Ten start-up businesses have been given a helping hand from Somerset Council’s innovative Launch Pad programme.

The businesses have all received a wide range of fully funded help to get them ready to move to the next level. The ten-week programme has included workshops, masterclasses and one-to-one mentoring tailored to businesses’ individual needs, and delivered by professionals, entrepreneurs and experts from industry.

A key to the success of the programme has been the collaboration between businesses as they have worked together throughout the months to achieve their entrepreneurial goals.

Business ideas have included an initiative aimed at strengthening communities by gardening in shared gardens, a dance academy, a pop-up online pet shop and the launch of spirit-based drinks which have been inspired by historic recipes.

Cllr Ros Wyke, Lead Member for Economic Development, Planning and Assets at Somerset Council, said:

It was inspirational to meet these motivated individuals and hear all about their businesses. From speaking to everyone involved, the Launch Pad programme has clearly given them the knowledge, skills and confidence to progress their business ideas. This programme aligns with our priority of creating a flourishing and resilient Somerset and I will follow with interest to see how the businesses grow and thrive.

Joe from Absolute Education, said:

Being part of the Somerset Launch Pad programme has been extremely valuable. The variety of workshops have helped me to gain a clearer picture of my business plan and allowed me to set some smart goals. I feel positive moving forward and am excited about the future of the company.

Kateryna Luchyna has set up a business dedicated to supporting those still living and working under such difficult conditions in Ukraine.  Her first product to be exported to the UK will be pure Ukrainian honey.

Speaking about Launch Pad, Kateryna said:

The programme has equipped me with skills and knowledge that I will be able to apply as I continue pursuing my entrepreneurial dreams. I no longer feel like an astronaut drifting in open space when it comes to the business world! I am grateful to Somerset Council for providing this unique opportunity to integrate into the Somerset business community, receive comprehensive support, and most importantly – a genuine desire to help participants launch an active business.

Group photo of start up businesses with Cllr Ros Wyke and Somerset Council staff

About this article

October 12, 2023

David Blackwell

Press Release