A start-up business support programme is celebrating after helping to start more than than 650 new businesses in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly.

Breakthrough has received £7million from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) to support 800 start-ups in the county, as part of the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Growth Programme. Delivered by Oxford Innovation in partnership with Unlocking Potential, Breakthrough has been running since November 2016 and offers a tailor-made, fully-funded package of strategic direction, expertise, workshops, one-to-one coaching and even recruitment support.

The programme has supported a diverse range of businesses including an edible insect company, a theatrical sword fighter and a fermented food provider. Other Cornish business ventures include four pregnancy care companies, three film makers, two swimwear brands and a funeral company.

Breakthrough client Kaye Cavendish from Helston runs Rosie Loves Bruce, a homewares and upholstery business specialising in fine fabrics, particularly dog-themed. A former occupational therapist in the NHS, Kaye has developed her own creative company to utilising all her skills and her love of sewing – and her role as a mum.

"Rosie Loves Bruce allows me to be my own boss and set my own limits but I had begun to feel out of my depth with managing the finances, marketing, operations and of course making the products," said Kaye. "The most significant support Breakthrough has given me has been having someone believe in my ideas and business. It has helped turn it from cant’s into cans and dreams into plans.

"I also had a steep learning curve regarding cash flow and the importance of managing that correctly - I’ve seen potentially successful businesses go under because of unplanned cashflow."

The Breakthrough team is celebrating reaching their milestone with their first start-up workshops of 2018. These will be held at Heartlands in Pool on February 3 and 10; Bedruthan Hotel near Newquay on Thursday evenings from March 1; and at the Atlantic Hotel in Newquay on March 13 and 14.

Anyone who has been running their business for 12months or less or anyone with a business idea who wants to take action in 2018, should head to breakthroughcornwall.co.uk or call Jules Burton on 0845 600 3660 for more information on how to apply.