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FREE course for budding businesses

Free places are on offer to those new to business in the Boston area.

The University of Lincoln and the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) have joined forces to offer 100 free places on a new flexible online short course for aspiring entrepreneurs and self-employed people in Lincolnshire.

The new programme of accreditation aims to support owners and managers of small and medium enterprises with the process of start, run and grow their own business.

The course is studied entirely online, using video, text-based resources and self-assessment tests so learners can fit the course around other commitments, choosing when and where to study to meet their needs.

There are two phases to the programme with 50 places available on each. These places are now being offered free of charge to FSB members in Greater Lincolnshire.

Funded in partnership by the University of Lincoln and FSB, the programme, 'Sustaining Self-Employment - A Short Course for FSB Members', will address two distinct phases of small business ownership.

Phase 1: The Start-up Business - Beginning and structuring a small business - consists of six modules covering defining the requirement and expectation, researching the market place, understanding the customer needs, assessing financial needs and structure, writing a business plan and ensuring viability.

Phase 2: The Growing Business - Effective control of expansion and the employment of others - the six modules in Phase 2 cover cash flow and profitability projections, promoting your service and/or product, planning and maximising the use of resources, the legal and regulatory environment, dealing with the employment of people and presenting the business plan

The programmes begin in February- learners can start their studies at any time after that date but must complete the course by the end of October 2017.

Certificates of Completion will be awarded by the University of Lincoln after each phase. A tutor from the university will be available to answer questions and support students' learning.

David Dexter of the Greater Lincolnshire and Peterborough FSB said: "It is an accepted fact that one-in-three new businesses fail within the first three years.

"Lack of knowledge of how to become self-employed, the difference from paid employment, who to register with, how to raise capital , how to manage cash flow and how to write a business plan all contribute to failure .

"Then the development of the new business poses further challenges in order to expand, take on premises, acquire employees, marketing and promotion, enter bigger contracts, etc.

"This new course will present the self-employed with support to sustain their new business and grow it for the future."

For an application form contact Emma Kinna at the University of Lincoln on or telephone 01522 835553. For more information visit: