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YTKO Group celebrates 2000th UK start-up and £1million funding achieved through Outset programme

Mohsen-Vassif-Rob-Guy-Zuzana-FancovicovaYTKO Group is celebrating its role in achieving the two milestones of securing over £1 million of funding for Plymouth SMEs and supporting the creation of its 2000th new business through Outset, the company’s flagship business support programme.

The £1 million milestone was reached following a successful application for funding by Mohsen and Zuzana Vassif (pictured), Directors of Zuzimo Intercontinental Restaurant Ltd.

The pair worked with Outset’s specialist finance advice team Outset Finance to get investment ready, which led to the securing of two loans from South West Investment Group (SWIG) and Fredericks Foundation.

Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills Vince Cable said: “Congratulations to Outset for achieving this milestone and supporting the Government’s drive to build a culture of enterprise. I hope this will inspire even more entrepreneurs to start their own business.”

Funded by The European Regional Development Fund and local councils, Outset is at the forefront of encouraging business creation in the UK, particularly for demographics facing the biggest barriers to enterprise. These include the long-term unemployed, women, under-25s and over-50s, and people living in areas of social deprivation.

The 2000th business was started by Alison Gardner, a former Tourist Information Officer from Huntingdonshire, who was made redundant and approached Outset to get help with her business idea. She now owns a tearoom in the heart of St Neots, employing 5 staff members.

In 2012, YTKO Group was awarded the prestigious Grand Jury Prize for inspiring entrepreneurialism at the 6th European Enterprise Promotion Awards (EEPA) for the achievements of Outset after winning the Enterprising Britain Award.

YTKO Group also announced in July that it helped create over 2,400 jobs through the Outset programmes in Huntingdonshire and the South West.

YTKO CEO Bev Hurley said: “We are committed to working with people from a range of different backgrounds and experience levels.

“The positive statistics that have been coming through recently – for example, 54% of our clients are women and 26% come from a BME background in our urban projects – reflects the level of thought and care we put in to our projects to reach demographics that are typically underrepresented in enterprise.

“We always work hard to find new ways to innovate and help people overcome the obstacles on their way to enterprise and employment creation.”