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PS800,000 investment helps fledgling firms.

MORE than PS800,000 is being invested in the next generation of entrepreneurs at the University of Sunderland in efforts to boost jobs and have huge economic benefits across the region.

The Enterprise Place, based at St Peter's Gate, will spent the next three years supporting students and graduates keen to convert innovative business ideas into successful products or services.

The project has received PS424,253 from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), with matchfunding from the university. Start-ups are awarded places after making successful applications and pitches to a panel.

Benefits of gaining places include free hot desk space and IT resources, specialist advice and support, access to business specialists, networking opportunities and access to competitive funding.

Applicants receive a licence to trade from The Enterprise Place for six months, followed by an additional six months upon review. It is hoped once they begin trading they retain their economic base in Sunderland, resulting in more jobs and investment.

Up to 30 business start-ups are now operating from The Enterprise Place, building up their clientbase and establishing a name for themselves in the region.

Vince Robson, the university's business development manager, said: "The Enterprise Place brings together entrepreneurs at all stages of their development that are operating across a wide range of industries and sectors. Couple the expertise on offer with all of these enterprising brains bouncing ideas off each other and it is the perfect environment to launch many successful businesses."
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Title Annotation:Business
Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Date:Dec 13, 2013
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