First Steps classroom sessions

Up and coming First Steps in Social Enterprise courses

We will update course dates as they become available.

Typical content

Session 1 – Introduction to Social Enterprise & Preparing a business plan

  • Why set up a social enterprise and the benefits of doing so
  • Have you got what it takes to set up a new social enterprise?
  • Is running a social enterprise for you?
  • Assessing your skills: do you and your team have what it takes?
  • Looking at the social and entrepreneurial aspects of your proposal
  • Concept of business planning and its importance
  • Essential elements of a business plan

Session 2 –  Assessing viability: testing your business idea feasible& Understanding your market

  • The core elements of market research & strategy
  • How viable is your idea?
  • What is a market research? How to conduct market research and analyse your findings?
  • Market research methods
  • The road to viability

Session 3 – Post research activities: Marketing your products and services

  • What do you do after your research?
  • How to make products/services appealing to potential customers.
  • Assessing strengths and weaknesses in relation to competitors.
  • Developing a market

Session 4 – Operating your Social Enterprise

  • Operational considerations: staffing, premises, insurance, legal implications of running a business etc.
  • Quality assurance systems and their relevance to your social enterprise

Session 5 – Developing a budget and cash flow

  • How to survive until your business has got off the ground
  • Developing a budget based on what you need to get yourenterprise off the ground and income projections based on sales
  • Cashflow

Session 6 – Pricing to be in profit

  • Pricing that makes profit not loss
  • Profit and loss and balance sheets
  • Restricted income, unrestricted income, operating profit, working capital, investment requirement

Session 7 – Legal structures : Share and Guarantee

  • Understanding limiting a company by share or guarantee
  • Understanding company legal status and regulations
  • What are the investment implications
  • Most commonly associated legal structures for social enterprises
  • Identifying which legal structure is best suited to your enterprise
  • Choosing an appropriate legal structure

Session 8 – Employing People

  • Self Employment
  • Contracts
  • Sub contracts
  • Responsibilities of an employer
  • Business support

Session 9 – Investment Strategies for Social enterprises

  • Exploring what funders and investors are looking for
  • Different types of investors and funders
  • How to develop a investment and funding strategy
  • Completing your business plan and planning the next steps

Session 10 – Business Plan Review

  • Review of your social enterprise business plan & the programme
  • Dragons Den & evelator pitch exercise
  • Reviewing & evaluation of progess

Race Equality through economic and social justice