Local entrepreneurs with big ideas have been urged to hurry up if they want to take advantage of start-up funding which runs out in March.

The Rising Stars growth programme, run by Bradford Council and Bradford Chamber of Commerce, was launched in 2011 to support the growth of around 750 new and small firms across the district.

Rising Stars business advisers offer new entrepreneurs and firms with growth potential guidance and mentoring as well as help with accessing other support, funding and investment.

Linda Griffiths, who ran business and management specialists Deep Vision Consultancy with her late husband for six years until 2012, has been one of six Rising Stars business advisers for more than a year, helping entrepreneurs to take an idea from concept to launch.

She said: “The fastest we’ve transformed a business from idea to invoicing is just six months.

“Over 15 per cent of the entrepreneurs I have been introduced to in just ten months are now trading. Many have a forecast turnover of £500,000 and all are operating out of the Bradford district.

“It’s an incredibly rewarding task but to work we need business people with the right mindset and a clear business vision. For those with the determination to see their business become a reality, Rising Stars has the resources to help make it happen.”

Linda’s business success stories include Shipley’s Northern Monk micro-brewery and Bradford-based Canna Enter-prises.

Jeremiah Nyachuru, chief executive of Canna Enterprises, said the company would not be in the same position without the support from Rising Stars, and praised Linda for her help.

Jeremiah said: “She so much believed in our team, the idea and the business and was passionate to start steering us to become a profitable and professional organisation. We purposely sought help as alone we cannot build a great business; Linda helped us keep the dream alive.”

Carolyn Coleman, Rising Stars business services manager, said: “Bradford is known for its entrepreneurial spirit, and with the support of our specialist advisers like Linda, the sky really is the limit for a great business idea.

“With a countdown to the end of Rising Stars funding in March, we want anyone with a strong business concept and a structured plan to contact us now so we can get the wheels in motion through funding and guidance to make a dream a reality and, ultimately, support the economy of our district.”

Coun Susan Hinchcliffe, Bradford Council’s executive member for employment, skills and culture, said: “Rising Stars has assisted so many businesses to improve, grow and create new jobs in Bradford and the district, and we would urge more people to come forward for support.”

For further information about Rising Stars and the Council’s Business and Enterprise Programme, visit risingstars.biz.