A groundbreaking 'electronic community' is set to help the West Midlands' best entrepreneurial talent increase turnover and create jobs.
M ustard.uk.com, the region's high growth business start-up service, is using its proven track record to launch Mustard Plus - an exclusive online forum, which will provide interactive advice, 'webinars' and opportunities to inter-trade and attend events.
Accessed via a specially designed extranet, the concept behind the launch is to create a dynamic hub that gives the business leaders of tomorrow the chance to learn from each other, create new relationships and explore additional support. For example raising finance, help with exporting or securing research and development grants.
Clearly excited about the new initiative, Kul Sanghera, project director, said: "The network will instantly be a vailable to over 600 companies that have benefited from our support during the last two years."
He added: "These feature a complete cross section of entrepreneurs, ranging from manufacturers, right through to legal experts and individuals involved in the high profile nature of the sporting world.
"They all share a common thirst for greater knowledge and many of the more established companies want to put something back and offer their own experiences to people recently started up in business. This forum will give them that opportunity."
All members get instant access to a select group of peers for information exchange and inter-trading. The extranet will allow them to take part in online discussion forums, set up a personalised home page and message centre, as well as up-to-date news streams direct from the BBC.
Mustard Plus will also stage several free events, featuring high profile business leaders talking about topics such as 'the A to Z of marketing', raising finance, negotiating skills and much more.
And, for members who can't make it to the live events, there will be a programme of seminars held online using new 'webinar' technology.
"When you're running a business, time is a very valuable commodity and this was a key driver in helping us create this electronic community," said Kul Sanghera.
"Now, for the first time ever, entrepreneurs can sit at their computer and get access to a whole host of information exactly when they want it, r egardless of time and location."
Mustard Plus will also be the main vehicle for the 2007 Mustard Gold Awards, with companies able to register online and even cast votes on who they want to win in some of the categories set to be announced shortly.
It is the first time this high profile competition is going to be delivered through the powers of the web and is another incentive to encourage companies to make the most of the forum's undoubted potential.
For any budding entrepreneurs seeking additional support there are still places on the Mustard programme this year. n For more information visit www.mustard.uk.com/mustardplus or contact 0121 607 1809