A woman working at a laptop while holding a child on her lap

Dragon's Den challenge for enterprising residents

Sovereign Housing Association is investing more than £25k over the next year to offer free training and grant funding to support entrepreneurs already running their own businesses or looking to move into self-employment.

Available to all Sovereign residents, and anyone living on the Isle of Wight via the ‘Skills 4 Work’ programme, the seven-week training course involves high energy, interactive sessions to build confidence and skills in market research, finance, branding and marketing.

Beginning on 30th September, the online sessions run by Enterprise Cube will take residents through the key stages involved in setting up or growing a business, with advice and support from experienced entrepreneurs.

In addition to weekly live Zoom sessions, participants can also access one-to-one mentoring from experts, online learning resources, peer-to-peer networking, and take part in competitions with cash prizes.

The grant funding for business ideas of up to £1000 will be provided in partnership with the charity Charis.

Josh Rees, Employment and Training Officer for Sovereign, said: “In July, we celebrated the end of our first Strive Live programme in partnership with Enterprise Cube. The programme supported 24 people from Sovereign communities to plan, launch or grow their own small business, ending with a ‘Dragon's Den’ style event where the budding entrepreneurs pitched their businesses to win £100 prize money.”
Jamie Humphreys, who runs a furniture restoration business and took part in the first round of the course which finished in July, said: “I loved Strive and got so much from it. I'm now a bit lost with what to do on Tuesday mornings!”

Josh continued: “The pandemic has changed the way we work, and many people are looking for a change of direction or more flexibility. We want to support our customers to make that change. For more information, just contact us at employmentandtraining@sovereign.org.uk.”

Find out more about how resident Daynah accessed funding to spruce up her baby goods business website.