BUDDING entrepreneurs are being encouraged to sign up to a free two-day workshop in County Durham next month.

Funded by Durham County Council and the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and delivered by Finchale Group Consortium, Durham Sparks offers fully-funded business support to new and existing community enterprises.

Next month’s workshop, SPARKS Start-up, will provide an introduction to self-employment – from legal structures and business planning, to branding and marketing.

The workshop is open to anyone with a DH or DL postcode who is considering setting up their own business and wants to learn more about community enterprise.

Roger Guy, Head of Operations at Finchale Group, said: “Community enterprises are locally-based initiatives that are set up to improve the lives of residents.

“They can be both private and not-for-profit and include things like community-owned cafes and shops, sports teams and utilities schemes.”

Delivered by Finchale Group’s Consortium of experienced business advisors, the fully-funded workshop will see participants will take part in a series of practical exercises and activities designed to help them decide if a community enterprise is right for them.

There will also be opportunities to get tailored advice on individual business ideas.

Roger continued: “Self-employment can seem like a daunting prospect to people who are considering setting up their own business.

“This workshop offers a unique opportunity for people to explore their ideas in a supportive environment and learn about community enterprise.

“Whether you’re exploring it for the first time or already have a fully formed idea, this is a fantastic opportunity to take the next step in your self-employment journey.”

The workshop will be the last of its kind held at Finchale Group’s current headquarters in Pity Me, County Durham.

The registered charity – which provides one-to-one help for people facing major barriers to employment – is relocating to purpose-built premises at Belmont Business Park that boast new training facilities, a drop-in centre and office space.

Register for free tickets for the event on September 26 and 27 here.