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Businesses mark huge launchpad mentoring success

By Martyna Cielslinska

LOCAL business owners are celebrating as they completed a year of successful mentoring support with the ‘Fareham Start-Up Launchpad’ programmed, which was delivered by Solent Partners in collaboration with Fareham Borough Council.

The programme delivered 12 months of free business support and mentoring, which was all tailored to the individual business goals of nine local businesses. It was run by staff from Solent Partners, who are an industry-led partnership promoting collective prosperity and sustainability throughout the region’s economy.

Participants were able to attend a number of intensive mentoring workshops that included advice on creating business plans, managing cashflow, customer engagement and identifying opportunities for growth. They furthermore received one-to-one mentoring sessions with a business expert and networking opportunities.

Solent Partners Chair, Rachael Randall said: “It’s rewarding to see how the Fareham Start-Up Launchpad programme has set local businesses on the path to success and how much confidence the participants have gained to take their ambitions and ventures to the next level.

“There was plenty to celebrate as the programme has given start-up owners a better understanding of their priorities and target markets, helped them to overcome barriers, launch products and create strategies for future growth.”

She concluded: “Working with Fareham Borough Council on delivering this progressive programme has been really positive, as it has provided ambitious local entrepreneurs with valuable insight from experienced mentors, enabling the town and the region’s economy to thrive.”

A graduation event was held at Fareham Enterprise Centre and allowed successful candidates the opportunity to celebrate with the Borough’s Mayor, as well as members of the council’s economic development team and multiple representatives from Solent Partners.

Fareham Borough Council Leader and Executive Leader for Policy & Resources, Councillor Steven Martin, stated: “I am delighted that, through this initiative, we were able to support eight local businesses and give them access to mentoring together with a wealth of business advice for a full year.  I very much look forward to seeing how these businesses grow in the coming years.”

Participants were Elaine Herlihy (Beluga Finance), Caroline Babbage (UK Foot Health), John Tunstall (Sales Achievement Solutions), Helen Potter (Nu2Health), Tracey Marsh (Muscle & Movement), Jacqui Baker (Select Connections), Guy Herbertson (Interview Initiative) and Joseph Krespin / Richard Sink (Ultimate International Solutions).

Helen Potter, from Nu2Health said: “The Fareham Startup Launchpad programme has played a pivotal role in the establishment of my business. Through a gradual process of learning, I have continued to evolve over the last 12 months. Initially, participating in group mentoring sessions provided me with insights into necessary systems and procedures.  As the programme progressed, I moved to one-to-one sessions.”

“This allowed me to tailor my focus to my specific business requirements and the direction going forwards. This has involved significant milestones, including a comprehensive rebrand, developing a bespoke website, mastering a variety of social media platforms and conducting my first webinar.”

She concluded: “This experience has been a steep learning curve and one that I anticipate will persist.  I would like to extend my gratitude to Fareham Borough Council who funded this invaluable programme along with the unwavering support from Solent Partners.”

Readers can find out more information about Solent Partners and how their team can support businesses via

PICTURED (LEFT TO RIGHT): Richard Jones (Group Director – Corporate Services & Operations at Solent Partners), Jacqui Baker (Select Connections) and Cllr Fred Birkett (Ex-Mayor of Fareham Borough Council).