Launching in January, the ‘Pod Digital’ project will recruit up to 50 local residents on a six-week entrepreneurship course, before selecting five of them to work alongside local businesses to create a digital platform to promote the work of Moss Side traders.
The project will be delivered by Bubble Enterprises CIC; the social enterprise which manages The Pod enterprise creation hub in Moss Side.
Pod Digital fought competition from across the North of England in a public vote to win £21,665 in funding from the NatWest Skills and Opportunities Fund. It also received support from One Manchester and Manchester City Council.
Founded and supported by One Manchester and Mosscare Housing, The Pod is a community business hub for new start-ups.
Bubble Enterprises CIC, is a social enterprise working across the North West of England, which has supported more than 1,200 people with barriers to employment into enterprise.
Applications are sought from residents for a place on one of two six-week entrepreneurship engagement courses.
Following completion of the course, five participants will be picked to work with 20 independent enterprises and traders based in Moss Side on phase one of Pod Digital. Pod Digital will have a particular focus on supporting entrepreneurial residents who live in some of Manchester’s most disadvantaged communities.
Sue Dixon, director of Bubble Enterprises, said: “Our intention with Pod Digital is to provide a boost for entrepreneurial-minded people living in Manchester, especially those who currently face financial barriers in terms of accessing quality training and advice.
One Manchester’s chief executive Dave Power said: “Benjamin Disraeli once famously said that ‘What Manchester does today, the rest of the world does tomorrow’. Pod Digital presents a great opportunity for some of our residents to keep this sentiment alive by bringing their best new business ideas to the programme and hopefully going on to achieve great things”.
The Pod and Bubble Enterprises are now recruiting for the first course which will run each Tuesday morning from 19 January 2016 for six weeks. The second six-week course will be on Thursday mornings from 11 February 2016. There will be a taster session on Tuesday 12 January 2016, where applicants can register in person for the enterprise start-up programme.