Published: 21st November 2011
START-UP BUSINESSES in Manchester can now get access to free legal advice thanks to a ground-breaking scheme from Innospace - the first of its kind in the country.
Innospace, MMU's business incubator, has teamed up with the university’s law school and Manchester based Gately LLP law firm to create the scheme which launches this Friday 18 November.
Innospace businesses will be paired up with postgraduate students to get help with issues like employment contracts, trading terms and producing legal documentation. The students will be supervised and mentored by solicitors from Gately LLP.
Richard Deighton, enterprise manager at Innospace, believes the service will be invaluable; “A new business idea is great, but for any business to be successful it needs to be set up properly, and support is often needed to be able to do that.
“An entrepreneur needs to be a master of all aspects of business, which is sometimes unrealistic. Start-up businesses are vital to the country’s economic fortunes and one way of supporting them is to pull in experts in areas such as law”.
Around 40 students will offer at least one hour per week in Innospace to the 60 businesses taking part in the scheme.
The innovative scheme is the first time a UK law school has paired up with real businesses to offer students the chance to practice commercial law.
Mark Benson head of pro bono at the Manchester School of Law says; “This new addition to the School’s pro bono scheme considerably enhances student employability. It offers commercially-minded law students the opportunity to work with a leading national law firm and offer real-world legal advice to start-up companies”
The Federation of Small Businesses welcomed the partnership; “There are huge challenges facing new businesses, and our entrepreneurs should be celebrated and valued for their determination, initiative and ambition. They are vital for the resurgence of our economy and this scheme will support them in doing this.”
Innospace is Manchester Metropolitan University's incubator for new enterprises. Based in the city centre, Innospace offers professional office space, meeting rooms, entrepreneur community and networking, business support and training events.
Richard adds: “For just £42 a month, the Innospace offer is unbeatable in Manchester if not the UK. It’s also great for people setting up to be able to spend time with others in the same situation as them, share ideas and support each other.”