Rotherham’s Investment and Development Office (RiDO) is encouraging locals to get involved in their fully-funded business start-up programme.

Aspiring entrepreneurs and budding business owners can get expert support right from the initial ideas stage and up to three years of trading.

Julia Millea, New Business Developer, said: “We’ve supported hundreds of people in their business journey so far and it’s great to see them and their business grow and flourish. We offer impartial and structured support that can help people to define and refine their business idea. The programme is delivered collaboratively between our in-house team and a range of associates who are experts in their fields.”

The programme includes masterclasses and workshops on business planning, marketing and promotion, social media, online business and e-commerce, photography and video creation and legal and financial aspects of running a business.

Darren McDool, New Business Developer, added: “All you need is an idea. Most of the people we support have developed skills and knowledge in the workplace and now want to turn that into their own business. Others have decided to have a complete career change, often turning a special talent or passion into a business.”

Stuart Turner, of LensGo Visual Media, received support from the RiDO start-up programme back in 2018 and he’s now the proud owner of an award-winning video production agency.

Stuart said: “I’d worked in the visual media industry for years but nothing is as exhilarating or as rewarding as running your own business. I knew my industry inside and out, and I reached out to RiDO to make sure I’d got a structured approach to things like marketing, my business accounts and all the legal aspects too. The support I received was invaluable, the business advisors have a wealth of knowledge and help you explore your ideas and concepts. I’d encourage anyone, like I did in 2018, to follow your dreams and RiDO will make that feel less scary.”

RiDO’s business start-up programme is part of the Sheffield City Region Launchpad initiative. The programme began in April 2016 as a £4m initiative across the Sheffield City Region. Due to the success of Launchpad between April 2016 to March 2019, further funding of £3.5m has been secured to continue delivering Launchpad until the 31st March 2022.

Anyone interested in starting a business or getting support with an existing business (less than three years trading) can contact the RiDO start-up team on 01709 331133, email [email protected] or visit

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