Oldham Means Business
Help is at hand for the next generation of Oldham entrepreneurs who want to get their businesses off the ground.
The Oldham Enterprise Fund is a local easy to access fund aimed at supporting both new and existing businesses based in the borough. It is now being relaunched with a £4 million fund and even more support than ever to offer local entrepreneurs. The package not only includes the opportunity to bid for funding in the form of low cost loans and small grants but also delivers high quality free business support before and after funding.
The fund is an innovative partnership between the Oldham Enterprise Trust, Oldham Council, the Business Growth Hub, Business Finance Solutions and People Plus – delivering a combination of funding and business support. Funding comes from both the Stoller Charitable Trust and Business Finance Solutions.
Between its launch in January 2013 and December 2016, the Oldham Enterprise Fund supported 100 businesses financially. Of these 100 successful applicants, 38 were given grants and 66 received loans – four people received both. The average grant is £3,789.21 and the average loan is £8,645.86.
This has led to the creation of 207 jobs, including 90 for people under the age of 25. Businesses helped so far include Smoke Yard, North Planet, Jack’s Smokehouse, Simply Treats and Aerial Focus to name a few. Grants are available for people under the age of 25 and low cost loans are available to those aged 25 and over. The fund is open to Oldham residents aged 16 and over and non-Oldham residents who will base their business in the borough for a minimum of 12 months.
Applicants are given a programme of free business support to help them prepare their application. Jean Stretton, Oldham Council Leader, said: “Since its launch in 2013 the fund has invested £732,367 in Oldham businesses, either in grants or loans. “This investment has led to hundreds of jobs being created and has boosted our local economy. The Oldham Enterprise Fund is a key part of our outstanding Get Oldham Working scheme.
“What’s also crucial is supporting our young people to reach their potential. That is what this fund has already done for so many and it will continue to do so. “But everyone should be able to do this no matter how old they are and that is why support is available for people of all ages.
“This fund supports Oldham, enterprise, employment and our young people.”
Further support is available whether the application is successful or not. Links are made to other national, regional, sectoral, and GM-wide funds.