15 March 2001

Alison Halford:

Will the Minister make a statement on what has been done to promote greater entrepreneurship and enterprise in north Wales? (OAQ10321)

Michael German:

We have commissioned and, subsequently, endorsed the entrepreneurship strategy’s implementation plan, which is intended to provide a cohesive framework for promoting entrepreneurship and enterprise throughout all the regions of Wales. An implementation panel is currently being reconstituted, from the entrepreneurship action plan’s steering group, to pursue, with the support of significant European Commission structural funds, a range of practical programmes and activities already identified in the implementation plan. One of the panel’s early actions will be to earmark those with the most potential, in terms of relevance and impact, and to ensure that these are taken forward without delay. Meanwhile, some important measures are already in place to assist here. One key initiative is the New Business Starts programme, currently managed by the training and enterprise councils, which aims to help good quality new ventures start up, grow and survive in the longer term. This applies across Wales. A number of initiatives are underway in north Wales, including the Contract Shop, managed by a partnership of business support organisations, which aims to build relationships between local buyers and suppliers and encourage inter-trading. This already has a growing membership of 2,500 and is impacting favourably on the growth of small enterprises and the local economy.

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