Tips from the candoplaces Enterprise Mash Up in August 2014:

Support and how to get it

  • A project . . . is like sailing a boat. You have to adapt to the conditions and hold your nerve. Lobbying (getting organisations/councils etc. on your side) is one of the key things. It might not be you who does the lobbying – it could be someone else.
  • Having a professional drawing done of our vision for the site was a great idea because it let people see what we wanted to achieve.
  • If you run a campaign or organise an event around your project, and get a lot of people to take part, it makes it harder for others to be negative about what you’re trying to do.

I went to the local enterprise board to ask for money for our project and the guy I spoke to said: “Where’s your business plan?” I said: “What’s that?” (The business plan has since been written several times and is still evolving.)

After I’d told him a bit about myself, he said: “You have two small children. I think you owe it to yourself to get a job instead of setting up a business.” But I didn’t make an enemy of him because of that.

In fact, I have a good relationship with him now and he ended up supporting our application for the £75,000 grant that we eventually got!