November 9th, 2022.

Budding entrepreneurs across Lewes district are invited to join the Local Enterprise & Apprenticeship Platform (LEAP) business start-up programme for 2023.

Starting in January, everyone taking part gets access to a free programme of tailored business support and they have an opportunity to win £2,500 towards their new business.

The LEAP programme is funded by Lewes District Council and is delivered by Edeal, a not-for-profit agency.

Councillor James MacCleary, Leader of Lewes District Council and Cabinet member for Regeneration and Prosperity, said: “If you have a great business idea but you’re not sure how to make it happen then the LEAP programme is the perfect way to make your dream a reality.

“Now in its 10th year, participants get involved in workshops, seminars and are given one-to-one mentoring and expert guidance to create their own business plan and get their enterprise up and running.

“It’s a great, free programme for anyone who lives in Lewes district or those planning to open a business here.”

This year's winner Tara Burn enrolled on the LEAP programme to develop her idea for her new start-up called Resus Rangers, which teaches children lifesaving skills from the age of four-years-old using an animated programme which includes song, rhyme and dance.

Tara began her LEAP journey by attending a one-day introductory workshop in January (there is also a virtual workshop spread over two days in February). She was then selected to progress to the next stage of the programme to help her create a robust business plan.

At the end of the programme, finalists pitch their business plan to a judging panel in a Dragon’s Den style event. Tara impressed the judges and was named the LEAP Entrepreneur of the Year 2022, winning £2,500 to help her achieve her mission to teach all primary school children quality first aid.

Whatever stage participants reach, Edeal will help local entrepreneurs with their business ideas through the agency's range of free business support services.

Councillor MacCleary added: “Starting up a business can be tough with around 80% failing in their first year nationally, so give yourself the best chance of success by tapping into the experience and expertise of our LEAP team.”

Interested applicants can now register on the LEAP website

Pictured: LEAP winner Tara Burn and Cllr MacCleary at this year's awards evening.
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