The idea behind the bursary scheme at BG Futures is to provide support to people who have a business vision but lack the funds needed to get their idea off the ground.
The cost of the rent, which would usually be around £1,300 for six months, includes utilities, furnishing, a phone line and talk-time, broadband and parking. It is hoped that once businesses have been running for six months they will be able to pay their rent themselves.
Mark Bowen, Enterprise Development Manager at BG, said: “We want to make sure that individuals with a stellar idea for a business can make a go of it with our support regardless of their background. It’s about giving everyone an equal chance.
“The gist of the scheme is simple: give financial support and mentoring to get aspiring, local entrepreneurs on the first rung of the ladder.
“This is the perfect chance for someone with vision to be their own boss.
“We would really like to reach into those communities and groups that are not traditionally associated with being in business such as those from disadvantaged backgrounds and areas in the city such as Glebe, Park and Minster wards, as well as eastern European nationals, unemployed people and people with disabilities.”
Entrepreneur Marianne Keeler (47) is the first lucky recipient of the bursary for her business Aspire Consulting and Training. The company offers training for ASDAN qualifications in areas such as community volunteering and the training is targeted at people who are struggling to get on the job ladder and need help improving their skills to make them more employable.
Funding for Aspire comes through organisations such as Addaction, the Department for Work and Pensions and the Mental Illness Prevention Fund.
“Without this bursary there is no way I could have afforded to start my business,” said Marianne, who has been unemployed for six months after her previous employment contract came to an end.
“I had absolutely no money to start a business, but I had an idea of what I wanted to do after working in the training sector for a number of years. This is a blessing and one I am very pleased to have received.”
The Lincoln businessman who is funding the bursaries scheme wishes to remain anonymous.
If you would like to apply for a bursary contact Mark Bowen at BG Futures by calling 01522 583727 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org