ENTERPRISING mum Nicola Kinley is the 1,000th client to use the Department of Economic Department’s Small Business Start up Scheme.
Nicola, who has four children, plans to take advantage of the scheme to open a private nursery school in Port Erin.
She aims to open the business called Stepping Stones in September at her home Regent House, on the promenade at Port Erin
‘The start up scheme has been invaluable and has opened my eyes to potential pitfalls of running a business,’ said Nicola.
She added that it had made her a lot more confident about being at the helm of a business.
She got involved in the scheme after friends had been through the same experience.
Her youngest child, Cosmo, who will be three in October, is likely to be among the first intake of youngsters to join the nursery.
Her other children are Django, 10, Ruby, 19, and Finbarr, 22.
The start-up scheme was initiated in 1996 with a total of only 20 clients in its first year, this has now grown to more than 20 clients per month.
The main purpose of the scheme is to help foster local enterprise and to assist in the creation and growth of viable, high quality businesses operating in any business sector.
Past clients have gone on to run a variety of successful businesses across a broad range of sectors and industries including electrical contracting, plumbing, hairdressing, retail, catering and aircraft surveying. A record number of 69 small businesses were set up over the past year.
The scheme comprises three elements:
l A business advisory service provided by experienced local business people - Helen Cowley, James Crook, Carol Gates, Dennis Rogers and Andrew Simpson,
l Financial assistance and
The training service is provided by the Department of Education and Children with the courses held at the Isle of Man College of Further and Higher Education (formerly the International Business School) and delivered by local businessman Ian Moncrief-Scott.
Economic Development Department member, Laurence Skelly MHK said: ‘I am delighted that Nicola‘s participation on the scheme has created this milestone figure. The Small Business Start Up Scheme has been a great success story over the past 16 years and credit must go to all those who have participated over the years and to Ian Moncrief-Scott.’
He added: ‘I believe that the Small Business Start Up Scheme is very much the grass roots of our local economy. Its success can be demonstrated by the fact that more than 95 per cent of businesses who undertake the course, and receive mentorship and advisory support, are still in business 18 months later.
‘With a total of 20 clients in the first year, we now have that number each month, which is testament to the excellence of the scheme and the entrepreneurial nature of the Manx people.’
Nicola lives at Regent House which overlooks the bay. She ran it for about two years as a guest house a few years ago.
Her husband David works in partnership with Mark Dawson with Grenaby Limeworks.