Opening of a business space and start-up center in Wolverhampton city center

City Partners cut the ribbon for the launch of IGNITE – (L-R) Councilor Stephen Simkins, Deputy Leader of Wolverhampton City Council and Cabinet Member for the City’s Economy; Ray Flynn, Associate Director Place at the University of Wolverhampton; Councilor Ian Brookfield, Leader of Wolverhampton City Council, and Karen Webb, Director of Business Services at the Black Country Chamber of Commerce

IGNITE – Innovate, Grow, Navigate, Ideas, Technology, Entrepreneurship – opened in two units on the ground floor of the council’s i10 office building.

It will be located in units three and four and will provide free coworking and meeting space, training and support for start-ups and businesses.

The council-funded space, which opened on Monday, will be run in partnership with the University of Wolverhampton and the Black Country Chamber of Commerce.

Council leader Councilor Ian Brookfield said: “I am delighted to have opened IGNITE which will help the wealth of creative and innovative talent we have in the city to thrive.

“Around 97% of businesses in the city employ less than 50 people and the need for more integrated business support for SMEs is critical – and with funding cuts to other services in the city, we know this will be well used by aspiring entrepreneurs, start-ups and those who need some support to establish and grow their business or grow their ideas.

“IGNITE provides a space to work with like-minded people and to access support.

“The goal is to generate more business registrations, prevent start-ups from failing, and create and maintain jobs in the city.

“We also want to engage with local training providers and develop a mentorship program and I invite potential business mentors to contact us if you think you can offer support to fledgling businesses.”

The IGNITE space will provide free coworking and meeting space, events, training – virtual and physical – and support to inspire start-ups and business growth. Residents can visit the center for advice and guidance on training and employment opportunities and use the free workspace.

Black Country Chamber of Commerce Director of Business Services Karen Webb said: “We are delighted to partner with the council and the university to bring IGNITE to Wolverhampton.

“The city is increasingly a hub of business investment and innovation and IGNITE will provide a hub for budding entrepreneurs and those in business to come together for events, trainings and a place to share ideas and collaborate.

“We look forward to playing our part in ensuring that IGNITE becomes an integral part of the city’s thriving business community. »

Tim Steele, Professional Vice-Chancellor for Global Opportunities and Regional Engagement at the University of Wolverhampton, said: “The University of Wolverhampton is delighted to be a partner in this important initiative and in doing so play our role in helping to support, develop and upskill our local business base in this key growth area.

“We are proud to be part of this new venture and look forward to the opportunities that IGNITE will bring to the people of Wolverhampton.”

IGNITE focuses on improving digital skills and, depending on demand, has the potential to offer sessions on website development, online selling, social media, online marketing, cybersecurity, international sales and managing remote teams.

Anyone interested in IGNITE should register at ignitehub.co.uk where people can also book an office or meeting room.