A new social venture is offering people made redundant from the hospitality sector the tools to set up a new business, including rent-free premises and equipment.
The team behind crossROADS is now seeking applicants for three new foodservice concepts near Cambridge, and hopes the initiative will be replicated nationwide to help as many people as possible.
Its aim is to find people from the hospitality industry that are out of work and want to set up and run a business offering coffee, gelato ice cream or handmade chocolates.
The three successful applicants will receive rent-free premises, equipment and advice from a range of business mentors to help get their operation started.
The premises are owned by kitchen cleaning company Bright Hygiene, which is offering the building rent-free to give people a life-changing opportunity as well as creating an open and welcoming venue for local people to meet and buy coffee, chocolate and ice-cream.
CrossROADS is hoping the initiative will be replicated by others to help more people similarly affected by Covid-19, giving them the tools they need to start their own businesses.
After six months to a year, it is expected that the crossROADS businesses will be successful enough to find their own paid-for premises, making space for three new candidates.
Ross Smith, from the crossROADS initiative, said: “This has been a tough year for everyone, and we need to work together to help get through it. We want to get the community involved, giving them an amazing place to meet and enjoy guilt-free goodies, and a chance to reconnect with their community post lockdown, but also to get local businesspeople involved, helping us to provide equipment and the absolute best advice to our three business owners.
“Successful applicants need to demonstrate commitment, motivation and to show that they are ready to set up their own business. They also need to have the right attitude in terms of developing a community and forming a close-knit team with the other successful applicants.”
Applications to become one of the Crossroads’ business owners can be made by contacting Ross Smith on 07778 463597.