Many of them were told it was “crazy” to start a new business in the current climate.

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But with the help and support of enterpriseGY, almost 50 new businesses were set up in the Great Yarmouth area between April and September this year. And last Saturday, almost a dozen of them were selling their wares at a Chrismtas fair at the enterpriseGY headquarters at the Novus Centre on The Conge.

Duang Weston, 36, of Gorleston, handmakes bespoke jewellery using precious gems. She said it was hobby that became an “obsession” but only after meetings with enterrpiseGy did she see it as a viable business.

“When you haven’t got a loan and you’re completely self-funded, any money you make goes straight back into buying materials,” said Mrs Weston, who sells Duangkamal pieces at craft fairs and online at etsy.com

“But after just a couple of meetings with Guy from enterprise, I’ve set up a small accounts system and I’ve got a much better idea of how this could work as a business.

“The initial advice which will help me develop is priceless.”

Also at the fair and supported by the scheme - which delivers business advice and training free-of-charge to residents of the Yarmouth borough - were Andrew Lawes, 46, of Repps, and Emma Sneddon, 39, of Flegg. The former stay-at-home parents have set up a face painting and glitter tattoo business and are now being hired for events all over the county.

“It’s having the confidence to give it a go,” said Emma.

“This place [enterpriseGY] has helped so much with that element; it helped us believe in ourselves and in our business.”

The Great Yarmouth Borough Council backed fair coincided with Small Business Saturday - a worldwide scheme to promote independents, and also gave the people behind the new businesses a chance to meet with Yarmouth MP Brandon Lewis. And Mr Lewis picked up a Chrismtas present for his father during his trip to the fair.

“There is a fantastic enterprising spirit in Great Yarmouth,” said Mr Lewis.

“And you’ve got to remember that every business starts off small. Tesco started as a market stall.”

Councillor Trevor Wainwright, leader of the borough council, said: “The borough council set up enterpriseGY because we recognise that economic growth is not just about supporting large, established firms.

“It is also about assisting the small start-up businesses, like those I saw showcased at Saturday’s Christmas fair, which collectively bring thousands of pounds into the local economy, and could even become the big employers of the future.”

For information on enterpriseGY, call 0800 458 0146.

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