Led by Midlothian North MSP Colin Beattie (SNP), a team of local companies and organisations have come together to offer complete business support for a year to around 20 entrepreneurs, also providing free use of facilities at McSence Business Park.
Known as the Business Launch Pad, they are looking for self-motivated and enthusiastic people who have a clear idea of the type of business they want to run but need help making this a reality.
Those offering their help and expertise are: Midlothian and East Lothian Chamber of Commerce; McSence; Morisons LLP; Tax Assist; Basically Tool Hire; and A4e – a company employed by the UK government to help the long-term unemployed back into work.
Together they will help people create a business plan and offer a range of services including mentoring, financial advice and computer equipment to get their business ideas off the ground.
Colin Beattie told the Advertiser he is keen to give people a start in business, particularly school leavers.
He said: “All these kids are looking for jobs that don’t exist, so let’s encourage them to start their own business.
“We are going to offer these youngsters a year’s free accommodation, all the advice and expertise they need and hopefully they can then work away on their own after that.”