A fund which has distributed over £300,000 to develop new businesses and give individuals and groups a boost to realise their business dreams has now come to an end.
Venture is one of the county’s Rural Development Plan projects known as Llwyddo yng Ngwynedd, which is aimed specifically for farming families, Welsh speakers, community groups, the under employed, young people (20-30) and children to develop business ideas and trial their venture for the first time.
During the last 18 months all the funds in the Venture bursary has been earmarked, with over £300,000 of bursaries shared to enable people in Gwynedd to trail their ventures.
Nia Swann Bowden, Gwynedd’s Rural Development Plan Coordinator, said: “The last 18 months has been a busy but exiting period, with a high number of people wanting to turn their hand to something new and trial their ideas. We’ve seen that giving that extra little bit of help to individuals or groups to develop an idea they’ve been thinking about for a while is all they need.
“It can be very satisfying seeing someone come to us with an idea, being able to refer them to this specific support and see their idea blossom.”
The Venture project has given support to a wide variety of business including electricians, photographers, environmental artists, beauty therapists and people producing organic clothes for babies and children.
Nia Swann Bowden added: “Schemes such as the Venture project have proved timely and responds to the challenges facing individuals within our rural communities wanting to venture into the business world in these difficult economic times.”
Even though the bursary fund has now closed, the wider work of helping target groups to develop an enterprising spirit will continue. For more information please contact the Venture team on 01248 672672.
Here are some examples of the businesses which have been supported by the Venture scheme:
Sion Edwards from Penygroes – car mechanic business
After gaining an NVQ Level 3 in Motor Mechanics, Qualified MOT tester, and receiving a lorry driving license and a license to use 'snap-on' diagnostic tool, as well as spending time working as an engineer in Dinas Garage and for Gwynedd Council at the Cibyn estate, Sion Edwards from Penygroes, decided to venture into the business world as a mechanic.
Eryri Young Farmers – Recipe book
A recipe book Blas ar Eryri (A Taste of Snowdonia) was created by collecting recipes from members and friends of Eryri’s Young Farmers organisation. The aim of the venture was to raise money for the organization so the group applied for the Venture bursary to finance the costs of printing the book.
The project was coordinated by Elen Williams, a member of Dyffryn Madog YFC and the Eryri Clubs’ chairman at the time, with other members from the organisation volunteering their time and expertise. The money made through the sales of the book has been ploughed back into the organisation in order to enrich the skills and experiences of its members.
Ysgol Crud y Werin, Aberdaron – potato growing business
The venture bursary has sparked the imagination of many schoolchildren in Gwynedd with 400 pupils from 21 schools taking part in business ideas workshops. Several of these schools are now in the process of coming up with solid plans and putting together grant applications to make their business dreams come true.
One of the schools that has benefited from this is Ysgol Crud y Werin, Aberdaron. They got their hands dirty with their business idea of developing a venture to grow and sell potatoes. The company is called Tatws Tew (Fat Potatoes) and it is hoped to sell the potatoes in the village and to some restaurants.