Linda Ryan was able to set up her business Jovis after receiving a grant and training from City West’s Don’t Keep It Under Your Hat scheme

Grant boost for budding entrepreneurs

People wishing to launch a business or social enterprise can receive up to £1,000 thanks to partnership

A North West housing association has teamed up with a voluntary support organisation to give budding entrepreneurs a financial boost – offering up to £1000 of funding to new businesses. 

City West Housing Trust, a ForViva group member, has partnered with the Greater Manchester Centre for Voluntary Organisation (GMCVO) to support Salford residents taking part in the landlord’s Don’t Keep It Under Your Hat self-employment training programme.

Established in 2013, the scheme helps people to turn their dreams of running a business or social enterprise into a reality – offering training to develop business and finance plans, in addition to advising on how to promote new ventures through social media and marketing.

To date more than 60 people have benefited from the scheme. 

The joint initiative will double the amount of funding available to business and social enterprise start-ups. 

Former charity worker Linda Ryan, 64, has reaped the benefits of the scheme – having successfully made the move from unemployed pensioner to business owner when she set up her own enterprise which helps charities to increase their funding donations.

Linda said: “The training I received when setting up ‘Jovis’ was fantastic – City West’s enterprise team were always full of ideas to help get my business off the ground. Receiving a grant has put me in a far better position to deliver real value for my clients, whilst also contributing to the local economy.”

Ian Taylor, Business Development Manager at GMCVO, said: “We are thrilled to be a partner in this initiative. Stimulating enterprise in communities is an important way for people to shape their own future; and has the potential to be replicated in other areas.”

The Don’t Keep It Under Your Hat scheme is part of City West’s Bright Futures programme, which brings together 15 separate initiatives designed to offer residents the chance to get into work through training, employment and enterprise opportunities.

Lisa Scully, Director of Business Transformation at ForViva, said: “Levels of unemployment are rising, and so it is vital that residents have the opportunity to also explore self-employment options.

“Our partnership with the GMCVO will allow us to give more people the tools and skills they need to launch their own ventures, whilst offering residents the chance to contribute to the local economy and community.

“We are looking forward to working with the GMCVO so we can continue to help local people make their great ideas a reality.”

If you have got a great idea you want to make a reality, or want to find out more about the Don’t Keep It Under Your Hat programme, please contact City West’s enterprise team on 0300 123 522, or email

@citywesthousing @forviva_group

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