The Stockport Business & Innovation Centre (SBIC) provides the perfect environment in which start-up businesses can take their first steps towards a standalone office.
Often entrepreneurs need a place to be inspired outside of their home office, but feel daunted by the thought of renting separate business space.
When Matthew Jones co-founded his company 18 months ago, he soon realised that an office was beyond his immediate needs as a start-up business, so he ran his business from home with his business partner Richard Higginbotham.
After a visit to SBIC, Matthew discovered that the centre’s Engine House could provide him with the perfect space, somewhere for him to have a break from his home based office and where he could meet clients over coffee and network with other businesses.
Matthew, co-founder at Space Marketing & Communication, said: “A visit to the Innovation Centre showed it to be a vibrant, contemporary, working environment and I fell in love with it immediately. I soon became a member of the Engine House, and along with providing the perfect professional environment for me to meet my clients, I was able to access a range of other services including free business support workshops.”
SBIC’s Engine House is a business lounge facility, available to companies on a membership basis, and is based in Broadstone Mill, only a few minutes from Stockport town centre and the A6. It’s an ideal drop-in centre for those on the move and offers great opportunities for collaboration and networking.
Matthew said: “Having this association with SBIC revolutionised our business. Three of our main clients are based in the centre, and through them we have been referred onto several more. After six months as a member of the Engine House we were able to quickly move into the shared office space facility and from there secure our own two-person office within the centre, enabling our business to further develop and grow.”
“Since joining the SBIC’s Engine House, I’ve been able to present my clients with a relaxed yet professional environment in which to meet me. The level of support I have received from the centre staff and the business community within the centre has really helped me to establish and grow my business.”
Kristian Main, Owner / Consultant at KGN Consultants
Another company that has enjoyed the benefits of SBIC’s Engine House is KGN Consultants, using the space for meetings with clients.
Kristian Main, from KGN Consultants, said: “Since joining the SBIC’s Engine House, I’ve been able to present my clients with a relaxed yet professional environment in which to meet me. The level of support I have received from the centre staff and the business community within the centre has really helped me to establish and grow my business.”
SBIC also provides flexible office space specifically aimed at nurturing fledgling businesses and offers mentoring and support to help start-ups and young businesses develop and deliver a robust business plan. SBIC, managed by Oxford Innovation, is owned by Stockport Council.
Caroline Simpson, Corporate Director for Place Management and Regeneration at Stockport Council, said “Stockport Business and Innovation Centre offers a place where businesses can get involved with like-minded individuals, share information and get the support needed to overcome challenges. The centre has established itself as an excellent place to build a business and we’re keen to encourage businesses to make use of the centre as a local resource for entrepreneurs.”