The world’s largest free business accelerator is hoping its 'chiclets' will create £1 billion in revenue over the next ten years, according to founder Jim Duffy.
Entrepreneurial Spark, a social enterprise powered by NatWest, is designed to support and give advice to entrepreneurs and new businesses throughout the UK.
Called "chiclets" the 660 business supported by Entrepreneurial Spark since its launch in 2011 have reported a combined £85 million turnover and raised £45m in investment.
Speaking at the launch of its latest 'hatchery' in Cardiff, Jim Duffy, chief executive optimist or the chief executive of "#GoDo" at Entrepreneurial Spark, said: “Over the next decade I want to create £1bn in revenue and £250m in private investment, something that’s really tangible, that helps to move the dial in entrepreneurship and within the economy of the UK.”
Mr Duffy also hopes that by 2021, Entrepreneurial Spark will be regarded as “a world renowned, globally recognised accelerator with some fantastic businesses, entrepreneurs who have made it and are giving back to help the next generation".
The Cardiff hatchery will house 70 businesses, creating a place for smaller businesses to feel empowered and give them the support they need to make the next step.
The new office space offers superfast internet, mentoring, workshops and 6-12 months of training sessions to develop individuals mind sets to become successful business leaders.
Bringing together many hopeful entrepreneurs and mentors, the launch event featured a pitching competition where five ‘chiclets’ pitched their business ideas to a panel of judges, each given a time limit of 60 seconds.
Rhydian Hoddinott, director of Thaw Technology, won a £1000 cheque after pitching his innovative idea in smart home technology, which enables people to use a device on their fridge to inform them when their food goes out of date and makes use of paperless receipts.
Alison Rose, CEO of commercial and private banking at NatWest, explained that the main reason entrepreneurs fail to set up their businesses successfully is because one third of them believe starting their own business is too risky and 31% are fearful of failing.
She said: “We do not charge or take equity from this program, we simply offer real advice and support to deliver knowledge, learning and pride.”