Support for West Yorkshire entrepreneurs to build global businesses

Entrepreneurs across the region will benefit from a new multimillion-pound fund to help them launch services and products.

06 July 2023

Entrepreneurs across the region will benefit from a new multimillion-pound fund to help them launch services and products made in West Yorkshire to sell to the world.

As part of the Mayor of West Yorkshire’s £6 million fund for entrepreneurs, a third round of support has been launched today (6 July).

The programme aims to find the best and the brightest minds in the region, nurture their entrepreneurial skills, and turn their ideas into global businesses.

With access to nine months of tailored support, coaching and mentoring, 75 creative minds will develop fresh business ideas and grow the skills they need to become successful entrepreneurs.

Mayor of West Yorkshire, Tracy Brabin, said:

“I’m committed to providing opportunities for everyone in West Yorkshire to pursue their goals, whatever their circumstances.

“We have already helped thousands giving them the skills they need to start and run their own successful business.

“Now, we will focus on best and the brightest minds in the region, catapulting them to the next level and turning their entrepreneurial ideas into the global businesses of the future.

“Our talented entrepreneurs are absolutely central to our vision for a stronger, brighter West Yorkshire.”

Cllr Shabir Pandor, Leader of Kirklees Council and Chair of the West Yorkshire Combined Authority Business, Economy and Innovation Committee, said:

“I’m delighted we’re able to provide support of this quality to individuals and businesses who have the potential to drive forward their innovative ideas.

“Equipping the entrepreneurs of West Yorkshire with the skills they need to succeed will not just improve their personal circumstances. It will boost our regional economy through the creation of more high-skilled jobs and greater inward investment.

“We’re building a stronger, brighter West Yorkshire where everyone can reach their full potential, and that includes our brilliant entrepreneurs with local solutions to global challenges”

This support from the West Yorkshire Combined Authority, will be delivered in partnership by a twelve member-strong group of businesses and learning organisations from across the region.

Of these, Nexus and the University of Leeds will head the group, using their world-class facilities and expertise to incubate the next generation of business leaders and entrepreneurs. Together, they will focus on tackling the regional, national and global challenges of the future.

The programme builds on the success of the previous two support packages, which helped over 2,000 people to develop and pursue their ideas. The first supported people to turn their ideas and hobbies into fully fledged businesses, and the second helped entrepreneurs to focus on scaling up their start-ups.

Of these cohorts, 58% were women, 38% were of an ethnic minority, and 10% identified as having a disability.

The Mayor is now looking to find entrepreneurs with ambitions for rapid growth, to help bolster their resilience, boost their skills, and build businesses that could change the World.

Dr Martin Stow, Pro Vice-Chancellor: Business Engagement and Enterprise at the University of Leeds, said:

“We’re thrilled to be launching this programme, an initiative that demonstrates our firm commitment to making a positive difference to our region. 

“The programme is a fantastic opportunity for entrepreneurs seeking to accelerate the start of their innovation-based, purpose-driven new ventures by drawing upon the wealth of knowledge and experience of successful entrepreneurs and enterprises.

“We’re excited to be working with local communities and their leaders to ensure this initiative is accessible to as broad a range of people as possible and are keen to work with more as we move forward. 

“Nexus and the University of Leeds are immensely proud to be leading this consortium, inspiring entrepreneurs to achieve their business ambitions and build a better tomorrow.”

For more information, or to apply for the Enterprise West Yorkshire programme, please visit


Notes to editors:

Innovative Entrepreneurs is funded by the West Yorkshire Combined Authority and delivered in partnership with a 12-partner consortium, which includes: Leeds University (Leeds University Business School and Nexus), University of Bradford, Leeds Beckett University, University of Huddersfield, Impact Hub Bradford, NorthInvest, RTC North, 3M Buckley Innovation Centre, Arup, KPMG, HSBC and Munroe K.

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