Friday, 13 June 2008

NESTA S46 Finale

Tuesday saw the culmination of the NESTA Starter for 6 Cultural Enterprise training programme. This year 223 businesses applied, 149 people were selected for interview and 80 individuals were accepted onto the course. This course consisted of 4 days training, 2 networking sessions and 3 one on one sessions with a business coach. The 67 businesses that successfully completed the course were given the opportunity to pitch for a grant of up to £10,000, pitching to panels in five cities over the period 27th May through to 10th June. NESTA has a fund of £180,000 this year to distribute as it pleases between these 67 bids.

James and I were one of the last Companies to pitch and stated our case for the cash on the final interview day, Tuesday.

We were pleased with the way our pitch went. Of course you never can tell with these things and it remains to be seen if our bid for finance was successful. However I do get a sense that regardless of which businesses do receive their share of the £180K everyone who was lucky enough to be accepted on this course (which is not only free to those who get through the application process but actually subsidised so all participants receive a payment into their personal bank account to help with travel costs to and from the various training and events) has found the training and networking both useful and enjoyable. I think I can speak for many of the participants when I say that there is a great deal of enthusiasm for keeping in touch and continuing to share helpful information and advice. Whilst everyone wants their share of the money there is a wider realisation that the quality of entrepreneurs on the course was astounding and this extinguishes any rivalry which may otherwise existed between our businesses.

So to anyone who completed the course I sincerely and whole heatedly wish you all the luck in the world getting this funding and to anyone who is thinking of starting or in the early stages of running a business do get in touch with NESTA to see what courses run in your area. NESTA

I will post again when we find out if we have been successful.

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