Title.png

a free startup programme and grants for young adults in Devon


Do you think that Devon’s economy could be fairer? Do you think that running a business with others is better than going it alone? Do you have an idea for a new business that will benefit Devon’s local food sector, housing, or wellbeing in your community?

Come to our upcoming live crowdfunding event

Founders Soup Website Banner-01.png

How would you improve Devon's...?

Food.png

Food

Housing.png

Housing

Wellbeing.png

Wellbeing

Divider.png

What is Founders for the Future?

Founders for the Future is a free startup programme for young adults in Devon*: a new business incubator working with 15 young adults in Devon – aged between 18-30 years old – supporting them to create new enterprise ideas that secure a sustainable future for Devon*’s local economy.

We will support participants to set up their own enterprises with others, through workshops, residentials, 1:2:1 business consultancy, study visits, market development, a business fair, and up to £1,000 startup grant (money you don't have to pay back).

More than just a business start up programme, the three-month programme puts young adults at the heart of Devon's economic development by focusing on building businesses that make an impact in communities and protect the local environment.

*Mid Devon, Torridge, North Devon, West Devon, and South Hams.

Divider.png
Arrow-01.png
Arrow-01.png
Applications closed

Read the Guidance Notes here.

DEADLINE EXTENDED TO 28 FEBRUARY

Apply by 28 February. Follow the link above to the application on the Devon Social Entrepreneurs Programme website.

What support is being offered on the programme?

Workshops.png
Workshops

All-day sessions focussing on practical business development skills.

Residentials.png
Residentials

Two-day stays at Selgars Mill for focussed study, workshops and one-on-one support.

Study Visits.png
Study Visits

Group visits to other successful and inspiring businesses in the South West.

Action Learning.png
Action Learning

Group coaching activities working together to develop business  solutions together.

Facilitator Nathan Brown discusses the workshops

Arrow-01.png

The programme

Exclamation Mark-01.png

Application Deadline

28 February

Anyone wanting to join the programme must have submitted an application by this date.

Residential

Residential #1
Bootcamp session: You, your enterprise, and community renewal

23-24 March

Welcome to the Founders for the Future programme! Get to know your fellow participants and course leaders and get started.

  • How building your business on social value can give you a competitive advantage

  • How worker co-ops provide a way to share ownership while spreading the work and responsibilities among a team

  • The co-operative values and principles

Workshops.png

Workshop #1
Developing your enterprise idea

28 March

At the heart of every democratic enterprise is an idea that solves a problem or a market opportunity. 

  • How to use the Business Model Canvas as a tool for creating a simple overview of your business plan

  • How to define your product and start to explore gaps in the local economy

  • Creating a 'personality' for your business

Study Visits.png

Study Visit #1

6 April

A day out with the Founders participants to visit a local co-operative enterprise working in food, wellbeing, or housing.

 

Transportation is provided.

Workshops.png

Workshop #2
Getting your head around your finances

11 April

To run a business you need to understand your finances.  In this session:

 

  • Work out how much trading income your business needs to be sustainable

  • Explore your start-up costs (e.g. staff and equipment costs)

  • Identify some common sources of finance to meet start-up costs

Action Learning

Action Learning Set 1

12 April

in person

The most effective learning takes place when we are faced with a real problem that we are obliged to solve. Action Learning occurs in a small closed group, called an Action Learning Team.  This group meets to engage in a collaborative learning process through reflecting on real work issues, exploring possible solutions and planning for action.

 

To find out more, watch ‘What is Action Learning’ from School from Social Entrepreneurs

Workshops.png

Workshop #3
Storytelling: Creating a communication narrative

19 April

Every enterprise needs to have a story to make people care enough to buy its products and services, provide support and start-up funding, or sign up to join the team. 

 

  • Start to develop your business story

  • Frame the value of your enterprise

  • Create a pitch that will communicate it to a range of stakeholders

Action Learning

Action Learning Set 2

20 April

on Zoom

The most effective learning takes place when we are faced with a real problem that we are obliged to solve. Action Learning occurs in a small closed group, called an Action Learning Team.  This group meets to engage in a collaborative learning process through reflecting on real work issues, exploring possible solutions and planning for action.

 

To find out more, watch ‘What is Action Learning’ from School from Social Entrepreneurs

Study Visits.png

Study Visit #2
Developing your enterprise idea

25 April

A day out with the Founders participants to visit a local co-operative enterprise working in food, wellbeing, or housing.

 

Transportation is provided.

Residential

Residential #2
Decarbonisation & innovation plans

3-4 May

In this residential we will focus on how your new business can contribute to reducing the carbon emitted in your local community by delivering goods and services in a different way.

Workshops.png

Workshop #4
Marketing

10 May

Taking a customer focused approach makes it easier to provide the right product in the right place and time at the right price to meet the needs of customers in your community. 

 

  • Introduction to the marketing mix and some commonly used marketing strategies

  • Explore how the marketing mix can help you position your products and services in the market more effectively

Action Learning

Action Learning Set 3

11 May

on Zoom

The most effective learning takes place when we are faced with a real problem that we are obliged to solve. Action Learning occurs in a small closed group, called an Action Learning Team.  This group meets to engage in a collaborative learning process through reflecting on real work issues, exploring possible solutions and planning for action.

 

To find out more, watch ‘What is Action Learning’ from School from Social Entrepreneurs

Study Visits.png

Study Visit #3
Developing your enterprise idea

16 May

A day out with the Founders participants to visit a local co-operative enterprise working in food, wellbeing, or housing.

 

Transportation is provided.

Workshops.png

Workshop #5
Building your team

24 May

A co-operative enterprise is only as strong as the people at the heart of it. Meeting the needs of your community will normally require you to assemble a team, and to learn how to work well and organise together. 

