Hampshire Now - your County Council magazine

Supporting Hampshire's entrepreneurs

Thursday, 27 March 2014

Over 100 businesses in Hampshire are attending a special event being held by Hampshire County Council on Thursday 27 March from 5-7pm at the Great Hall in Winchester to celebrate two new schemes designed to support entrepreneurs in Hampshire.

New networking opportunities and practical workshops for entrepreneurs will be available through the Hampshire Enterprise Circle, which the County Council is formally launching on 1 April. The Hampshire Enterprise Circle will replace the Hampshire Ambassadors Network which has been running for over 18 years, has over 1,400 members, and facilitates over 200 company visits to key Hampshire employers. The Circle will:

  • provide a forum to increase networking amongst small Hampshire-based businesses
  • establish a business forum which provides SMEs with the opportunity to give the Economic Development Office their views on current local and national issues facing the business community
  • develop market opportunities amongst network members
  • facilitate business development through practical workshops.

In addition, the Hampshire Investors in Young People Award will be launched to recognise and raise the profile of employers who are committed to supporting young people in Hampshire, and who are working with the County Council to inspire and support the workforce of the future.

Leader of Hampshire County Council, Councillor Roy Perry, said: "The event is an excellent opportunity to inform entrepreneurs and businesses about our two new schemes and celebrate business in Hampshire. We want to continue to grow the network and by re-energising our established brand, we can ensure we are still helping hundreds of business strive for excellence and develop their own best practice procedures.

"During the evening, we'll also be hearing from young people who will be sharing stories about how they started out in their careers. Today;s labour market is a challenging place for young people, and although in Hampshire, youth unemployment rates compare favourably with national and local figures, there is still more we can do to help them with their first step into further education, employment or training.

"Our new corporate Youth Investment Programme is giving 1000 young people access to apprenticeship and training opportunities at Hampshire County Council over the next five years. Our Careers and Employability Service also provides careers information, advice and guidance and a range of work related learning opportunities to schools and colleges. It aims ensure that young people are aware of the opportunities available to them, are able to build their knowledge of the labour market, and develop the skills that employers need.

"The Hampshire Investors in Youth People Award will help us develop more innovative ways to support young people in gaining the skills they need to move from education to employment, and also help local employers access a committed and enthusiastic workforce with the right skills to help their businesses grow."

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