Business accelerator sparks entrepreneurial spirit in Liverpool

Spark Up, based at the Liverpool Chamber of Commerce launched in 2014 as a pilot programme with the aim of creating 500 ‘super businesses’ in Merseyside in the next five years.

Fifteen businesses were awarded a place on Spark Up’s five month pilot programme and between them they have generated an extra £205,000 worth of investment opportunities, increased their collective turnover by around 103 per cent and created employment opportunities for an additional 17 local people.

Now 37 new businesses will have the chance to create their own success after securing a place on this year’s programme, which started earlier this month.

Founder of the programme Jenny Stewart said: “Liverpool really is leading the way in developing new businesses and encouraging an entrepreneurial mind set and you only need to look at the results of our pilot programme to see this.

“The pilot proved that there is room for this type of accelerator programme in Liverpool and that the Spark Up model works. What we saw was budding entrepreneurs working with each other and collaborating on their journey to business success.

“Now we have 37 new entrepreneurs, including a few familiar faces from last year, ready to take on the challenge and push and drive their businesses on to success.

“The calibre of entries this year was absolutely outstanding and what was really pleasing to see, was the diversity of the businesses that put themselves forward. We saw everything from digital app companies to fashion and lifestyle businesses and there were many who got us very excited here at our Spark Up headquarters.

“I am genuinely excited to see how each of our entrepreneurs develop over the next 20 weeks and wish them all the very best on their Spark Up journey.“

Paul Bibby from MSB Solicitors was one of the first business leaders to sign up as a Spark up mentor this year. He said: “As soon as we heard about Spark Up we were keen to sign up and offer our support.

“As a company we have lots of experience in the business world and hope to share this with some of the entrepreneurs and help guide them on their business journey.

“We will look to offer advice on a whole range of business subjects, as well as bring in some of our strategic partners wherever possible to make sure each of them goes away with a clearer focus on what they need to do to make reach their business goals.“