SIX members of Cirencester's bustling business community have come together to launch an organisation to support budding entrepreneurs and aspiring business owners.

Cirencester Business Launch Support has been set up to support anyone with a GL7 postcode who has a strong business idea and needs a helping hand to get started.

This new non-profit community interest company offers free professional advice and mentoring, and in some specific cases financial support.

Cirencester Business Launch Support team members all started a business from scratch themselves and now want to use their experiences to guide others and boost local businesses.

Each team member has a specific area of expertise which they will be bringing to the table.

For example, Howard Smith, founder of accountancy firm The Numbercrunchers, will be offering planning and finance advice.

Gaynor Hutto, also from The Numbercrunchers, will be offering advice on business development and Ally Castle who runs media consultancy Ideally Consulting specialises in creativity and innovation.

In addition, founder of Cirencester Sales & Lettings Michelle Milliner wants to help business who need help with sales and customer service and Nick Hunt, co-founder of Cotswold Lakes Brew Co and former director of strategy and proposition at St James’s Place Wealth Management, is offering advice on strategy and market analysis,

And last but not least, Adam Vines, managing owner of creative marketing agency Lounge Design and the current chair of the Cirencester Chamber of Commerce, will be on hand to help budding businesses with marketing, design and branding input.

The team want to stress that this non-profit organisation is not about rewarding those with qualifications or previous business experience.

They are looking to hear from hard-working residents who have an idea for a business and feel that something is holding them back from taking the leap into running their own company.

To get on the programme, applicants will have to explain who they are, what their business proposal is, how they see its potential for the future and which specific barriers they are facing to launching their company, so that the experts will know how they can help.

Once initial applications are short listed, business plans must then be submitted, following a template provided. 

Each applicant will have a mentor to explain and assist with what is required within the plan and formal application. 

Ally Castle said: "Cirencester Business Launch Support is distinctive because it’s not about giving grants or training and then just leaving people to it.  

"This is relationship-based and truly local.  

"We’re offering tailored hands-on support to new business in Cirencester to get them off the ground, and are going to be walking alongside them as they develop and grow."

Applications are already open and close on Wednesday, November 1 and successful partner entrepreneurs will be announced in December.

Forms and further details can be found at