Start Your Own Business


  • Adults (Part-time)


If you are aged 19 or older* and have a business idea, want to work for yourself or have recently started trading, Start Your Own Business, our FREE online course, will give you the inspiration and practical tools to start and grow.  

What is Start Your Own Business?

  • Start Your Own Business is a free online course, with practical tools and resources to start and grow a successful business.
  • In the workshops you will learn about marketing, finance, pricing and delivering a sales pitch.
  • At the end of the workshops you will have a business plan to bring your business idea to life.
  • After completing the workshops, you will have free access to follow-up resources through 

"I was lost before starting the Visionnaires programme and now I feel like I am well on my way to achieving things I didn’t think were possible - thank you!" - Visionnaires participants 

How is it delivered?

  • The course is delivered by online, interactive workshops, facilitated by start-up specialists Visionnaires.
  • All you will need is a PC, laptop or tablet, and the free download of Microsoft Teams software.
  • You must commit to attend 5x7-hour days (usually one day a week for 5 weeks) plus a half-day follow-up.
  • There is a total of a days’ work for you to complete in between workshops.
  • After the workshops, we give you access to more resources and promotion of your business on

How do I get on the course?

  • The course normally runs every month and is free of charge.
  • You will be asked to complete the enrolment process in advance, including your ID and proof of benefits or income.
  • You do not need any prior business knowledge, just an idea for a new business or self-employment.

Who are Visionnaires?

  • Start-up specialists who partner with colleges and provide the workshop material, expert facilitators and follow-up resources.

Course Schedule

Courses run on a regular basis for 1 day a week over a 5 week period 9:30am – 4:30pm, covering 5 modules:
  • Bringing your idea to life
  • Marketing
  • Finance
  • Networking and selling
  • Making your pitch

Course dates (2023/24)

  • October 24, 2023
  • November 21, 2023
  • December 5, 2023
  • January 30, 2024
  • February 27, 2024
  • March 26, 2024
  • April 23, 2024
  • May 28, 2024
  • June 18, 2024
  • July 2, 2024

"I have nothing but positive things to say about this programme. I loved the energy and support I received during each workshop." - Visionnaires participants

*To be eligible for this free course, please ensure you fit the following criteria:
  1. You must be a resident in the Great London Authority
  2. You must be aged 19 or older (on 31st August 2023)
  3. If you are aged between 19-23 you must have achieved a level2 (or higher) qualification
  4. If you are in receipt of a means tested benefit including Universal Credit, Jobseekers Allowance, or Employment Support Allowance you must be able to evidence your most recent payments
  5. If you earn less than £21,547.50 annual gross salary (before any deductions) and can evidence your salary with payslips you may be eligible for low-income fee remission depending on the course you are studying
  6. If you are aged 19 to 24 and have an Education Health Care Plan (EHCP) you should be able to provide this if requested
For more information and to register your interest, please contact