This year has been interesting and unexpected to say the least. We’ve seen businesses close and thousands of staff placed on furlough, but we’ve also seen new businesses launch and more people looking to broaden their skillset and explore new avenues of employment.

With this in mind, Focus Carmarthen Enterprise Hub has teamed up with Tramshed Tech to launch a new, online series for businesses in the very early stages of trading, aimed specifically at those in Carmarthenshire and Pembrokeshire. The Startup Academy is a free, 12-week business accelerator programme, where attendees will work with a cohort to share ideas, local challenges and best practices in order to develop and grow their business model.

The programme will cover the key challenges of setting up a business and will support individuals to develop a business plan, ready to present at an Investor Readiness Event. Sessions will take place every Thursday from 17th September to 26th November.

The Startup Academy was originally launched at the Focus Newtown Enterprise Hub in late 2019, before Covid-19. With 15 individuals all in the very early stages of their business, feedback was overwhelmingly positive. Seeing its success and recognising the need for this kind of event in West Wales; the teams at Focus Carmarthen Enterprise Hub and Tramshed Tech made the decision to launch the next series of the programme. Due to the pressures of lockdown and with the Hub currently closed, it has been decided that the Academy course will be held virtually in order to support as many small business owners as possible.

Angharad Harding, Hub Manager at Focus Carmarthen Enterprise Hub, said:

“2020 has proved to be an extremely challenging year for many of us and now more than ever, we feel it’s important to assist small businesses in the Carmarthenshire and Pembrokeshire area.  We want to welcome businesses that are established, post-start or even in the very early stages of trading with a solid and exciting idea, eager to take the next step. The Startup Academy is free of charge to eligible applicants; if you have a viable business idea, we strongly encourage you to sign up and take advantage of this exciting opportunity.”

Jess Phillips, Enterprise Innovation Manager at Tramshed Tech, said:

“Having successfully completed the first Startup Academy at Focus Newtown Enterprise Hub, we are very excited to launch the second series in Carmarthen. Although we cannot meet in person, we have a packed 12 weeks of virtual sessions, where expert speakers will cover everything from business planning right through to how to pitch to investors.

To register for the Startup Academy, please follow the link: email or call the Hub on 01267 611298.

Focus Enterprise Hubs are an innovative space to incubate and accelerate new, and growing businesses. Focus Newtown and Focus Carmarthen Enterprise Hubs are part funded by the European Regional Development Fund through the Welsh Government. EU funds are having a positive impact on people, businesses and communities across Wales by raising skills and helping people into work.