A FREE support service for businesses has been launched in Bournemouth and Poole.

WSX Enterprise will help those wanting to start a business and those who already have.

The project Driving Urban Enterprise is financed by the European Regional Development fund and will offer a series of events, workshops and meetings.

The programme has also been launched in Weymouth and Portland.

WSX Enterprise, which prev-iously delivered the Business Link service that was axed by the coalition, can also help busi-nesses access the government’s start-up loan scheme.

Programme manager Chris Darlow said: “Having been awarded the funding to launch this exciting project, we’re determined to assist as many people as possible to both create businesses and jobs.

“We want to help people who have both the aspiration and the potential to start a sustainable business. Our project team have extensive experience of starting and growing their own bus-inesses and understand the challenges that new entre-preneurs face.

“Our focus will be on providing ‘real world’ practical support with a flexible approach.

“There are three main elements to this project: to support the creation of new enterprises, to help recently started businesses and to assist those more established bus-inesses to grow.

“Activities range from two-hour ‘Is it for me?’ workshops to two-day training workshops.

“We will also be running networking sessions and one-to-one meetings with experienced advisers.”

There will be ‘meet the boss’ and ‘meet the buyer’ events and advice on growing a business, export and finance.

“We are also able to provide support for people with ideas for social enterprises,” Mr Darlow added. “For established busi-nesses we are able to offer a high quality mentoring service through our partners at Dormen, the Dorset Mentoring Service.

“Our emphasis is on creating employment by supporting those in the early stages of their business careers.”

The project is supported by several private and public sector organisations: Bournemouth Borough Council, Borough of Poole, Weymouth and Portland Borough Council, Bournemouth CVS, Poole CVS, Dorset Community Action, Ward Goodman and Mark Liddle LLP.

Details from Camille Jones on 01202 607547, camille.jones@wsxenterprise.co.uk.