The sun is shining and the StartUp Bus by StartUp Britain is here in Canterbury!
StartUp Britain is funded by an independent body of entrepreneurs (Centre for Entrepreneurs) and was originally started by the government, though it receives none of the taxpayers money, and is currently on a 30 day tour across the UK. The bus is manned by local businesses and entrepreneurs as well as some of the team from StartUp Britain. With business experts from Natwest, Kent & Medway Growth Hub, 123Reg and The Kent Foundation, there’s a pool of knowledge there waiting to be tapped into.
We spoke to some of the team on the startup bus, you can see below what they had to say.
David DiCara, Kent & Medway Growth Hub
So what is the StartUp Bus?
“The startup tour is funded by an independant body, currently we’re going on a big one month tour across the UK. We have the team from StartUp Britain onboard as well as local business owners and entrepreneurs who are here to help those who want to start their own business. We have advisors from Natwest and 123Reg as well as lots of free pamphlets to guide people in the right direction. UKTI has also come along to help advise businesses on how they can export their goods or services.”
Awesome! So what’s the Kent & Medway Growth Hub?
“The Growth Hub is a fully funded service that is here to help business, both new and old, to find the support that’s available in their area. There are local representatives across Kent for each district who can help you find relevant funding schemes, programmes and in some areas, free business mentoring.”
What’s your best piece of advice for startups?
“Your personal brand is extremely important. If you don’t have a personal brand you will find it harder to grow your business.”
Welcome to Canterbury, how are you finding it so far?
“We’ve loved it here in Canterbury, we arrived last night and the food is amazing and the high street is very vibrant. It’s my first time here but I definitely want to come back!”
Who tends to be the people who come and speak to you?
“The types of people we generally engage are passers by who haven’t really given their idea serious thought or aren’t too sure on the next step in starting your business – the fact that there’s a huge bus in the high street gets their attention. You also get the types who have been playing around with their idea either in the evenings or weekends whilst still working their 9-5.”
Are they the younger crowd or older generation?
“We have spoken to so many different people today from young and old, however it seems to be those over 40 who have an idea for a business but are more reluctant to work on it – those who are younger are more likely to have started working on their business. We have found that those approaching retirement either need the additional income or they just want to try something new – it’s interesting to see why people want to start their business.”
It was fantastic to meet these guys and to see the hopefully soon-to-be entrepreneurs looking so eager. The tour doesn’t just stop here in Canterbury, it’s off to Lancaster, Manchester, Nottingham and more – you can view all dates here. If you are nearby when the Startup Bus comes along, make sure you pop in and say hi!