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26.04.06
Strength in numbers for fastest growing new businesses

Twenty four of Devon and Cornwall's fastest growth potential, start up businesses met up for the very first time recently at a special event organised by Business Link that has resulted in the development of a very unique network group.

The businesses, which travelled from all over Devon and Cornwall, all have something in common; they are members of EVOKE, a Business Link run initiative which supports new fast-growth businesses that have the potential to become world class market leaders in their field. Richard Adams, EVOKE project manager explained, "We organised the event in response to requests from our EVOKE members to be able to meet each other. These businesses all have ideas and experiences to share and they are keen to learn from each other as well as the opportunity to do some business as well. From the positive reaction we have received we will be facilitating the launch of a new EVOKE peer network group to enable them to get together on a regular basis."

Finisterre (www.finisterreuk.com) is one such EVOKE business. Finisterre are the first brand ever to research, design and develop high performance, innovative technical apparel for the surfer. Tom Kay has been running Finisterre for four years from its base at St Agnes and has found the strategic and financial advice available under the EVOKE programme very beneficial. Tom said: "This event has given me a real opportunity to meet others running their own new business. I think it is important to get inspiration from outside your immediate industry and be open to new ideas."

The aim of the network group will be to develop a rich learning environment. Business Link will concentrate on organising the events and organising any guest speakers that they want to hear. Business Link's chief executive Bob Dow commented: "These businesses are the future stars of Devon and Cornwall's economy. They will help to further reduce the region's dependence upon its traditional industry base. We are committed to apply all our resources and efforts to help them succeed. Launching this new peer group network, to enable them to learn from one another, is just one of many initiatives we will be focusing on in the months to come."

For further information please contact Carolyn Daw of the Marketing-PR company on 01566 771863 or email cdaw@marketing-pr.co.uk.

The Objective One Programme for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly has invested in Business Link through the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and the European Agricultural Guidance and Guarantee Fund (EAGGF).

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Editor's notes:

Business Link provides a free information and enquiry service via an information gateway on the web www.bldc.co.uk and via the telephone on 0845 600 9966 to all businesses and those considering starting a business. Additionally, it provides impartial business advice and support through a network of partner organisations, which it co-ordinates, and a register of independent business practitioners.

Business Link for Devon and Cornwall delivers the national Business Link service to the region under contract from the South West of England Regional Development Agency, which was established by government in 1999 to promote the long-term economic success of the region. It does this by working with others to give people the skills they need, encourage enterprise, improve infrastructure, help communities with regeneration and promote the strengths of the region. Business Link has received Objective One investment (European Regional Development Fund and EAGGF) to help companies improve performance and grow.

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Clare Morgan
Media Relations Manager
Objective One Partnership Office
Castle House
Pydar Street
Truro TR1 2UD
Mobile: 07973 813647
Telephone: 01872 223439

cmorgan@cornwall.gov.uk

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