Council funding will help small businesses set up and grow across North Lincolnshire
New businesses can benefit from council funding to help them set up and expand.
North Lincolnshire Council has set aside £25,000 to provide small grants for micro-businesses or new, start-up companies.
The cash comes from a £10 million pot given to the council as part of the government's Regional Growth Fund programme.
It means grants of £1,000 to £5,000 can be applied for to assist with the cost of setting up a business.
The council is one of the partners for the Scunthorpe Telegraph's Your Life, Your Future campaign, which aims to highlight job, training and education opportunities.
Councillor Liz Redfern, the leader of North Lincolnshire Council, said: "Lives could be changed because they are now able to secure funding.
"This will generate small pockets of investment but could potentially see many people employed.
"We know small businesses are the job creators more often than not.
"We need to support them to start and then grow and sustain themselves in the local area.
"For anyone who has the slightest interest in starting a business, we will give them some help and advice and talk them through the business planning process.
"Hopefully, it will enable them to secure funds to make that step and start a business."
The £10 million Regional Growth Fund grant has already started to make a difference for businesses in North Lincolnshire.
Mrs Redfern said it was vital for boosting the region's economy.
She said: "It is critically important to the area because it has got a target to generate jobs, fund business expansion and enable businesses to grow, using finances the Government made available to the council.
"We have already allocated just over £2 million to businesses that are looking to expand.
"There is a strong hope that businesses which before would not have been able to expand will now be able to do so."
Among the aims of the Your Life, Your Future campaign is to tackle the problem of people not in employment, education or training in the region.
The authority has already made a commitment to employing apprentices, who work within the council while studying for qualifications.
Among them is Ricky Robinson, 21, who began his role as an apprentice gardener in April.
He said: "It has been good.
"I have been on the mowers, I have been sorting out football pitches and I have been hedge-cutting."
The campaign comes as the council's people scrutiny panel is working on a report on ensuring young people have the relevant skills to move into employment.
At its latest meeting, the panel discussed potential training opportunities and sources of education.
Councillor Jonathan Evison said he thought learning for skills-based roles was crucial.
He said: "It is so important because all education for the past 10 or 15 years has been focused on the top 45 per cent academically getting to university.
"That was never in my spectrum of thought when I was 16.
"The best I could attain was an apprenticeship and I got an apprenticeship on the steel works, which changed the character of my life."
Mr Evison said he welcomed the proposed University Technical College, planned for Scunthorpe town centre.
The North Lincolnshire Council project, if approved by the Government, would cater for students aged 14 to 19, with a focus on renewable engineering.
Mr Evison said: "It is something this country has needed for a generation because we have not been training people in the way we used to train people.
"Industry throughout the region and the country is crying out for quality trained engineers and operators."
Councillor John Collinson said he thought businesses should also take responsibility for training young people for work.
He said: "I think employers have got some responsibility because for many years, they have ducked out of responsibility for training people."
Councillor Neil Poole said he had trained as an apprentice agricultural engineer in Brigg.
And he said a big issue was finding out which skills employers needed.
He said: "The key to this, quite frankly, is not about the schools or colleges, it is about the employers.
"It is about what employers want from 16, 18 or 21-year-olds when they come into the business and what skill sets they require. It is about the businesses of tomorrow that we are trying to attract in.
"If we are going to have a thriving, diverse economy in northern Lincolnshire, we have got to be looking after tomorrow."
Ensuring young people stay in the region after completing their education was also discussed.
Councillor Susan Godfrey said: "The aim is to ensure young people have relevant skills and perhaps another objective is they stay in this area. They don't all want to stay but we need people to stay here and if they are going to stay, they have got to have the correct skills."