Scunthorpe entrepreneur launches virtual assistant business with kickstart fund

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North Lincolnshire entrepreneur Penelope Bee Codd has established her own virtual assistant business after receiving £1,000 funding from UK Steel Enterprise (UKSE) Kickstart Fund.

The funding has allowed Penelope to invest in branding and website design for Penelope Bee Virtual Assistant whilst also funding initial business insurance costs and licenses.

Penelope is a previous senior regeneration officer for North Lincolnshire Council who undertook a part-time Business Studies degree from University of Lincoln, graduating in 2006.

She now provides freelance administration, secretarial, marketing and event management support to local, regional and national SMEs, sole traders and tradesmen.

She said: “Since receiving the funding I have been able to establish my business, purchasing the relevant licensing insurance which is crucial to the foundation of a business.

“I have always been interested in providing business support – having co-founded the North Lincolnshire Business Network in 2010, designed to help local businesses get more trade and increase business in the local area – and the funding I have received from UKSE has been instrumental to me getting started, so I really cannot thank them enough!”

The UKSE Kickstart Fund was launched in partnership with North Lincolnshire Council and consists of £40,000 dedicated to supporting business start-ups by providing individual grants ranging from £500 to £1,000.

Alan Stanley of UK Steel Enterprise said “Penelope is offering a great service that will support SMEs in North Lincolnshire and beyond, and we are looking forward to watching how her business develops over the coming years.”

UKSE, a subsidiary of Tata Steel, invests up to £1m in growing companies, particularly those creating jobs.

Anyone with an established business which needs growth finance should contact UK Steel Enterprise on 0800 915 1188.