AN ENTERPRISING initiative that has supported more than 100 individuals and businesses in north Powys with their growth and development is to end.

The Severn Valley (SV) Effect said it had successfully begun a job that others can now take on, locally, regionally and nationally.

SV Effect was launched over four years ago as a pilot project and part of an initiative backed by the Welsh Government and Powys County Council to encourage home grown enterprise within the Severn Valley area of Powys.

It was run and operated by local business people and individuals who provided specialist support and mentoring in their own time to people thinking about starting a business or already in business but wanting to grow.

Doug Hughes, a local businessman who founded and runs building design and planning practice, Hughes Architects, is chairman of the SV Effect which is overseen by a project management board made up of local business people.

He said: “We were a pilot initiative and we have more than achieved what we set out to do.

“We’ve helped more than 100 individuals and businesses to grow and develop through one-to-one mentoring and advice through our resource team and seen some remarkable success stories.

“From social enterprises to sole traders and small businesses in a range of sectors and parts of the Severn Valley.

“The initiative brought together a lot of passionate individuals who wanted to help others to enhance the economic opportunities in the area and we have more than done this.”

He added: “Personally, I believe we have created a blue print for enterprise in other parts of rural Wales and throughout the UK.

“By helping others to develop their enterprising ideas we have instigated and stimulated greater economic activity.

“I believe those involved and those helped will no doubt continue to advise and help others in the future.”

One of the enterprises to benefit from the SV Effect was Wiggles & Florence based at Kerry, near Newtown.

The business designs and produces a range of ceramics from mugs and cups, to plates and jugs, among other products and has Harrods and the National Trust among its clients.

Susan Robertson, of Wiggles and Florence, said: “The help and advice from the SV Effect made us look at what we were doing and how we could do that better, particularly on the financial systems side of our business.

“While we understood and were good at parts of the business we knew about well, it was good to be able to talk to someone who could advise us on other areas where we didn’t have such strengths.”