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Giving entrepreneurs a HeadStart in Ashfield

Posted onPosted on 11th Apr

More than 175 entrepreneurs in Ashfield have enrolled on a programme offered by Nottingham Trent University (NTU) to help them establish and grow a successful business.

The HeadStart programme, which runs until 31st March in 2026, offers intensive coaching and mentoring to potential and existing entrepreneurs.

It covers key elements such as developing a business idea, establishing a target audience, marketing, and maintaining profitability.

Entrepreneurs will map out the first year of their business with support from NTU and will benefit from £1,000 funding on completion of the programme.

HeadStart forms part of NTU’s Enterprising Ashfield project, which is funded by Ashfield District Council’s successful Government Towns Fund bid.

Lindsay Bray, director at FUEL, said: “The HeadStart programme helped take my passion for health and fitness, and shape it into a fully-formed business, offering healthy meal plans. It helped me build my confidence as an entrepreneur and the support from the enterprise team was above and beyond what I expected, and it has been a huge part of helping my business grow.”

Out of the 175 people who have enrolled in HeadStart so far, more than 78 have completed the programme.

The NTU team also provides support at Ashfield DWP job centres as part of the project.

In addition to HeadStart, NTU is providing free skills courses and a follow up Growth strand, which helps businesses develop a one-year strategic growth plan and also offers access to further funding and support.

Richard Ladipo, who helps to lead the HeadStart programme for NTU Enterprise, added: “The response to our HeadStart programme has been fantastic. We have been supporting an incredibly diverse range of businesses, from areas such as manufacturing, therapy services, digital marketing, robotics, education, and more.”

Anyone living in the Towns Fund area in Ashfield who is interested in the HeadStart programme can go to