Business support programme helps Rochdale’s self-employed

Date published: 03 August 2023

An innovative pilot business support programme has added over £12.7m in business revenue to self-employed workers across Greater Manchester.

EnterprisingYou is a fully funded business support service that offers a mixture of workshops, coaching, health and wellbeing support to self-employed and gig economy workers across the region.

Since launch, EnterprisingYou has had a positive impact on over 3,000 participants and the wider Greater Manchester community it has supported, from boosting the local economy, driving business growth and empowering self-employed workers.

Rochdale-born twins Adam and Jack Dunkerley created their business Calculated Performance, a football coaching company offering high-quality, professional, and private one-to-one coaching for aspiring footballers.

Their company currently works with over 200 players every week, including semi-pro and professional players such Manchester City W.F.C and England forward Georgia Stanway, Manchester United W.F.C Captain Katie Zelem and Huddersfield Town captain Lewis O'Brien.

Despite their wealth of knowledge about football coaching, the twins needed more targeted business support.

Adam Dunkerley, football coach and EnterprisingYou participant, said: “At first, when we clicked, I didn’t believe all that was available. I thought there would be a seven-day trial and then we'd have to pay for this or that. I just couldn’t believe all that information, resources and support was available for free.

“The overwhelming amount of information, courses and workshops that are available for free. We have never come across anything like it. We’ve come across other websites and other schemes, but you don’t get half as much access or information as you do with the EnterprisingYou scheme.”

EnterprisingYou was launched in 2019 to combat the issues raised in a stark report in 2018 from the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB). The report found that despite the over 4 million-strong self-employed workforce contributing over £270 billion to the UK economy in 2017, they were often at the sharp end of the nation’s fiscal and financial challenges.

The programme works with self-employed Greater Manchester residents who have earnings of less than £27,000.

Yvonne Sampson, Head of Enterprise, GC Business Growth Hub, said: “The UK has a proud tradition of self-employed workers. We just want to make sure that tradition continues.

“Many were already struggling, but the pandemic magnified those issues. Programmes like EnterprisingYou offer help and support and are designed in a way that people will eventually be able to stand on their own.

“We’re really proud to have helped thousands of self-employed people in Greater Manchester to succeed.”

Extended twice due to its success, the pilot programme was commissioned by the Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA), with funding from the Department for Education (DfE).

Alongside the millions in revenue added by the self-employed, the Insight Report shows the programme’s 3,000 participants saw a £663,246 reduction in benefits claimed and a £4.7m increase in businesses profitability.

EnterprisingYou is still working to help self-employed workers across Greater Manchester - find out more here.

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