ADVERTORIAL: Start your own business with free help and funding from this new scheme

Have you ever considered starting up your own business?

If so, you’ve probably spent time thinking about the amount of funding and support that you’ll need to turn that business idea into an innovative product or service.

However, thanks to this brand new scheme based in Rhondda Cynon Taff, it’s now easier than ever to develop your ideas and watch them grow into something successful.

The Ideas 2 Innovation programme is a unique support package that’s been created to develop and commercialise your business idea, whatever it may be.

Supported through the UK Community Renewal Fund and managed by the University of South Wales and the Alacrity Foundation, the scheme will provide its applicants with a huge amount of business and financial support.

Here’s everything you need to know about the scheme, how it could benefit you, and how you can apply.

What does it involve? You’ll be able to access funding, mentoring, advice and a space to work (Image: Unsplash)

If you’ve got a great idea for a business but need a little extra support to get it off the ground, this programme is perfect for you.

Ideas 2 Innovation combines seed funding with direct support including training, business support, mentors, and access to a dedicated working space, in a wraparound service that’s suited to your needs.

Whatever your business idea might be, you’ll have the opportunity to receive up to £15,000 in funding to turn it into a reality, as well as the chance to pitch your idea to investors at the end of the programme.

High-quality training will also be delivered at every step of the way, in areas such as idea development and commercialisation, to ensure that you’re working to the absolute best of your abilities.

Don’t worry if you still need to iron out a couple of areas in your plan – with access to world-class tools included in the scheme, creating a digital marketing strategy is made simple.

There’s also bespoke mentoring available from experienced entrepreneurs and sector-specified experts, so if you ever run into any difficulties, they’ll be able to use their own experiences to advise on the best way forward.

Where is the programme based? A built-for-purpose incubation space in Pontypridd will be available for you to go and work on your project (Image: Unsplash)

Ideas 2 Innovation is to be based in Pontypridd, in Rhondda Cynon Taff.

A dedicated working space has been created for the purposes of the programme, and access to the space is unlimited and included within the scheme.

It’s a great place to really get your head down and work hard on your ideas, as well as meeting and speaking to like-minded people.

Who can apply?

There are no set rules about who’s eligible for the programme – it’s open to anyone with a new, ambitious and innovative idea.

However, any new business starting on the programme must register its trading address at the dedicated space in Pontypridd.

Then, you’re free to use the funding on a huge range of business development strategies, such as development to your product or service, assessing the market demand, or clarifying your intellectual property rights.

The funding can’t be used to support one individual within the business, but rather the company as a whole, to nurture and develop it in the early stages.

What will I be able to achieve? Ideas 2 Innovation will provide you with everything you need to get your business idea off the ground (Image: Unsplash)

After completing the programme, which runs from February to the end of June 2022, it’s hoped that your small business idea will have undergone a transformation into a much more structured and viable plan.

You’ll have worked closely with your team and industry experts to create a business idea that has market potential, shows a return on investment, and demonstrates potential to be launched into the real world when the programme has finished.

It’s also important that you’ve built a strong working structure, and have the right people around you with the relevant skills and experience to help your idea translate to the industry.

Having clear plans in place for the future of your business and its development is also highly encouraged, and you’ll be able to consult with mentors from some of Wales’ fastest-growing businesses to help with this.

All in all, you’ll be provided with all the help and support you need to turn your idea into a potentially successful company.

How do I apply?

The Ideas 2 Innovation programme will have a maximum of 20 spaces for entrepreneurs of all ages to develop their ideas.

And, if you’re successful with your application, all of the funding, support, mentoring advice and working space will be available to you for absolutely no cost.

The application closing date is January 31 2022, with the programme itself running from February until June this year, so be sure to register your interest in plenty of time.

To apply, or for more information about the programme, visit the website.

This project is funded by the UK Government, through the UK Community Renewal Fund.