The Start and Grow Enterprise programme has been around since 2017, helping people with an idea for a business and new business owners to develop, gain confidence, and succeed. The programme is funded by the University of Gloucestershire and the European Regional Development Fund, which means all of the support is offered to you free of charge.
There’s plenty of support on offer, from interactive 3-hour workshops in areas such as digital marketing, market research, managing your finances, and how to do a business plan, the chance to be awarded a £1,000 grant, and the opportunity to get 3-hours of business coaching with an expert.
At the moment, we deliver our training both online and in-person to ensure it’s as accessible for everyone as possible.
With so many valuable resources on offer, how can you really get the most out of the programme? Is there a specific order to do our workshops? When should you apply for the grant?
Well, we have the answers right here! Read on to find out what the team would recommend…
What’s right for me?
Firstly, it’s important to say that there is no set way to access our support. Everyone is on a different journey and will benefit from support in some areas more than others.
Those who have a background in marketing might not need our digital marketing and social media training, but they could really need our help with creating a business strategy. Someone who’s worked in accounting may not need our help with their tax returns, but could need support to develop their sales skills.
Let’s go into more detail about the types of support we offer.
How to start a new business
Start and Grow Enterprise runs a variety of workshops aimed at people who have an idea for a business and who are in the planning stages of setting it up. These training events display the START icon on the events page.
1 Start-up Day
Think of this as a foundation course for people who want to start a business. You’ll cover the most important elements of getting ready and getting started. If you’ve got an idea you want to pursue, we always recommend attending this course to give you the best possible start.
2 Business Planning
A business plan is key to help you focus on the steps you need to take to help you work towards achieving your short-term and long-term goals.
Going through the process of creating a business plan will encourage you to consider all aspects of your business and ensure that you have a viable and sustainable business model, which is essential to success.
3 Becoming your own boss
Running your own business requires a different set of skills in comparison to employment. Luckily, we have experts on hand to help you develop these skills and attributes.
The Be Your Own Boss workshop helps you to lead from the start, set healthy boundaries, and become confident in the day-to-day running of your business.
Our Understanding Finance workshop explains your tax responsibilities and shares best practices for managing your finances effectively. You’ll also get a cash flow management template to use in your business.
No idea where to start with social media? Don’t worry! Our Social Media Foundations for Businesses workshop tells you what you need to know to build an effective presence on social media and create a plan that suits your goals and values.
4 Business Registration
So you’ve got your plan sorted, you’ve picked up the business basics, now what? Your next step is to register your business so you can start trading. Our Business Registration workshop guides you through the process of formalising, structuring, and registering your business, depending on the model that best suits you and the type of business you’re starting.
I’m now running a business, how can you help?
Start and Grow Enterprise provides a comprehensive support package for existing early-stage business owners. These training events display the GROW icon on the events page.
1 Growth Day
Similarly to the Start-up Day, the Grow Day is a kind of foundation course for new business owners. You’ll hone in on your specialisms, your markets, your business pitch, and solve those challenges that have been building up in the background. You’ll come out with a set of steps to take to move your business in the right direction.
2 Fill in the gaps
Your Business Diagnostic with a member of the Start and Grow Team will help to point you to the workshops that will be most helpful. We offer a huge range of workshops to help you overcome obstacles you’re facing in your business and gain confidence in areas you’re struggling with. Here’s a sample menu…
- SWOT and TIME: Identify your challenges and make time to solve them
- How to Get More Customers: Developing a strategy that sells
- How to use E-commerce to Grow your Business: increase your online sales
- Social Media Foundations: How to stay on top of the day-to-day
- Financial Planning: Conquer cash flow and plan for growth
- Market Research: make better business decisions
- Marketing Your Start-up: explore the key elements of a powerful marketing plan
- Hiring Staff: The legals and logistics of becoming an employer
- Sustainable Practices: Positive for the planet, people, and profits.
3 Apply for funding
Once you’ve attended 12 hours of our training (whether that’s online or in-person) you will be sent an application form to apply for one of our £1,000 reimbursed grants. A reimbursed grant is funded by you upfront, and then we reimburse you once you’ve sent us your proof of purchase.
You can apply to spend the £1,000 on a variety of different things to help you grow your business, from new equipment, outsourcing work, website development, advertising, training, and much more.
We hold deadlines for applications on a quarterly basis and you’ll be informed of your deadline in our email.
4 Gain the insight of an experienced coach
If that’s not enough, you can also work with an industry professional to take your business to the next level, free of charge. You’ll get the application form for this along with the grant application; once you’ve completed 12 hours of our training. The good news is if you’re not successful the first time round, you can apply again!
If selected, you will be matched to a coach whose experience and expertise suit the specific challenges your business is facing, for an invaluable series of one-to-one support sessions. This is another 3 hours of expertise, on top of everything else.
Entrepreneurs’ Networking Events
You can dip in and out of our monthly networking events as much as you like. You don’t even need to be signed up with Start and Grow Enterprise to attend!
We invite a different guest speaker each month to teach us something new about business. So you’ll always come away with new knowledge, as well as new contacts to grow your business network. We’d love for you to join us!
What people think about us
“Start Grow has helped me so much in starting and growing my business, they are so professional and offer amazing free training. The content and workshops always beat my expectations.”
– Robin Watkins-Davis
“I would be lost without my Start and Grow course! Amazing for building my confidence and developing new business skills. No question is a silly one and everyone is professional and responsive. Thank you!”
– Arabella Acland
“Such a fabulous resource for Glos businesses. I’ve been on quite a few courses and without exception, they have been extremely well delivered, informative and the organisation and administration have also been excellent. I would highly recommend it to anyone with their own business or anyone thinking about starting one. You have nothing to lose but a huge amount to gain.”
– Meg Batch
Let’s get you ready for 2022!
Once you’ve signed up on our website to access our support, you’ll be able to book training events through your account. We guide those at a business planning stage to our START events, and existing business owners to our GROW events. In some circumstances, existing business owners would benefit from taking part in START events to work on their business fundamentals. And that’s absolutely fine, too!
If you’d like to come to one of our training courses, contact the Start and Grow Team who will be more than happy to help you: firstname.lastname@example.org or 01242 715419.