Spark Up to launch for a third time after helping Liverpool firms generate £450,000

July 24

Liverpool Echo reports on Spark Up's return later this year.

Merseyside start-up firms have now benefited to the tune of more than £450,000 and created more than 30 jobs thanks to the Spark Up business accelerator programme.

And now its founder – Liverpool & Sefton Chambers of Commerce chief executive Jenny Stewart – says the third programme will start later this year.

Spark Up was launched in early 2014 with 15 entrepreneurs taking part in the programme. They generated more than £200,000 in business and created 17 jobs.

This year a further 37 small firms are taking part in a 20-week programme and they have so far created 15 news jobs and taken the total investment figure up to £453,000.

Now Ms Stewart has confirmed that the third programme – lasting 12 weeks – will start in October.

Based on the Mass Challenge project in Boston and Entrepreneurial Spark in Scotland, Spark Up aims to create a new generation of “super businesses” in the Liverpool city region with intense programmes of mentoring and coaching.

Ms Stewart said: “This year our cohort of entrepreneurs has proven that this type of accelerator programme really does work – the figures from the impact report speak highlight the level of investment it has attracted, as well as the positive contribution to business skills.

“Over the past 20 weeks I have watched our entrepreneurs grow as individuals and, with that, grow their businesses. Their commercial acumen has increased tenfold, and with it their tenacity, drive and confidence in creating a sustainable, successful business.”

One success story is Franklin Energy, a Liverpool-based firm which installs electrical vehicle charging systems. It was set up in November 2013 by graduates Rob Byrne and Dan Leaper.

With the help of Spark Up, Franklin Energy has been able to grow its turnover fourfold since November 2014 and secure employment for two new members of staff. It has also secured a five figure investment from the Merseyside Special Investment Fund.

Applications for Spark Up will open on Monday, July 27, via the Spark Up website – www.sparkup.org.uk – and will close on Sunday, August 23.




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