Celebrating creativ energy at the Waterfront
- Credit: Archant
Encouraging entrepreneurs to start new businesses
There is a mixture of excitment, energy and, Yes, fear for anyone starting any new business.
It can also be quite a lonely position to be in - taking that first step out on your own into a harsh business climate.
Yet there is help available locally.
I went along to the Eastern Enterprise Hub, at the top of the James Hehir Building at UCS in Ipswich Waterfront, the other night for a very special occasion, to meet members of the latest Creative Entrepreneur Course.
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It was the “passing out” celebration for the latest group of budding entrepreneurs who have been learning new skills, and networking, at the hub.
There was a real buzz and energy about the place.
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The entrepreneneurs were a varied bunch, in their age range and the wide range of businesses that they are launching or developing.
They included artists and designers, people in marketing and publicity, video production for businesses and a new local model agency.
Handbag designer Jane Goodchild, for example, is having her leather bags made in Portugal from Italian leather, and supplying an increasing range of stockists across the country.
Jane said: “I design them myself and get them hand-made. I don’t have more than 10 or 20 made of each style. I am trying to get more stockists. I have enjoyed the course.”
Among the most unusual new businesses is Classic Race Jackets, a business launched by Peter Rout after more than 45 years working for BT.
Speedway and grass track racing fan Peter is turning his hobby into the new business.
He is re-creating classic speedway and motorcycling gear from days gone by, for enthusiasts, fans and families.
He said: “The course has been absolutely brilliant for me.
“I feel at home annd we have really learnt so much from each other and the lecturers.”
Peter also has a roadshow, displaying classic speedway bikes, leathers and jackets.
He researches and makes, by hand, the replica race jackets.
“I made the No 11 replica, that the 1976 World Champion Peter Collins wore, and his No 15 Poole jacket, for his family.”
He has also made leathers like those wore by world champion Ivan Mauger.
And at the hub open night he presented former Ipswich Witch Tony `Shrimp’ Davey with a replica of his jacket from 1975 when he, and Ipswich Witches, won the league title.
Several are artists who are turning their talents to designing unique art or craft items.
Becking Whiting is drawing and making individual greetings cards for sale, Vikki Dove-Clements has big plans for her Dove Models agency in 2015 and Yvie Ormsby with her Magpie Black Stitchery, is producing contemporary embroidery items.
Yvie said: “This has been brilliant for me.
“I decided to go ahead and freelance. I know from this course I can do it. I love being here among a lot of similar businesses and getting feedback from the staff and other people.
“I have a passion for the work and now I have some business knowledge.
“The lecturers’ advice has been important. I feel much more confident in my abilities.
“I hope more people can make the move to start their own businesses,” she added.