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Creative thinking: Meet the 10 businesses selected for inaugural incubation programme for entrepreneurs

A NEW incubation programme for entrepreneurs in Northamptonshire has unveiled its first cohort of participants.

Vulcan Creatives, a free, six-month programme run by the team at the Vulcan Works flexible workspace in Northampton, aims to support ambitious individuals with their business idea by creating a business plan and teaching the skills needed to make it a success.

The programme opened for applications in November, with a preference given to those working in the creative or digital sector.

The chosen ten entrepreneurs were revealed during an official launch event at Vulcan Works. They are:

  • Nabil Abbas, developer of a decentralised instant messaging app.
  • Photographer Emma Colton.
  • Chelsea Henry, an interior designer.
  • Marketeer Tamara Holland.
  • Musician Mathew Lewis.
  • Roddy-Lloyd Jones, a retired teacher who has created a portable photography studio in a decommissioned ambulance.
  • Digital marketeer Tom Mayes.
  • Gary Morgan, who plans to launch an Artificial Intelligence assistant tool for small to medium-sized businesses.
  • Gavin Prior, an app development consultant.
  • Hairdresser Aprille Russell and make-up artist Aveline Rust, who have created a hair and beauty academy.
Vulcan Works.

Vulcan Creatives has been funded by West Northamptonshire Council and has received £40,000 from the UK Government through the UK Shared Prosperity Fund. It will be led by Vulcan Works’ on-site business growth manager Darren Smith.

Those who take part in Vulcan Creatives will also receive free access to the Vulcan Works facilities during the course of the programme and up to 50 per cent off workspace in the building after graduating.

The programme, whose partners include NatWest and Milton Keynes-based law firm EMW, includes one-to-one and group meetings, events and workshops. “I look forward to working with this cohort of entrepreneurs over the next six months to really boost their businesses or get them up and running,” Mr Smith said.

“We want Vulcan Creatives to become a real community and collaborative effort as we all embark on this journey together towards success.”

Cllr Daniel Lister (pictured left), cabinet member for economic development, town centre regeneration and growth at West Northamptonshire Council, said the programme expands on the work already being delivered at Vulcan Works to help local businesses.

“We have 20,000 businesses in West Northamptonshire and 425,000 residents and there is unlimited potential for businesses in this area,” Cllr Lister added. “This is why we have already invested over £2 million into supporting local business and £1.5 million into getting local people and skills in the area through our UKSPF.

“We want to see businesses thrive and our Economic Growth and Inward Investment Team want to support them in doing this. I am really excited to see the businesses taking part in Vulcan Creatives and look forward to seeing them grow and develop and become the medium and large-sized companies of the future in West Northamptonshire.”

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