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New enterprise programme to bring recovery and growth for Portsmouth’s start-up businesses

March 10, 2022

Start-up and growing businesses in Portsmouth can now benefit from a new intensive enterprise programme delivered by YTKO. The Outset Start & Grow Programme is funded by Portsmouth City Council through the UK Community Renewal Fund. It supports micro businesses across the city to take up the new opportunities emerging following the COVID-19 pandemic.

The enterprise programme is designed to fill a critical gap in support available for pre-start entrepreneurs and early-stage micro businesses in Portsmouth. The city has been one of the hardest hit by the pandemic with small micro businesses particularly impacted by the lockdown restrictions. Unemployment in the city rose by 130% with figures for young people exceeding a 170% increase.

The Community Renewal Fund seeks to promote community resilience and pilot new approaches to support both businesses and people through innovative projects and is available until mid 2022.

Support includes information sessions, training workshops, online learning, mentoring, networking and peer support to help businesses gain the business skills and tools they need for sustainable growth and to create new jobs. A grant scheme provides direct assistance to enable people to invest in vital services and equipment that will help grow their businesses, create new jobs (including an Internship Scheme), install new technology and expand into new markets.

The support is delivered through Outset Start & Grow, which aims to help individuals thinking of setting up their own business and becoming self-employed as well as small businesses who have been trading for less than three years, with less than ten employees.

Councillor Ben Dowling, Cabinet Member for Culture, Leisure and Economic Development at Portsmouth City Council said: “YTKO’s Outset Start & Grow Programme is a fantastic innovative project set to boost skills and business in Portsmouth.  I urge our start up and small businesses to take full advantage of this programme in order to build resilience and grow.”

Lee Hughes, Deputy Chief Executive Officer for YTKO said: “We are delighted to have been selected to deliver this comprehensive start-up and growth support package which has never been delivered anywhere in the UK before. With over 40 years of experience, helping over 7,000 entrepreneurs start sustainable new businesses and helping over 22,000 companies to grow through our publicly funded work, YTKO is ideally placed to help Portsmouth businesses thrive.”

Portsmouth entrepreneurs and companies have until the end of June 2022 to engage with the Outset Start & Grow programme and can find out more by visiting

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