In this guest post James Crawley, advisor on the Community Links, Links 2 Enterprise programme sets-out how this new project is supporting and encouraging local people to establish their own business or new enterprise.
Spiders, heights and clowns. All rational and valid fears that many of us suffer from, but success? Success won’t splat you on the ground, sink fangs into you or form a recurring trauma that has plagued you since your 5th birthday party. What could possibly keep you fearful of success, paralysed with self doubt and terrified to make the next move, especially when the focus is your recently started business?
More than enough, according to the first batch of fifteen participants of the Links to Enterprise Business Boot Camp.
The Business Boot Camp is part of our new Links 2 Enterprise project supporting enterprise amongst local people – particularly young people –by providing opportunities to develop and practice skills and build confidence to enhance employability.
The project is supported by Barclays and provides guidance to those wishing to set up a business or new enterprise. Our Business Boot Camp is a two day intensive workshop which equips budding entrepreneurs with the tools (research and business planning) to enable them to secure the growth and survival of a new-born business and in a challenging business environment.
Basing our support around an individual, not a business idea, we encourage all participants to gain vital enterprise and practical life skills, assisting them to become more independent and skilled. The ‘Campers’ are a mixed bunch with slightly more women than men and an age range of 17 to mid 50’s (my mum always said its rude to ask a woman her age so I guessed) and the business ideas they represent are just as varied including cosmetics made from food (www.skindeli.co.uk), bespoke jewellery (www.zayunubydesign.com) and designer cakes among them.
All of The Campers are creative and inspiring people with total focus on earning a living – but very little time on their hands to sit and reflect about their plans. Handily, this is exactly what we are here to do… The two days are split into sections (marketing, finance, etc) that together form a business plan with which to fight “THE FEAR”. This process of writing down the challenges, negative thoughts and actions that have to be addressed allows The Business Boot Campers to remove the unknown elements and re-take control.
The apprehensive feeling that permeated the room at the start of day one, the ‘how can I sit here for two days when I’ve got so much to do’ gave way to a much warmer atmosphere of support and cross pollination of ideas.
Community Links are running several Business Boot Camps throughout 2013, to find out more about the programme contact the Enterprise Team on 02074739643