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Business Link outlines plans for future

A team of Enterprise Awareness Champions has begun work to develop a pipeline of future entrepreneurs by working with schools and community groups. Business Link has also increased its number of advisers by 50 per cent, is providing 28 specialists in sectors including creative, professional disciplines and rural business and has launched a new package of specially tailored business start-up workshops.

Under its new contract, which began last month, the Business Link service is being delivered by one regional provider. This would channel more resources into services for businesses when and where they need them, a spokesman said.

Pat Smith (pictured), chief executive of Business Link in the East of England, said: "By inspiring the next generation of future entrepreneurs, supporting ambitious start-ups and helping established businesses, the new-look Business Link service means it is hard to find a better place to start and run a business than Bedfordshire."

Businesses and entrepreneurs will benefit from a new Information and Intelligence Centre with 40 advisers which will act as the first port of call for information and support. It will allow companies to tap in to market research, company and competitor reports, business databases, and expert advice.

A team of nine full-time advisers, based in Luton, will also be on the road throughout the county.

Richard Ellis, chairman of the East of England Development Agency, said: "The Business Link service will establish a gateway through which individuals and small businesses will be able to find and access the right type of support for them.

"Business Link plays a pivotal role in ensuring we have a thriving regional economy by helping established and start up businesses to innovate and grow and by helping aspiring entrepreneurs to take their first steps."

Under the new contract, Business Link East will operate from locations throughout the region. The new service replaces the six county-based Business Link operations Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Essex, Hertfordshire, Norfolk and Suffolk.

For more information, telephone 08457 17 16 15 or visit www.businesslinkeast.org.uk.

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