WRAP unwraps new business package

Companies which think they know exactly what WRAP has to offer are being asked to look again as the organisation rolls out its new business support plan.

Talking to edie news Dr Bevis Watts, head of business support, said the Government-sponsored Waste & Resources Action Plan (WRAP) had revamped its services for business and now provided support that had not previously been available.

"For the first time we're creating a really strong one-stop shop for business support with all sorts of different products which can be combined," he said.

"Not everything we offer is going to be of interest, or use, to everyone - but people should come to talk to us about the bits that are.

"The service has expanded and there are new things there. We've got a very strong track record of doing this and are involved in multi-million pound projects."

"There's a push now to publicise that we've got this new range of products - it's not the same old same old and if you thought you knew what WRAP had to offer, look again.

"We've extended the scope of many of our existing products and services and launched some new ones."

He explained that WRAP's business support package could be broken down into four distinctive areas.

First, it could offer advice and expertise on everything from fund raising and marketing to more technological issues.

Second, it provides management support to help improve the caliber of managers within the recycling and waste management sector, either through tailor-made courses or more general tips and advice.

WRAP's business team can also help innovative companies by explaining how best to protect their intellectual property when they have developed new ideas, how to translate those ideas into commercially viable technologies and how to get them into production.

The fourth and final area which will be of interest to many businesses is investment. WRAP can potentially provide Government aid in the form of grants or lease financing as well as finding companies support in the form of venture capital funding.

Dr Watts told edie that the services were customer-focused so the application process had been made as straightforward as possible.

"Access to most of the funding is through a simple application pack - its customer oriented so we try to ensure nothing is more than a three-page form to fill out.

"Others are a bit more involved but we try to make sure people aren't spending more of their valuable time than they need to on applying for support.

"In most cases, this is straightforward Government aid and there is no need to find match funding."

As well as offering new opportunities, WRAP has tried to tidy up its service by making everything available from a single place.

"The fact that they're all available through one portal is new," said Dr Watts.

"We've also set up better linkages with other business support such as that available from the DTI.

"Most of what we do is unique and specifically tailored to the recycling sector, but there is a lot of other, more general help out there too."

Also in the pipeline is a training scheme to help those at the peak of the profession sharpen their business skills.

"We're about to launch funding for a new training scheme for senior executive level managers in the recycling sector," said Dr Watts

"We're trying to improve the competence and perception of senior managers so investors are more comfortable with the sector."

Anyone who would like to find out more about what WRAP has to offer can call the Freephone number 08081002040 or take a look at the WRAP website.

Sam Bond



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