Meet Positive Retail's Anna Woods at Business Start Up Journey Launch 11 Oct

The jam-packed co-curricular Business Start Up Journey, facilitated at ASPIRE, features an exciting launch event and hands-on programme of workshops over the academic year.

Be inspired at the launch of this year’s Business Start-Up Journey where five amazing business founders share their start-up stories.

Social entrepreneur Anna Woods (pictured above) went from a highflying career as a buyer for top High Street fashion brands, to becoming the founder of her own sustainable fashion business, Positive Retail, tacking the retail industry’s waste issue.

Sport and Exercise Science graduate Sophie Broom, the founder of The Awesome Anatomy Co, turned her artistic skills into a thriving business.

Computing graduate, Tomiwa Sosanya, the founder of Do You Customs, has won collaborations with big brands with his customised trainers and accessories. Computing graduate, Seth Mashate discovered a gap in the market and plans to revolutionise data usage in the dental industry.

Law student, Munya Mwaijumba is launching Glimmer, an app which empowers freelance hairdressers.

See below for the full programme of events this year and email to book your spot. 

Wednesday 11/10/2023: The Business Start-Up Journey Launch 2023. Sibson LT3, Canterbury.  2pm to 3:30pm. FREE BUFFET. 

Be inspired at the launch of this year’s Business Start-Up Journey. Find out more about how ASPIRE can support you to start your own business and develop entrepreneurial skills to enhance your career and employability.

Saturday 14/10/2023: BC 1 – The Ideas Hack: How to Find a Business Idea Inspired by Nature. Sibson, Oasis Garden or a forest in Canterbury. 12pm to 5pm with FREE LUNCH.

For our Ideas Hack we take a deep dive into innovation where we will work together exploring biomimicry and learn how nature can inspire business ideas and help create sustainable solutions to challenges around us.

Wednesday 18/10/2023: How to Solve a Problem… and Start a Business. Sibson, Canterbury, TBC. 2pm to 3pm. FREE PIZZA.

After understanding the different elements of a business plan and how to put them together, we use the Sustainable Development Goals as inspiration to explore how solving a problem in the world around us can lead to discovering exciting new business opportunities.

Wednesday 25/10/2023: Understanding Your Customer. Sibson, Canterbury, TBC. 2pm to 3.30pm. FREE PIZZA.

Apple founder, Steve Jobs said, “You’ve got to start with the customer experience and work back, not the other way around.” In this interactive workshop you will use Design Thinking techniques to unlock innovation and new business ideas by looking at the world through your customers’ eyes.

Wednesday 01/11/2023: Spotting a Gap in the Market: How to Find a Business Idea in the Real World. 10am to 3pm. Fruit Works Coworking, Canterbury. FREE LUNCH. 

The Business Start-Up Journey is going out out! Join us for an extended practical workshop in Canterbury City Centre where we will work together to identify gaps in the market and create exciting new business solutions.

Wednesday 08/11/2023: How to Use Technology to Start a New Business.  2pm to 3.30pm. Sibson TBC. FREE PIZZA.

Explore what inspiration new technologies provide us with when starting a business. You will dive into different worlds using VR and AI to explore the opportunities of the circular economy to deliver innovation and create a positive impact on the planet.

Saturday 11/11/2023: Build a Web App Bootcamp. 10pm to 3.30pm. Canterbury TBC. FREE LUNCH.

Join us on this one-day workshop when you will learn how to build an App in Bubble, with our Tech Entrepreneur in Residence – Jon Carroll.

Wednesday 15/11/2023: How to do Market Research and Spot New Trends. Sibson, TBC. 2pm to 3.30pm. FREE PIZZA.

Business success lies in studying emerging trends and learning how to use market information to stay ahead of the curve and spot the next big thing. In this interactive workshop you will practice using online tools and resources to spot trends and do market research.

Wednesday 22/11/2023: How to Test Your Business Idea. Sibson TBC. 2pm to 3.30pm. FREE PIZZA.

