Tel: 01623 707017
We've Got Mansfield, Ashfield & Sherwood Covered


Budding entrepreneurs given head start at new networking events!

Posted onPosted on 28th Sep

More than 30 people on business start-up programme HeadStart took part in the first of a series of new networking events in Kirkby to find out more about support on offer in the area.

From tattoo studios to designers, and catering companies to digital marketing agencies, new businesses had the chance to hear from those who have already taken the leap and started their own concerns, as well as discuss ways to build the network into a supportive community.

Event organiser Richard Ladipo, who leads the HeadStart programme as part of the wider Enterprising Ashfield project, said after the event at the Summit Centre: “This was a great opportunity to get a group of entrepreneurial people together in a room to work out ways to collaborate and support one another as they start out on what can sometimes be a lonely and challenging journey — starting your own business.

“By running events like this we hope to create network to share ideas, tips and events.”

Many attendees have already completed the HeadStart programme, which offers a £1,000 grant to help with start-up costs, while others are just starting out.

Jennifer Hannon, who recently started her own Sports Massage company, Active Release Therapy, with support from the project, said: “This has opened up loads more doors of opportunity.

“Just having the chance to talk to other small businesses and new start-ups is amazing.

“As a sole trader it’s often hard to know what’s out there. So it’s great to have the chance to discuss ideas with people and try to help others when we all might be facing the same challenges.”

HeadStart is part of Enterprising Ashfield, which is being delivered by Nottingham Trent University as part of Ashfield District Council’s successful Government Towns Fund bid.

The project offers free courses to increase skills, guidance on how to start a business, and support to established businesses looking to grow, innovate, and scale up.
It also provides existing businesses with funding and advice to recruit talented graduates and embed apprentices in their business.

Full details can be found at

The next event will be held on Wednesday, 13th December.  If you are interested in finding out more about the HeadStart programme and the next networking meeting, get in touch at [email protected]