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Funded training for start-ups in Norfolk & Suffolk

European Regional Development Fund

Are you looking to start your own business? Do you want to learn key skills for successfully running your new business? Do you want to meet likeminded new business owners and grow your network?

We have helped hundreds of new businesses with our award-winning start-up training programme. And, best of all, it is completely free of charge to people living in Norfolk or Suffolk.

During the three-step programme, you will learn all you need to know about setting up your business. This includes legal requirements, marketing your business, identifying your target audience and bookkeeping. Plus, you’ll be joined by likeminded new business owners enabling you to build a network and develop your business idea in a supportive environment.

The start-up training programme is fully funded by a grant provided by the ERDF (European Regeneration Development Fund). To be eligible to receive the training free of charge, you must live in Norfolk or Suffolk, be thinking of setting up a new business or have been trading for less than 12 months, and you need to sign up and complete all three workshops in the programme.


Our award-winning start-up business training is now available online. Delivered by live video conferencing, you can learn new skills and develop your new business from the safety and comfort of your home, while still benefiting from our trainers’ expert knowledge and building your business network.

Contact us to book now, or read on for more information below.

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Get the inside view

Meet Heidi, one half of the successful and award-winning business duo at Wild Play Ltd.

Wild Play provides outdoor learning opportunities and wellbeing initiatives for families, schools, local businesses and community groups.

Their business journey began with us and the start-up training programme, and now Heidi and her business partner Denise run a successful company that has achieved both local and national recognition.

Below, Heidi explains what to expect from each of the three workshops in the start-up business training programme, as well as providing her own valuable insight and experience as a former attendee.

Workshop 1: Planning

What's covered?

  • Financing your start-up
  • Business planning and sales forecasting
  • Registering your business
  • The reality of owning your own business
  • Understanding self-employment after employment or unemployment

Workshop 2: Marketing

What's covered?

  • Marketing planning, strategies, tools and techniques
  • Tips for setting up a simple website
  • Using social media for your business
  • Understanding your customer base, and what they want
  • The key to success: identifying your USP

Workshop 3: Bookkeeping

What's covered?

  • Setting up simple hard and soft copy bookkeeping systems
  • Tax and NI explained
  • Excel spreadsheet templates for record keeping and profit, tax and NI calculations
  • Understanding Self-Assessment
  • Establishing best practice

Our customers say...

Absolutely loved this. It’s energised me and helped me
focus on my journey forward. Jo was an amazing tutor!

Kerry Langham

May 2020

So helpful!  I have learned more than I ever expected to. Met lots of other people in the same stage as me.  They were great tutors with huge amounts of knowledge and I now feel miles ahead of where I was before!


May 2020

John Clarke and Shaun Lowthorpe hosted the session and it covered everything promised and allowed time for questions specific to each separate business idea.  The course was followed up quickly by an email from John attaching information and templates discussed during the morning. It gave me plenty to work on whilst waiting for the next two workshops to cover marketing and bookkeeping.

Sheri Brown

April 2020

MENTA Workshop Live, a great way to continue to receive business start-up information during the lock-down. Three workshops, group sessions, one about marketing/strategy and branding/logo. Again very well presented and delivered by John followed by course material sent to you. Helpful and insightful information. Booking and information very straight forward, MENTA are simply brilliant.

Andrew Burton-Byrd

April 2020

Just finished my 3 courses on business planning, bookkeeping and marketing. Such great courses with some really valuable lessons learnt. Great MENTA colleagues to help and support you too. Would make this a number one recommendation for anyone who wants help with starting out. Call them, you won't be disappointed...

Samo Lyttle

April 2020
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