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Home » AD FEATURE: EnterprisingYou Unleashes The Potential Of Greater Manchester’s Self Employed Workforce

AD FEATURE: EnterprisingYou Unleashes The Potential Of Greater Manchester’s Self Employed Workforce

An innovative programme that’s unleashed the potential of thousands of self employed workers in Great Manchester has been hailed a “fantastic experience” by one of its leaders.

EnterprisingYou – a Government-backed and commissioned by GMCA, fully-funded pilot designed to equip self-employed workers and those in the gig economy with the tools, knowledge and confidence to drive their businesses forward – has achieved astonishing results since its launch back in 2020.

During that time more than 3,000 people tapped into EnterprisingYou, part of wider support delivered by GC Business Growth Hub, receiving one-to-one business support, Health & Wellbeing, personal financial advice, personal development courses, (and more).

Despite the dual challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic and the Cost of Living crisis, 86% reported improved or stable turnover; 89% saw a rise or stable profitability and 72% a decreased risk of business failure. What’s more, almost all said they developed key skills, maintained or increased business confidence and were extremely satisfied with the support they received.

The result? The value of benefits claimed significantly decreased amongst programme completers – 13% no longer claim benefits. This reduction saved local services £700,314 in benefits paid out. If applied nationally, EnterprisingYou has the potential to save the public purse millions of pounds.

It’s the sort of feedback that delights Yvonne Sampson, head of enterprise at GC Business Growth Hub.

Footballing twins Adam and Jack Dunkerley are EnterprisingYou alumni “The statistics speak for themselves, and you can’t argue with testimonials – and we have masses of case studies,” she said. “We’ve got some fantastic stories, like the two brothers with a football coaching business – and now they have contracts internationally. EY supported the self-employed and freelancers who just wanted to earn a decent living to those who had aspirations to grow and scale up and have really flown.

“We have supported who are people who have come off benefits, which is a massive personal achievement for them.”

One of the strengths of EnterprisingYou has been a team dedicated to helping a diverse set of clients: the programme has seen hairdressers and those from the sports, hospitality, and creative sectors amongst its alumni.

Yvonne said: “I’m very proud of the whole team, it truly has been a fantastic experience. The team was passionate about it and very committed. It was literally in their DNA.”

Nimble approach For Yvonne, the close-knit team is just one of the standouts of a programme originally designed to be client facing.

“I think what’s also been remarkable is that EnterprisingYou was launched two weeks before Lockdown,” she said. “It was very much going to be out in the community and face to face, making those connections. Ironically, moving it to a virtual offer suited the self-employed far better at the time.”

That nimble approach – face to face, virtual and then hybrid – has allowed the programme to develop in other ways, too.

EnterprisingYou’s third anniversary celebrations “We adapted the training as to meet the clients‘ needs over the whole programme – so social media became a very big area that people wanted to know more about,” said Yvonne.

“We did podcasting, in the new programme we’re going to look at AI so we are sort of moving along with the times. I think its uniqueness is that because it was a pilot we really were able to listen to the clients and adapt and tweak and change over the three years that we’ve been offering it.”

EnterprisingYou continues to support its alumni, as Yvonne explained: “You come through the programme but we are not forgetting you. We’ve got a newsletter to keep that connection with you and networking events and taster sessions.”

Moving forward Whilst the EnterprisingYou pilot ends this month, support for the self-employed is still very much at the fore for GC Business Growth Hub with other support packages available.

Yvonne said: “We’re still here and we’re still here to give support to the self-employed and freelancers, but also we are here to support businesses that want to grow.”

To find out more about the programme’s impact, visit EnterprisingYou’s website.

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