25 November 2013

Support for self-employment from learndirect

People looking to move into self-employment will be able to get more support, thanks to a new service by online learning provider learndirect.

Online learning provider learndirect has been approved as an award centre by Small Firms Enterprise Development Initiative (SFEDI) – the government-recognised body that sets standards for business enterprise and support. Now learndirect will launch a new service providing a range of support including one-to-one guidance, workshops and advice on launching a start-up business

It will also offer a range of qualifications relating to business and enterprise. Staff at learndirect will take level 3 qualifications in enterprise coaching to make sure they are providing the right support to would-be entrepreneurs.

Initially the support, which will include group work, one-to-one sessions and online advice, will be available to jobseekers on the Government’s Work Programme but there are plans to roll it out further in the future.

New appointment will oversee initiative

The service will be led by learndirect’s newly appointed Enterprise Director Ian Carlier. Ian has run his own businesses since the 1980s and is experienced in enterprise development.

He says: “It’s fantastic news to have been successful in becoming a SFEDI Awards centre. It’s really exciting to join learndirect at this time.

“I’m particularly passionate about giving people the skills they need to take their entrepreneurial spirit to the next level and I’m looking forward to growing our enterprise services in the coming months across the UK and Internationally.”

Other sources of support

Other places entrepreneurs can get advice and support include the Government’s Business Link. Its helpline on 0845 600 9006 is open between 9am and 6pm on weekdays to give people guidance on starting a business.

We also have our own guides on our website to answer some of the main questions people may have when they are taking their first steps to running their own business, including how to choose the right workspace and how to get business funding.  

Become a mentor

If you are already successfully running a business, you may want to consider passing on your pearls of wisdom. Get Mentoring is an initiative which aims to recruit and train thousands of mentors from the SME community to help potential entrepreneurs follow in their footsteps.

The scheme has launched a free online training tool, provided by SFEDI, to allow people to get the support become volunteer business mentors more easily.