 

  • How to find the right people and know you’ve found them

  • How to organise and plan together

  • How to manage conflict within your team

Action Learning

Action Learning Set 4

27 May

in person

The most effective learning takes place when we are faced with a real problem that we are obliged to solve. Action Learning occurs in a small closed group, called an Action Learning Team.  This group meets to engage in a collaborative learning process through reflecting on real work issues, exploring possible solutions and planning for action.

 

To find out more, watch ‘What is Action Learning’ from School from Social Entrepreneurs

Workshops.png

Workshop #6
Registering your business

30 May

When you are ready to trade it is advisable to register a Company.  Many worker co-ops and community businesses use a Company Limited By Guarantee as their legal vehicle. 
 

  • Understand Limited liability and why people register businesses as companies

  • Learn how to register a Company Limited by Guarantee, and how to adapt the governing document 

  • Review your Business Model Canvas

Action Learning

1:2:1 Business Support with Specialist Advisor

31 May - 1 June

Participants each get a 1-hour session with a specialist business advisor to focus on any aspect of their new business they need help with.  From finances and marketing to adapting your legal structure.

Action Learning

1:2:1 Business Support with Specialist Advisor

7-8 June

Participants each get a 1-hour session with a specialist business advisor to focus on any aspect of their new business they need help with.  From finances and marketing to adapting your legal structure.

Residential

Residential #3
Founders for the Future SOUP

9-10 June

The closing residential features a live crowdfunding event for your new business.

  • Our team will spend the afternoon with you helping you prepare for pitching

  • In the evening we will hold a pitching and “Soup” event where you get to sell your business to potential customers

  • The following morning we will hold a session to plan your next steps.

Divider.png

What is a co-operative business?

A co-op is just like any other business in that it makes products or services available to customers to purchase, but it’s owned and controlled by the people closest to the business: its employees. By giving people a stake in the business, co-ops create greater engagement, interest, and concern for the long-term interests of the business. 

 

By focusing on co-operatives, the programme is prioritising long-term sustainability over short-term economic gains. According to Cooperatives UK’s Cooperative Economy Report 2020:

 

76% of co-op start-ups are still flourishing after the difficult first five years.​
 
Just 42% of other new companies make it through to the end of year five.
Divider.png
Food.png

Christopher Bunce  |  23  |  Suma Wholefoods worker co-operative

“Working as part of a co-operative has proved to me that it is possible to run a successful business democratically, and also one that aims to exclude no one and decentralises power. Working within a co-operative business brings a whole new sense of value to day-to-day work. From the people we employ to the donations and work we do for our local community, I love the fact I’m part of a movement which prioritises people over profits.”

Housing.png

Simin Wadiwala | 24 | Young Co-operators Network + former member of SEASALT Housing Co-op

 

“Co-ops are a way for young people to experience a sense of ownership – be it in their work, housing, or community. Instead of working for someone who focuses on their own short-term returns, co-ops are built by members for members, which allows them to make decisions about the business that meets their and their community’s needs.”

Wellbeing.png

Nathan Brown  |  Co-op Culture and co-operative advisor for Founders for the Future

 

 “Worker co-operatives provide a way for individuals to launch a successful business together that they couldn’t achieve on their own. Sharing the hard work and responsibilities of the start-up phase, they get to share in the rewards, too.”

Arrow-01.png

FAQs

What will I get from the programme?

  • Better understanding of the features, skills needed, and expertise to run a business with others.

  • Everything you need – tools, support, and resources – to register your own business by the end of June 2022.

  • Improved confidence.

  • Connections to experts and networks in the world of co-operative enterprise.

  • Connection to a set of peers who you can problem solve and have fun with together.

Divider.png

Who is this for?

  • People aged 18-30 years old and based in Devon.

  • People with new enterprise ideas that work toward securing a sustainable future for Devon’s local economy.

  • People who are passionate about, or curious about, the power of cooperation and the benefit of working with others over going it alone.

  • People living in, or whose business will have benefit in, Devon Social Entrepreneurs Programme priority areas of Mid Devon, Torridge, West Devon, North Devon, and South Hams.

  • Priority will be given to those who are currently economically inactive or unemployed.

  • Additional access funding is available to support participants with additional needs. Please contact us for more information.

Divider.png

I'm not aged 18-30. What other support is available to me?

Additional support programmes are on offer through the Devon Social Entrepreneurs Programme, from practical learning, a grant, coaching and a supportive network for start-up or more established social enterprises (a business that trades for a social purpose). It’s free and it’s mostly online.

Divider.png

What topics will be covered?

Founders workshops will be delivered by specialists and may cover:

  • Developing your business idea 

  • Understanding your finances

  • Recruiting your team

  • Engagement through telling your story

  • Marketing

  • Registering your business
     

Divider.png

What level of commitment is needed?

We ask that applicants commit to attending and participating in the entire three-month programme from 22 March to 13 June 2022. They’ll need block out time (21 days over three months) to attend all the workshops (either in person or online), as well as the residentials, study visits, and support sessions (online).

Divider.png

Apply by 21 February. Applications for Founders for the Future are now open. Follow the link below to the application on the Devon Social Entrepreneurs Programme website.

Arrow-01.png
Applications closed
Divider.png

Any questions?

Divider.png
Devon Social Entrepreneurs lock-in logo.png
StA logo-01.png
Selgars Mill logo-01.png

Founders for the Future is part of the Devon Social Entrepreneurs Programme led by the School for Social Entrepreneurs (SSE) in partnership with Devon Communities Together, Stir to Action and New Prosperity Devon. It is funded by the UK Government through the UK Community Renewal Fund, which is managed by Devon County Council within the Devon area.