A retired electrical testing specialist has launched a social enterprise venture which is set to create sustainable employment for the young unemployed, disabled and otherwise disadvantaged sector in Coventry.
Aware of a lack of opportunities for some school leavers and young people, 66 year old Anthony McIntyre from Coventry decided to set up his own venture utilising his considerable experience and established 3 Spires Testing with help and support from the innovative Ready for Business start-up programme.
3 Spires Testing is a social enterprise which offers a high-level and competitive Portable Appliance Testing (PAT) service – the process where electrical appliances are routinely checked for safety to ensure compliance with the British Standard Code of Practice and European product standards relevant to that type of appliance – to private companies, charities and public organisations.
Income derived from 3 Spires’ commercial work will give the company a platform to achieve its goal of creating employment opportunities for people as well as subsidising its work in the community.
Like many individuals looking to start their own enterprise, Anthony knew he needed support to get his idea off the ground and turned to Coventry and Warwickshire CDA where he was introduced to social enterprise specialist Isobel Fitzgerald and made aware of the support that he could access through the Ready for Business programme.
Ready for Business, the investment ready start-up programme that supports new enterprises across the UK, aims to create 6,000 businesses providing 10,000 employment opportunities. The programme is supported by the Government’s Regional Growth Fund and Barclays and is delivered by the Cavendish Consortium, a partnership between some of England’s leading enterprise agencies together with the National Enterprise Network which operates Ready for Business through a network of partner organisations in the West Midlands region.
It offers individuals with concentrated support in the pre-start stages of their new business including intensive enterprise training via free Get Ready for Business Seminars delivered in partnership with Barclays, one-on-one help from a dedicated business advisor to explore and assess their business ideas and expert analysis into developing a business plan.
Anthony McIntyre said: “I had technical know-how but I didn’t know where to start in setting up a social enterprise. Isobel took me through what was needed including business planning support, company formation & registration, funding information, training and apprenticeship information, networking and promotion and I’m so pleased that I’ve been able to use my career experience to launch 3 Spires Testing and help the younger generation find employment. There is a demand for the PAT service and it’s now just a case of spreading the word of how we operate in order to secure continued and repeat business while providing sustainable employment for the young.”
Isobel Fitzgerald added: “Ready for Business is committed to helping entrepreneurs with a social purpose like Anthony, in ensuring their businesses are both profitable and sustainable. The investment that Anthony has made into the local community’s youth will have a direct effect on the local economy and is very admirable work that he is undertaking. Not only do employees and work experience candidates have the opportunity for personal development and to build their confidence, they can gain a healthy work ethic, new skills through training and a good wage. I wish Anthony every success for the future.”
Tracy Wassall, Barclays Area Business Manager for Coventry and Warwickshire said: “Stories like Anthony’s are why it is so important to continue supporting start-up businesses. The free seminars that Barclays offer are just one example of how Barclays can support enterprises like 3 Spires Testing. No matter where you are on your business journey our wide range of support is designed to offer help.”
To find out more about Ready for Business, the support it can offer and its series of free Barclays Get Ready for Business seminars taking place throughout the West Midlands, please contact ReadyForBusiness@nationalenterprisenetwork.org .
3 Spires Testing also provides charities with a cost effective service to help recycle electrical goods that might otherwise be consigned to landfill sites. For more information please contact Anthony McIntyre on 07914006038 / firstname.lastname@example.org