I have recently started to run a number of ‘write your own business plan’ programmes. These are different to the standard start your own business course where a trainer/consultant gives information, participants do a few exercises but are expected to go away at the end of the course and write their plan themselves unassisted. Having seen and delivered these courses for years it became obvious that most of the people who attend these courses do not actually present a business plan. So, I developed a new toolkit where now participants write the business plan as we go through the course. The result is that all participants who complete the course leave with their own draft business plan at the end of the programme.

The course can be run over 21 hours or 24.5 hours depending on the participant’s level of experience. It is very intensive but achieves real outputs for the participants and the organisations running the course.

I have now developed a similar type course, the ‘write your own social enterprise business plan’. The social enterprise version starts with identifying social mission, social and economic objectives, beneficiaries and stakeholders and, addresses the funding mix used by social enterprises and ensuring that there is no mission drift but many elements of the business plan (operation, sales and marketing, implementation etc) are relatively the same for private and social enterprises.

It is important that we keep innovating on our methodology and delivery of pre-enterprise courses and focus on the entrepreneur/potential entrepreneurs needs. If anybody is interested in talking to me about this please email me on ken@germaine.eu.com. If you cannot attend a course remember that much of the material is covered in my ‘How to write your own business plan’ book which you can download from the ‘Resources’ page on this blog.