • Chorley-based School Mailings, an education sector marketing agency which has increased profits by 36 per cent, increased turnover by 16 per cent and created four new jobs thanks to the Growth Mentoring programme.

Venturefest North West, the region’s biggest annual information event, has also been created to facilitate these connections and provide an environment that encourages collaboration and creativity.

Promising inspirational speakers and interactive workshops the event – formerly Venturefest Manchester – is in its fifth year and is set to be the biggest yet with an expanded regional focus.

One of the centrepieces is the annual Innovation Showcase Competition which is aimed at SME’s who could have the chance to pitch their idea to an audience of potential investors to win a package of support provided by the professional community.

There are four categories to enter into – product innovation, service innovation, digital innovation and innovative established business, and businesses are invited to enter more than one.

One of last year’s winners was Manchester-based Beatstream Media, which has developed a live music streaming mobile app and counts former Inspiral Carpets keyboardist and DJ Clint Boon as its Director of Music.

Held on September 13th, 2018 at Manchester Central, the event will also host an exhibition and offer a number of networking opportunities.

You can register your attendance or enter the Innovation Showcase Competition for free at www.venturefestnorthwest.com.