BUDDING business leaders are being encouraged to take part in an introductory course to get their ideas off the ground.

The Stockton Start Up Programme is free of charge, and open to all Stockton Borough residents aged 16 to 25.

A free taster session will take place from 10am until 12pm on Friday, July 20, at Stockton Central Library for anybody interested in getting involved. 

The full course will then run from 10am to 4pm on Monday, August 13 until Friday, August 17, at Stockton Business Centre on Brunswick Street.

The course covers all aspects of business including generating ideas, marketing and bookkeeping, as well as showing what start-up opportunities are available in the Borough.

It ends with a ‘Make Your Pitch’ exercise where participants pitch their business to a panel of local business leaders in the hope of winning a Start Up Prize Pot.

The Start Up Programme has proved successful, helping ventures such as Sorella and Himalayan Gifts find their feet.

Councillor Nigel Cooke, Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Housing, said: “The Start Up Programme is perfect for young people with a passion for business and the drive to become their own boss.

“It is so important to encourage young people in our Borough who think their future lies in business to be proactive in helping them make their dream a reality.

“With the likes of Stockton Business Centre and Digital House providing opportunities for start-ups, it gives hope to others that they too can build a business for the future.” 

To sign up to the taster session or the full course contact business.enquiries@stockton.gov.uk or call 01642 528384.