Outset Plymouth helps create 53 jobs in past six months
START-UP support organisation Outset Plymouth has helped create more than 50 jobs in the past six months.
The award-winning Millbay-based organisation, which assists fledgling businesses and job-hunters into self-employment, has now helped set up 157 businesses.
That's 34 since last August, and the number of people employed in those enterprises has now reached 194 – with 53 of those jobs created in the past half year.
Christine Blackaller, programme director of Outset Plymouth, is delighted and said the figures are among reasons the organisation, its sister-outfit Outset Finance, and Working Links, have had their contracts extended for another two years.
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Mrs Blackaller has worked for Outset Plymouth since it was set up in the summer of 2010, rising from advisor to her current position two years ago.
During its life Outset Plymouth has "engaged" with 1,700 people, 300 of them since August 2012, and seen 1,300 of them go on to receive support on the programme.
"We've been on an incredible journey," Mrs Blackaller said. "Our goal has been to create sustainable jobs for the city – that's why we're here.
"Even though we are only a small team, with just three advisors covering the whole city, we are doing a good job.
"But we couldn't have done it without our funders."
Alongside Outset Finance and Working Links, Outset Plymouth receives its cash from Plymouth City Council and the European Regional Development Fund.
Both of those organisations are part of the Urban Enterprise Programme, set up to stimulate an enterprise culture and create jobs and economic growth among disadvantaged and under-represented groups.
And it is doing just this, Mrs Blackaller said, revealing that of the businesses Outset Plymouth has helped create, 55 per cent are run by women, 54 per cent were started by people who were previously unemployed, and four per cent involve the "black and minority ethnic" (BME) community.
"Our priority is to work with key wards in the city to stimulate new enterprise," Mrs Blackaller said.
Outset Plymouth has particularly focused on creating ventures in Ham, St Peter's and the Waterfront, Efford, Lipson, Southway, Devonport, Sutton and Mount Gould, St Budeaux and Budshead, she said.
But it also works city wide and also supports existing businesses which have been trading for fewer than three year.
"For those thinking of starting a business, or going into self-employment, or if they are trading already, they should contact us," said Mrs Blackaller.
"We are a funded programme, all of our support is free for those that live and trade in Plymouth.
Outset Plymouth is delivered by the economic development and business support organisation YTKO, and through this has won two awards in the past year.
Last September, it received the Government's national BIS Enterprising Britain award for promoting enterprise.
This was followed by landing the prestigious Grand Jury Prize for inspiring entrepreneurialism at the sixth European Enterprise Promotion awards in Cyprus.