ESTABLISHED businesses are being urged to help new and growing SMEs in a bid to support the region’s entrepreneurial spirit.

East Durham Business Service (EDBS) is calling on large and successful companies from across East Durham to help with funding for their business advisors so that they can continue to help ambitious entrepreneurs pursue a path into self employment.

EDBS, based in Novus Business Centre in Peterlee, currently employs two advisors, Hina Joshi and Joe Greener, who have forged strong relationships with businesses in the area.

And Operations Director Denise Fielding is hoping to utilise those relationships to gain more support from companies who are already established and have grown year on year.

Denise said: “Some of the funding pots that we are targeting are aimed towards the younger generation, supporting training and apprenticeships, which of course is an important element of the service we provide.

“However, there is little funding out there that can be used to support our business advisors, but it’s vital that we continue to provide this service to budding entrepreneurs.

“We would love to see some of the bigger companies in the area – those companies that have grown and are now recognised employers – sponsor our advisors which will ensure they are able to help people who want to set up their own business. Last year they supported over 50 people into self employment which is having a positive impact on East Durham’s business community.

“What we’re saying to businesses is do your bit to ensure our area continues to flourish. Success breeds success and new and growing SMEs are just as important as the bigger multi nationals and home grown businesses.”

Many of the businesses that have been supported by EDBS are growing, either in the organisation’s two business facilities, Novus Business Centre in Peterlee and Novus II Business Centre in Seaham, or elsewhere in the area.

Denise added: “Our tenants are growing and some have increased the office space they occupy which is exactly what we want to see.

“We offer occupants a great deal of support and the quality of our facilities impresses everyone that comes to look around.

“We are now over three quarters full and the centre is really thriving but the aim to be fully occupied still remains and we’re not far off that.

“To achieve that we must continue to provide business advisor support and help from the larger companies would enable us to do that.”