|A highly-successful business incubator is encouraging local entrepreneurs who want to see their businesses take shape to apply for a place on its innovative start-up programme.|
|InCube Creative, run by Renfrewshire Council and developed by Invest in Renfrewshire, supports creative businesses by providing free practical advice across areas including ecommerce, social media, website set-up, and self-development.
Over the last four years, the business development programme has supported 50 talented entrepreneurs working across retail, fashion, textiles, jewellery and crafting – and the team is now calling for dynamic designers and artists to get involved in the next round of workshops, starting in September.
Applications are open to entrepreneurs who are based in Renfrewshire, or are considering setting up in Renfrewshire, and who can commit to attending the core programme for two days each week.
Milliner Susie Rodgers is one of the nine individuals currently completing the programme.
Susie said: “InCube has been a fantastic help and has encouraged me to focus on where my business is going.
“The ‘build a website in a day’ session was invaluable, and I know that what I’ve learned will be great for my business going forward.
“There’s so much to do in running your own business and InCube really helps you to focus in on your ideas and bring them to life.”
Entrepreneurs who gain a place on the programme receive a package of free business advice, free office space, and up to nine months free IT support.
They also receive specialist support to develop ecommerce and online trading facilities, training to enhance their business and entrepreneurship skills, space to sell their creations, and on completion of the programme, a grant to help boost their business.
Cindy Robb, economic development co-ordinator at InCube, said: “We’ve been really impressed by the creativity and innovation shown by this year’s businesses.
“The entrepreneurs come to us with a lot of dynamism and great ideas, and we help them to focus in on what they want to get out of their business.
“Our programme equips businesses owners with skills that prepare them for the future, and help them stand out from the competition.”
Renfrewshire Council leader Iain Nicolson said: “For the last four years, InCube has provided start-up businesses from all over Renfrewshire with invaluable help and support.
“We’re very proud of our cultural and artistic heritage in Renfrewshire and we want creative businesses to continue to choose Renfrewshire as their home.
“Creative businesses are a very important to our economy, and I’m looking forward to seeing the progress of the next group of InCube participants.”
InCube is funded by Renfrewshire Council with support from the European Regional Development Fund.
The closing date for applications is Monday 12 August.
Candidates will be invited to pitch on Friday 23 August and the successful individuals will be notified from Monday 26 August.
The induction programme will begin on 9 September.
For more information visit www.incube.ren/incube-competition-2019
Case study – Rosie Little
The InCube programme has helped local knitter Rosie Little, develop her business, Knitting on Cloud Nine.
Inspired by her aunts, Rosie started knitting as a child – and now runs her own business introducing children and adults to the therapeutic benefits of mindful knitting and crochet.
Rosie’s classes develop knitting and textile skills, and workshops include giant arm knitting, upcycling, and eco knitting. She also runs one-to-one sessions and produces her own range of knitted necklaces.
Rosie is also developing a programme of retreat days where people can relax and unwind, while learning new skills.
As a creative entrepreneur, Rosie believes that InCube’s holistic approach to developing a business has really helped her develop ideas.
She said: “I can reach cloud nine through knitting. I’m passionate about sharing my skills and introducing people to the therapeutic benefits of the craft.
“The sessions equipped me with so much more knowledge of the technical aspects of running my own business, and that has really helped my confidence.
“The team provides fantastic support, and all of the graduates are going through the same process. It’s great being part of the InCube family.”