Copeland named “# 1 place for start-ups and entrepreneurs” by key borough figures
Copeland has been dubbed the perfect place for start-ups and entrepreneurs to grow and prosper.
A discussion of the borough’s opportunities took place last week, which saw The Entrepreneurs Group CEO Keith McMean joined by Copeland MP Trudy Harrison and Copeland Mayor Mike Starkie for a webinar in line, hosted by young entrepreneur, Oliver Hodgson.
The 30-minute discussion focused on replicating the success of the Main Street and Millom business community in the borough, as well as the best ways to test markets and how local organizations are helping young people. to go into business.
Speaking after the discussion, Keith McMean said: “My hope for the region is that it becomes a hub for start-ups and entrepreneurs, and that not only will our young people have the opportunity to start a new business, but that everyone who has an idea ‘has a chance’. ”
He continued: “Without entrepreneurs and start-ups, the road to recovery will be long and difficult.
“I would also like to see people over 50 think about starting a business. One thing we do know is that Covid-19 has irreversibly changed the job market and made it even more difficult for workers aged 50 and over to find employment.
“We also want to help change that, by providing seniors with a platform through which they can take back control of their lives by starting their own businesses.”
The discussion was sparked following the publication of various studies highlighting that young people want to start their own businesses before the age of 30, as well as the opening of the new Whitehaven Bus Station shopping complex.
All of the panelists shared the view that young entrepreneurs – and people who take the risk of starting a business under any circumstance – should be defended.
MP Trudy Harrison described the abundance of possibilities in Copeland and said, “I think our natural landscape is a big part of our attractiveness to building businesses here.
“Over the past year, many of us have enjoyed working from home and being closer to our community. Not to say that all start-ups start at home, but the new environment of working from home is obviously going to be a major part of it.
“We are well connected here, and the large number of business groups we have, for businesswomen, youth and groups keen to support young entrepreneurs. ”
She continued, “As a region and community, we really value our entrepreneurs, risk takers, engineers and those with ideas because they are going to solve the problems of the future.
“People will be well supported here and indispensable as we need to branch out from the nuclear industry, but we can do it into spinoff companies that age decommissioning.
“For anyone looking to start a business, my best advice would be to do your research, understand and manage the risk, and remember that you are the only person holding you back.”
Mr. Starkie added, “In 2015, we held two conferences to spread the word that Copeland is open for business and that it is a good place to do business.
“The way we measure that is that six years later, the board is making over a million pounds more in business rates, per year, than in 2015.
“It’s easy to look down King Street and see that there are a lot of empty units, but it’s a problem most cities in England face.”
He continued: “The reality is that there are no fewer businesses in 2021 than in 2005. Some of the bigger retailers have left and of course the rest are not moving to Whitehaven s. ‘they already have outlets in Workington.
“This is why the offer in Whitehaven must be different and new, which is why we are considering setting up a digital grid in Whitehaven, offering a more modern destination and opening up more tourism and hotel opportunities.
“One of the things that has played against entrepreneurship in the region is that there are so many good paying jobs in Copeland, so we need to foster diversity in the region.
“Sellafield is in decommissioning mode, that will change, but with it, it will bring a whole host of news and, in some cases, better opportunities.”