THE MAYOR of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham this week (Tuesday 10 March) launched an innovative new programme to boost skills and increase opportunities for self-employed and gig economy workers across Greater Manchester.
EnterprisingYou, delivered by GM Growth+, a new partnership between the Growth Company and PeoplePlus, will enable up to 2,500 of the city-region’s self-employed people and gig workers to sustain and grow their businesses.
Greater Manchester has been chosen to launch the programme, where there are currently, according to the latest official labour market statistics, 183,000 self-employed people working in a range of jobs from hairdressers to taxi drivers to construction workers.
Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham said: “Whether you’re working in the gig economy or running your own business, you’re likely to have questions about your business and personal finances, opportunities to help you sustain and grow your business, and what to do when you’re unwell or unable to work.
“If we want Greater Manchester to be the best place to get on in work and employment, we have to make sure that people can access advice and support that adapts to changes in work and employment and that is relevant to their situation.
“EnterprisingYou comes at a crucial time, when gig workers and people who are self-employed understandably want certainty about the support and protections available to them. It’s also in line with our commitment to make sure that everyone has the skills, support, and opportunities to succeed in our city-region.”
EnterprisingYou, commissioned by the Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) with funding from the Department for Education (DfE), is the first programme of its kind in the country to provide free tailormade support for self-employed people working across any sector.
Support will be provided through one-to-one business coaching, peer mentoring, personal finance management and access to well-networked co-working sites, alongside a range of practical information and advice on business areas such as recruitment of staff, advertising, marketing and insights on business development.
Hilary Centeleghe, Growth and Startup Lead at GC Business Growth Hub said: “EnterprisingYou has been designed to enable our region’s self-employed workers to upskill and enhance their business knowledge, while gaining new practical and vocational skills for career progression, developing their business ideas or potentially retraining to increase future prospects. I’m excited to see what impact it can have on the lives of self-employed and gig economy workers in Greater Manchester.”
All participants of EnterprisingYou must be a resident of Greater Manchester and be either self-employed or working in the gig economy with annual gross income below £27,000. Priority access will be given to Greater Manchester residents on a low income where self-employment is their primary source of income.
It will also actively engage those with health conditions or disabilities, women, older people, part-time workers on temporary contracts, carers and Universal Credit claimants; while being open to all eligible residents.