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GC Business Growth Hub supporting the next generation of entrepreneurs to take on the world

GC Business Growth Hub has collaborated with the University of Salford and Santander Universities to make Greater Manchester the best place to start and grow a new business.

Opening in the University’s Peel Park campus in time for the new academic year, Launch @SalfordUni will host 20 businesses at a time, all benefitting from six months of advice and space to grow their ideas into fully fledged businesses.

The new incubator facility was unveiled at an event this week by Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham, alongside the Mayor of Salford Paul Dennett.

Part of this initiative includes GC Business Growth Hub’s comprehensive support package, Spark2Scale. This programme, already successfully delivered to Greater Manchester businesses, has been specifically designed for Launch @ SalfordUni to include workshops, expertise, action learning and 1-2-1 support.

Speaking at the event Mr Burnham said: “The jobs and investment that these businesses create will bring huge benefits, but it also brings a buzz to the place. There is a lot of positive energy around Greater Manchester at the moment, it’s a great place to live and study and we need to build on that, keep building it up. That is why this is so important to me, it’s putting real energy into the Greater Manchester economy.

“I remember back to my time at University we didn’t make it clear to students that they could start a business straight away. But with the modern economy that is fast moving that is definitely something they can do.”

Sam Grogan, Pro Vice-Chancellor Student Experience at the University of Salford said: “Through this new service, we are not only positively supporting student businesses, but we are also working collaboratively with industry partners to deliver support workshops, advice and mentorship for our participants, ensuring industry insight is at heart of our programmes.

“This new facility will provide physical space and ‘wrap around’ support and advice to inspire and help students and graduates develop the enterprise and entrepreneurial skills needed to start and grow their own businesses and social enterprises in Greater Manchester.”

Among the business ideas in the first cohort are an online boutique coffee retailer, a vegan food delivery service, mental health workshop delivery and a chemical recycler.

Sophie Graham is one of the ambitious students to have been selected to be able to use the facility. Her website Musicandgigs.co.uk has been running for a few years already and has covered huge music events such as BBC Big Weekend, Leeds Festival and Fusion Festival.

Sophie said: “It started as a hobby, it’s my passion really. It’s an entertainment website which showcases huge names alongside upcoming acts. We do reviews, exclusive interviews, new releases and exclusive music documentaries.

“I’m looking to branch out more nationally and I’d like to turn the hobby into something that pays the bills. We have big plans for the future, which is why this incubator will be so useful for me. I’m hoping to get some tips and ideas to really make it a success and I’m sure with the support of the University and the whole team I’ll be able to make it a success.”

Hilary Centeleghe, Senior Growth Manager at GC Business Growth Hub said, “The collaboration between GC Business Growth Hub and Launch@ Salford Uni is a perfect coming together to support start-up and business growth. It provides a secure and encouraging environment from which to grow a business from a fantastic incubator space. Greater Manchester has a proud history of entrepreneurs and we cannot wait to see this new generation flourish.”

Contact GC Business Growth Hub’s Enquiry Team today to find out about the range of support available to both new and established businesses 0161 359 3050 / BGH@growthco.uk.

To find out more about how to get involved with Launch@SalfordUni or for sponsorship opportunities contact Justyna Turner, Incubator Manager at enterprise@salford.ac.uk.

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