In a first of its kind in the county, Eastern Enterprise Hub is looking to find a set of budding entrepreneurs for a pilot health and social care programme this winter.

Funded by Essex County Council, the Inspiring Entrepreneur Programme for the Care Sector course shines light on a new initiative to provide a wider range of high quality services in Essex, giving people more control and a personalised choice over their care.

Starting in January in Colchester, the free three-month course, will offer potential care sector entrepreneurs business development skills and techniques as they set up a new business.

The course will help budding business owners develop their market offer through better understanding their potential clients’ journeys as they go through the care system.

Digby Chacksfield, CEO, Eastern Enterprise Hub, said: “This is a new course for the Enterprise Hub.

“The new reality for the care sector is an increase of demand outpacing current business ability to provide care, which means that there is an opportunity for returning and new carers to set up and sustain business and micro enterprises.

“Working with people in need of care to utilise personal budgets with new care businesses can provide a responsive and personalised care. We want to help people gain business knowledge, become more self-confident and be a part of a community of like-minded business leaders and entrepreneurs, impacting on the care sector.”

The 12 day programme is targeted to various groups and individuals in the care sector including:

• Registered nurses that have left the profession.

• Individuals with care experience whom not been active in the sector.

• Individuals looking to start their own business.

• University care graduates.

To date the Eastern Enterprise Hub has supported nearly 1000 entrepreneurs in East Anglia with more than 240 of them being Essex based businesses.

By developing care sector entrepreneurs who are ready to participate and thrive in the new market conditions the programme will also produce advocates of care as a fulfilling career.