A new multi-million-pound business start-up programme has today been launched in Cornwall.

The £7 million Breakthrough scheme is the largest funded business start-up programme ever to be launched in Cornwall, designed to support people in the Duchy to explore how to turn their business ideas into a viable opportunity.

Its goal is to help create 1,000 new businesses in Cornwall before the end of 2018.

Delivered by business support specialist Oxford Innovation in partnership with Unlocking Potential, the ERDF-funded programme will act as a catalyst to support a diverse range of new Cornish businesses from micro and lifestyle through to innovative, high-growth businesses with the potential to develop national and international markets.

Delivered through a series of regular, fully-funded, two-day workshops running throughout the county, Breakthrough’s programme provides a mix of one-to-one coaching for delegates with highly experienced business coaches and specialist mentors, follow on support, ongoing workshops and peer-to-peer support.

A series of evening and weekend courses will also be delivered through the programme with over 200 people having already signed up to Breakthrough.

Oxford Innovation’s Breakthrough programme manager, Sarah Wilkinson, said: “Securing this funding is absolutely fantastic news for Cornwall and the business support landscape here.

“The Breakthrough programme is not there to preach or tell people what they should be doing. Instead, it has been designed to cultivate natural capability by sharing knowledge and practical experience, instilling confidence to turn ideas into excellent new businesses, and facilitating and enabling that through a range of dedicated, tailored support.”

Key to the Breakthrough programme are the team of business coaches and development managers who between them have a wealth of skills and commercial experience built up at senior levels, nationally and internationally across a diverse range of industry sectors.

According to Unlocking Potential programme director, Allyson Glover, Breakthrough provides a springboard that is set to create thousands of new jobs and generate many millions of pounds in new revenue here in Cornwall.

“We believe that the lives of people in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly can be transformed through this programme and Breakthrough is there to kick start a new generation of dynamic growth businesses in the county.

“We’ve got ambitious targets but already, we’ve seen some really fantastic commercial ideas and early stage businesses that clearly demonstrate how much potential and talent there is right here in Cornwall.”

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