Business Start Up and Seed Fund Programme Case Study - Caring Hands Midwife

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Council’s Labour Market Partnership, funded by the Department for Communities, is offering 40 people who are unemployed or economically inactive up to £1,000 support to start a new business. 

Labour Market Partnerships, which create targeted employment action plans for council areas, allow for collaboration at local and regional level to support people towards and into work.

The Start Up Seed Fund now in its 2nd year and is accepting applications for 2023/2024.


Local Case Study

Barbara Strawbridge set up her Caring Hands Midwife business in April 2023. Barbara, a retired midwife from Coleraine, applied for the Labour Market Partnership Seed Fund and Mentoring programme and accessed a bursary of up to £1,000 along with business advice, training, mentoring and support.

She was also signposted to other free programmes of support available in the Causeway Coast and Glens area. 

Caring Hands Midwife Image

Barbara was happy to share her story below.

"Having retired and found myself economically inactive after working 37 years in the NHS in paid employment I was totally clueless as to how to set up my own business.  My ambition of developing a complementary service to clinically treat women from preconception, pregnancy and beyond was made a reality through the Causeway Coast and Glens business mentoring. 

The Causeway Coast and Glen's Labour Market Partnership start up programme has helped me get on my feet and without it I wouldn't have got off to the start I have.  I learned some really important first necessary steps such as setting up my bank account and getting registered with HMRC, the importance of bookkeeping and how to start marketing my service. 

I would recommend the start-up programme to anyone planning a business... it really does make dreams come true!"



To find out more about the Start up Seed Fund visit here or email