Supporting people not in work or employment to build businesses & social enterprises. All round business start up support for people not in work or employment,
Problem addressed and the context which triggered the introduction of the practice.
Working closely with 3 main partners also working on the project; Winchester University, Surrey Community Action and Community Action Hampshire, Inspiring Enterprise provides specialist support, helping people that are not earning to set up their own business or become self-employed.
How does the practice reach its objectives and how it is implemented?
To reach the targets set by our funders the project needed a steady stream of enquiries. This is achieved by concentrating on our relationships with organisations that deal with unemployed people such as Job Centres and Job Clubs, single parent’s hubs and mental health organisations.

Main stakeholders and beneficiaries of the practice.
Our main stakeholders include the Department for Work and pensions, (Job Centres), Charities (single parents, mental health).
Our beneficiaries are those individuals who are unemployed and economically inactive

Resources needed

Funding: Phase one was 2016-2018, £1.4M funded by BLF/ESF extended in 2019-2021: £1.4M BLF/ESF.
Staff Resources: Programme Manager, 8 outbound staff, 5 admin staff plus Finance & IT support
Enquiries/Referrals needed to meet targets: achieved by building successful network of stakeholder contacts

Evidence of success

Target 2016-18: 500, achieved: 504, extension: target 388
Success attributed to good governance, collaboration with partners, stakeholders & feeder organisations, good management and meeting a need in the population.
Gaining buy-in and active support/endorsement from EM3 Local Enterprise Partnership
Adopting methodical approach to organisations, rate of enquiries increased; 2017 c100 enquiries, improving to 350 in 2018 and 450 in 2019.
Considered one of the most successful programmes.

Difficulties encountered

Apart from working more with feeder organisations like Job Centres IE originally struggled to attract economically inactive people (e.g. returning Carers etc.). A Facebook advertising campaign helped generate more enquiries from target group and the charities working with them

Potential for learning or transfer

Self-employment is often the only or most preferred option for people to work and make a living. People with caring responsibilities, mental health issues, disabilities, etc may be unable to work 9-5, 7 days a week.
However, it is very tough to start your own business. Projects like this support people to consider self-employment, teach them the business basics, give them the confidence and to start and motivation to carry on.
Rather than advertising the support in general or via business support channels, it is important to work with other organisations who are already in close contact with the target group. Investing time in developing relevant networks is half the job done and you can concentrate on bring the benefit there where it is needed.
Main institution
WSX Enterprise
Hampshire and Isle of Wight,
Start Date
November 2016
End Date
March 2021


Julia  Pearson Please login to contact the author.