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Budding businesses receive expert advice at Microbiz

BUDDING entrepreneurs from across the country received expert help and advice on starting and growing a business in Horsham last week.

More than 40 firms offered their time and support at this year’s Microbiz, which was held on Saturday 8 March by Horsham District Council and the University of Chichester.

The free event was aimed at helping owners of small companies grow and expand by networking among their peers. Gareth Sear, Business Start-Up Manager at the University of Chichester, pictured below, said Microbiz has been extremely popular for many years.

He added: “I first attended Microbiz in 2005 and have been every year since and, with organisations I have worked for or owned, we have taken out stand space. Back in 2005 I was working for Business Link providing a range of support for small businesses in and around Horsham. The association with Microbiz was always beneficial to Business Link as small businesses needed support to grow and develop.”

Gareth is also leading on behalf of the University of Chichester the Be the Business programme from West Sussex County Council. The scheme, which aims to drive up the levels of entrepreneurship, productivity, and employment growth, is funded by the council to unlock the potential of the local economy.

Businesses  receive help through four different strands, all of which were showcased at Microbiz. These include enterprise roadshows, planned throughout March and April, start-up boot camps, led by Gareth to help people define and refine their businesses, peer-to-peer workgroups, as well as subsidised advice for owners.

West Sussex business owner Julie Maxted, below, who runs Horsham Publications Ltd from her home, also attending the Microbiz event.

She said: “Many people who attend Microbiz are thinking of starting up in business, and we have found over the years that once they have started their businesses, they very often come back to us. We feel that in this era of uncertain economic times, and so much competition to all businesses, the benefits of showcasing our business through Microbiz is beneficial indeed.”

To find out more visit www.horshammicrobiz.co.uk. Alternatively, for more on business opportunities at the University of Chichester, visit www.chi.ac.uk/semal.