Companies in North Staffordshire have been offered a challenge by Michelin Development Ltd in an attempt to spark a wave of new start-ups and business developments.
Michelin Development is the business development section of Michelin Tyre plc, and it offers existing or prospective businesses funding and advice in order to create work in four regions of the UK. The regions, all of which have historical links with the tyre company, are East Lancashire, North Staffordshire, Dundee and Ballymena. Two years ago North Staffordshire was the leading job creator within the Michelin Development portfolio, today the region is firmly in last place. No jobs have been created within the region this year, while in East Lancashire the scheme looks set to create 200 new jobs this year.
Mike Cole, director of Michelin Development, has issued a challenge to North Staffordshire entrepreneurs, asking them to create 200 new positions in the coming year. He said: “We issue this challenge as we want to see a North Staffordshire renaissance, returning to the times when the region accounted for almost half of the jobs created by our fund. East Lancashire is a wonderful example of what can be achieved, particularly when you consider that demographically it’s a very similar region to North Staffordshire. This leads us to question, what is holding back North Staffordshire? Given this situation we today call on entrepreneurs in North Staffordshire to take up the challenge, realise their business dreams and make the region the flagship area once again.”
Michelin Development is part of a European initiative aimed at small businesses, and forms the core of Michelin’s Corporate Social Responsibility Programme. During the last five years, the programme has helped over 100 new businesses in a range of industries in the form of offers of unsecured loans at Bank of England base rate and the supply of free business advice. Next year they hope to loan another £1 million and create 250 more jobs.