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Keeping it in the family: How more Cornish parents are innovating through experience to launch their own business

Cornwall has long been recognised as a hot bed of entrepreneurial talent, with more and more people deciding to take the plunge and launch their own venture.

So far this year Unlocking Potential has worked with over 130 people who have attended our fully funded 2-day Business Start Up workshops that we run with our partner Oxford Innovation

Among this growing army of entrepreneurs are parents, who are increasingly using their personal experiences to launch innovative businesses that also have the flexibility to fit around their family lives. 

Mum of three Claire Datson attended one of the business start up workshops earlier this year and is now turning her love of sewing and fabrics into her first business - Bellacarina – launching a range of bags for Diabetes sufferers to hold all their equipment. With Claire’s son Alex suffering from Type I Diabetes, she realised there was very little choice when it came bags designed for Diabetes sufferers and their equipment so decided to fill a gap in the market with her own unique designs. 
“I have always loved using materials and making things and decided it was something I’d like to turn into a business. The opportunity to do something I am passionate about but which also gives me the flexibility to work around my children is really exciting and achievable,” said Claire. 
“Going on the workshop really enabled me to focus on what it was I wanted to do with my business but just as importantly made me realise I could actually do it. I now have a unit at Krowji in Redruth and am about to launch my first range of bags into the market, which is really exciting,” she added.
The next workshops are taking place on 9 and 10 September at the Lanhydrock Hotel and on the 28 and 29 September at the Gateway Business Centre in Redruth. Specifically designed for anyone in Cornwall with a business idea they want to develop or that has been trading in the county for less than 12 months, the two day workshops are part of a wider programme of support to help develop new businesses in Cornwall. 

The workshops cover a range of business topics such as planning, developing customers, finance, branding and marketing, providing insight into some of the key foundations a business will need to be built upon. They also receive invaluable one to one support throughout from Unlocking Potential’s Business Development Managers and Oxford Innovation’s experienced business coaches who also attend. 

Following the initial two day workshop, which is funded with support from the European Regional Development Fund, there are six follow up workshops on a range of themes, combined with further support from the Oxford Innovation and Unlocking Potential teams which can include mentoring and one to one support. 

Anyone interested in attending the workshops are asked to fill out an Expression of Interest form, or call Unlocking Potential on 0845 600 3660.

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