Before you launch your business, learn how you can get real feedback and insights from your potential customers. Learn about prototyping and the importance of an MVP (Minimum Viable Product).

Wednesday 29/11/2023: What can you Learn from Your Competition? Sibson TBC. 2pm to 3.30pm. FREE PIZZA.

In this interactive workshop, you will learn how to analyse competition in your market to understand their strengths and weaknesses and uncover the innovation to make your business stand out.

Wednesday: 06/12/2023: How to Create a Business Plan. Sibson, TBC. FREE PIZZA.

In this hands-on workshop you will gain a comprehensive understanding of every aspect of a successful business plan. Throughout the session, you’ll have the opportunity to practise building a personalised plan tailored to your specific business goals.


Wednesday 24/01/2024: How to Win New Customers. Sibson, TBC. 2pm to 3.30pm. FREE PIZZA.

Success in business lies in acquiring new customers, fast! In this interactive workshop, you will learn how to find customers and build and maintain a long-lasting relationship with them to increase your revenue.

Wednesday 31/01/2024: How to Use Digital Marketing to Reach Your Customers. Sibson TBC. 2pm to 3.30pm. FREE PIZZA.

Join Harry Dance, Digital Marketing Director at award-winning Kayo Digital, to learn how to use the latest digital marketing tools to understand your audience’s behaviour and reach your customers.

Wednesday 07/02/2024: How to Create an Effective Marketing campaign. Sibson, TBC. 2pm to 3.30pm. FREE PIZZA.

In this workshop, you will learn how to create a professional marketing campaign for your business and generate compelling content including video to reach your customers using free tools also used by professional social media marketeers.

Wednesday 14/02/2024: How to Build a Website For Your Start-Up. Sibson, TBC. 2pm to 3.30pm. FREE PIZZA.

Build a website in just 90 minutes! A simple website is a low-cost way to showcase your business idea and get feedback from potential customers. In this hands-on workshop, you’ll be guided through creating the perfect platform to test your ideas and reach your customers.

Wednesday 21/02/2024: Get to Grips with Your Start-Up Finance. Sibson, TBC. 2pm to 3.30pm. FREE PIZZA.

In this practical session, you will understand how to make financial forecasts for your start-up and how to build your business to break even and then to profit. You will learn how to price your products and services and understand your start-up costs.

Wednesday 28/02/2024: What do Investors Want? and How to Find Funding for Your Start-Up. Sibson, TBC. 2pm to 3.30pm. FREE PIZZA.

Learn from the professionals how to get an investor interested in your business idea. How do you talk to investors or put together an exciting crowdfunding campaign? In this workshop, our team will answer all the questions you might have related to funding your start-up.

Wednesday 06/03/2024: How to be Brilliant at Networking. Sibson, TBC. 2pm to 3.30pm. FREE PIZZA.

Like the famous book says, Your Network Is Your Net Worth and in this interactive workshop you will learn how to use networking opportunities effectively – face-to-face and online – to promote your start-up and grow your net worth.

Saturday 09/03/2024: BC 5 – Building an Outstanding Pitch Deck. 12noon to 5.30pm. MBA Suite, Sibson Canterbury. Free lunch and refreshments.

At our extended workshop, you’ll learn which slides you need in your pitch deck to impress potential investors. You’ll create the perfect pitch telling a compelling story and get top tips for presenting to investors, customers and suppliers

Wednesday 13/03/2024: How to Set Up Your Business. Sibson LT2. 2pm to 3.30pm. FREE PIZZA.

Do you know what legal obligations you face when starting a business in the UK? In this practical workshop, you will get guidance on all the aspects you will need to consider from registering at Companies House to filing tax, trademarking and protecting your ideas.

Wednesday 20/03/2024: Pitching Finals. 11am to 3.30pm. Sibson LT2, Canterbury. FREE PIZZA.

Step into the Dragon’s Den to pitch your business to our panel of judges with the chance to win £1,000 to develop your idea.

Join the showcase and celebrate the Business Start-Up Journey programme

Email to book your spot. 

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