There is one thing successful businesspeople have in common, and that is passion.
“People who make successes of their businesses are not motivated by money, or very few are, they are passionate about what they want to do. That is why it works,” explains Simon Mead, chief executive of the Eastern Enterprise Hub, the organisation set up by the business community to create and grow new entrepreneurs.
Simon explains being an employee just isn’t for everyone, and many people decide to branch out on their own when they are already working.
But passion for your services or products will not always ensure success, which is why the EEHub has launched a six month course to teach budding entrepreneurs the basics of setting up on their own.
He says: “What we offer are the basics, a bit of training to help them get on their way.”
Held at the Weston Homes Community Stadium, the six month course is held one day a week for one-and-a-half hours each time, and covers everything from legal pointers, human resources, finance and marketing.
It also works on personal issues including confidence and presentation skills.
Mentors from the Colchester business community guide and advise the class of up to 23, who range from those who are unemployed, to people at work, youngsters aged just 17 to older members who are over 60.
Simon says: “Quite often people don’t get the chance to fulfil their ambitions through a traditional job. It could be opening a bike shop, working with children – anything. They come along to one of our taster sessions, apply if they like what they hear and then we interview every single one of them.
“The reason we do that, is because we are interested in them as people, what they want to achieve and what experiences they have had. We are also spending someone else’s money running these courses, so we need to make sure we have the right people.”
The organisation picks a cohort of up to 23 people who work together throughout the course, support each other and learn to network.
“Many people end up either running businesses together or trading with each other,” says Simon.
The first EEHub programme ran last year and was funded by Colchester Council, which is also supporting it this year.
Taster session are being held in August to give potential students the chance to learn more about the course and ask questions.
Simon adds: “This course is not right for everyone. To take part you must really want to start your own business and then we can try to help.”
Taster sessions are being held at FirstSite, in Colchester, on August 6, between 10am and noon, and on August 12 between noon and 2pm.
For more information visit www.eehub.co.uk or call 01206 755166.
HUB GAVE US A CLEAR PLAN TO FOLLOW DREAMS
Zoe Vokes and Ollie Dee came up with the idea for their business, Wild Revolution, after struggling to find work on graduating from university.
Zoe had been diagnosed with adrenal fatigue syndrome and had to cut out regular sugar.
It was when researching alternatives to sugar that she and Ollie decided to import health food products from overseas that are unavailable in the UK.
They completed the first EEHub course last year and say it helped give them a clear plan to follow.
Ollie says: “At the start we drew pictures of where we felt we were in our business and personal life, which were really informative.
“Our confidence in the business and ourselves as entrepreneurs grew as the weeks went by and by the time we drew the same pictures at the end of the course we could see big changes.
“We were also asked to think about where we wanted to be in six months, 12 months and 18 months time which gave us something to aim for. ”
He explains the course activities allowed them to think creatively and having business people providing mentoring meant they had tough quest ions answered.
He adds: “The main thing we’ve taken away is a great group of friends who all support each other and are always there when times get tough.
“Many of the activities encouraged us to think creatively about problem solving, which has proved to be really helpful.”
The pair now want to sell their products in local and later, national independent health food stores and eventually want to open their own chain of Wild Revolution Cafes that sell their own products to cater for people with food intolerances