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Entrepreneurs get a head start with Coventry and Warwickshire Growth Hub

The Growthkit – give young business owners a head start in your workplace or college

When Darin Tudor was appointed as Entrepreneur in residence at Coventry University he quickly realised that aside from paying in excess of 20k to complete an MBA there was nothing on the market that enabled young people in full time employment or education to develop the skills required to start their own business.

Darin explains: ‘I spoke to hundreds of students and young people that were looking to start or had already started their own business and it was clear that there were learning on the hoof, guided by online advertising, You Tube episodes of Dragon’s Den and following Alan Sugar’s Twitter feed.

As a result, many developed a black and white approach to business, if after a few months’ things didn’t go to plan they ‘outed or fired’ themselves. The solution was self–fulfilling – I developed ‘The Entrepreneurs Toolkit’. In many ways its an autobiography of my life in business but formatted in a way that provides a step by step guide to everything required to start, develop and sustain a successful business

Learners and employers see the GrowthKit as a perfect stepping stone from level 3 to level 4 learning programmes.

Darin has teamed up with Qualifi and PAM Education who have added their Embodied Learning methodology to the programme and the combination and expertise on offer within the blended learning RQF regulated qualification offers a unique opportunity for potential business owners.

Dr Xiaoli Dutton from PAM adds; ‘we believe the Growthkit is a fantastic learning programme that provides students with a one stop shop. They can quickly develop the technical and tactical skills required to build a successful business.

At the same time, we support them to build their emotional intelligence in the context of the workplace, which is often the difference between success and failure.’ The learning programme, has attracted huge interest even before its official launch in May. FE Colleges, Training Providers, Universities, Blue Chip companies and LEP’s have all signed up learners for the 200 TQT (60glh).

The Level 4 course acreditited by Qualifi one of the UK’s most innovative awarding bodies. There is also significant interest from Chinese based Education and Business sectors.

The toolkit can also be introduced within a full time Level 3 full time learning or Apprenticeship programme. It provides students with an insight and stepping stone into Level 4/5 learning. With technology rapidly advancing the value of workplace based blended learning at degree level and beyond- the toolkit does far more than provide knowledge and skills on how to run a business. It provides a framework for Interpersonal excellence – managing people and developing relationships. Personal effectiveness including Self Awareness, Decision Making and Self Management.

Most importantly it prepares students for progression not only to the world of self-employment but should they decide to pursue employed careers to quickly progress to leadership status.

Many FE colleges and training providers are unaware that a unit(s) of funded Level 4 RQF qualifications can be incorporated in to predominantly Level 3 learning programmes.

Darin, forever the entrepreneur, has already planned further expansion of the programme by signing a partnership with the Coventry and Warwickshire Growth Hub.The ‘Growth Toolkit’ will support global business communities as a means of sharing experience and knowledge from the initial ‘toolkit’ learning programme through to the reality of operating in the commercial world.

In this way young entrepreneurs will learn from leaders in the field from a structured framework and enable them to access the right information at the right time in a way that matches both the characteristics of their business and themselves as individual entrepreneurs.

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