Budding entrepreneurs are being offered extra help to get their fledgling businesses off the ground.

East Durham Business Service (EDBS) in partnership with Business Durham has launched the Enterprise Plus programme aimed specifically at those people affected by low income.

The support package is designed to help individuals who have started their own business but are struggling to bring in enough work to cover their personal outgoings.

The idea is that with extra help from EDBS, which could involve mentoring sessions or in some cases a small amount of funding, it will reduce the reliance on Universal Credit and increase the liklihood of the business succeeding.

Denise Fielding is Operations Director at Peterlee-based EDBS, which is the business support organisation for East Durham.

She said: “We know how tough it is to launch a business, and even harder to make that business work.

“In the early days there often isn’t enough work coming in to cover the bills and general living costs and that can cause some businesses to end before they’ve really got started.

“The Enterprise Plus programme has two main objectives. One is to work with individuals who have an idea that they could make work as a business venture, giving them the advice and guidance they need to decide if self employment is for them. The second is to support those people who have already started their own business but aren’t yet making enough money to give themselves a proper income.

“With the support available, which could be through time spent with experienced people who understand the challenges of running a business or a small amount of financial assistance, we’re hoping we can help create and nurture even more businesses which will ultimately create a more prosperous area and local economy.”

East Durham Business Service is one of four enterprise agencies involved in the programme, the others being South Durham, CDC and Derwentside.

Fore more information call EDBS on 0191 5863366 or visit edbs.co.uk.