Start-up courses

Are you at the beginning of your career or looking for a career change? Maybe you're feeling a little lost and in need of inspiration and support with what comes next in life.
Could you benefit from gaining more confidence communicating and bringing your ideas to life? Regardless of your stage in life, background, experience to date or age we believe there's a place for everyone on our Start-Up courses. In fact, it's the differences across the team that make our Start-up course such a rich and meaningful experience for participants.

Start-up in a Nutshell

Enrol and let’s start making things happen. On the Start-Up course, you’ll develop and launch a real idea, initiative or business as a member of a close-knit team. Or you can join our Enterprising Women’s course, and work on your own idea using the start-up method.

You’ll meet in person and be guided through a creative and hands-on design process where you learn how to turn good ideas into great ones. Then you’ll launch it into the world, supported every step of the way by an Edventure facilitator. It’s fun. It’s all about doing. It puts you in the driving seat going at a pace that suits you – see below for our current available courses.

Our courses are a chance to try something new, help others do the same, and get one-to-one coaching support to take forward your new skills, confidence, experience, community connections or sense of direction into the future.

Start-up #23: A new space for Frome

Now recruiting – limited spaces avaliable

Your project will be to create a new multifunctional community space for Frome. The project is all about bringing people together in space that can host various social events including music, film nights, comedy and community groups. The space is to simultaneously serve as a laundrette and offer practical services to local people – which will welcome users to enjoy a warm space to enjoy hot drinks and good company.

This intention is that this space will fill the voids left by the loss of communal services and spaces, offering a sustainable, inclusive alternative to enhance community bonds and address local needs.

When: Fridays, 9.15 to 2.45pm with 3ish hours a week in your own time
Start and finish date: 8 March to 28 June 2024 excluding Easter Weekend

Enroll Now or Express Your Interest

Enterprising Women

Fully booked. Join our waiting list, or consider the Start-Up course (above), with the same methodology

Work on your own idea, project or venture as part of a group of women who want to make things happen. You might know exactly what you want to do or be exploring an interest or theme.. Either way, an Edventure facilitator and the group will support you to get hands on, applying the Edventure start-up process to test and develop your ideas, find supporters, and get real feedback before making your idea real. You might run your first pop up event or market day, develop a logo and brand, work on a business plan or write your first fundraising application – you decide what you work on. We’ll be joined by inspiring guests such as local female founders, those with finance know-how, and experience of marketing to ensure you get the support you need.

Days and times: Thursdays, 9.15 to 2.45pm with additional hours determined by you

Start and finish date:
Term 1: Thursday 22 Feburary to Thursday 28 March 2024
Term 2: Thursday 18 April to Thursday 27 June 2024

Enroll Now or Express Your Interest

Our Start-up teams have worked on lots of ideas and projects over the last ten years, here are just a few of them:

Edventure’s Make:Shed

Edventure’s Make:Shed is a weekly open workshop space for people aged 18-35ish to work on practical and creative projects, individually or with others. Drop in on a Thursday to meet some of the Edventure team and see one of our Start-ups in action.

Share Shop

Share Shop, the team helped build and launch the shop, source the objects, figure out the business model and wrote the blueprint that has helped countless library of things launch throughout the country.

Frome’s Community Fridge

Frome’s Community Fridge, the team turned a disused toilet block in the middle of town into the ever popular community fridge. Now located behind the Town Hall, the fridge has saved eight Wembley stadiums worth of food from landfill since 2014.

Loop

Loop, the team turned Frome’s compost club into a fully functioning community composting business. As well as mastering the business model and signing up customers, the group had to learn to navigate Frome by cargo trike.

What you can get out of a Start-up course

You can get lots of different things from Start-up’s learn-by-doing approach including:

Skills and qualities

There are lots of skills and qualities you can get from our Start-up courses. You can use them to work on your own ideas or transfer them to different jobs. Here are just a few:

Learn entrepreneurial and practical project skills such as how to:

  • follow a design process for developing and launching ideas
  • plan and manage a project
  • plan cash flow and write a business plan
  • fundraise
  • plan and run a successful event
  • brand and market a new product or service

Learn interpersonal and group working skills such as how to:

  • facilitate groups to work well together
  • to work as a team player and resolve conflict
  • to work inclusively, welcoming in diversity
  • to present yourself confidently in groups

Develop a resilient and proactive mindset, including:

  • expecting and embracing mistakes
  • working reflectively
  • prioritising action and avoiding procrastination

Case study

Lily

“Many of the skills I learnt during my time with Edventure had a direct impact on my ability to confidently move forward into setting up my own project.”

Lily joined our team to tackle food waste in Frome that led to us setting up the first UK Community Fridge. She went on to set up The Pitney Farm cafe to help people reconnect with where their food comes from, selling local, organic veg and running community events.

Read more stories here

Confidence and a renewed sense of possibility

Boost your confidence and feel inspired about what you can achieve.

Case study

Ben S

“I would say my work with Loop Frome has informed why I’m standing as a town councillor. I think it’s informed my personal idea around agency and how you can have an idea and with a group of people you can come together and make something and make change and it’s perfectly possible to do that.”

After Edventure, Ben continued to work with Loop which he helped to set up as part of his Start-up course and is also now a Frome Town Councilor.

Connection to a supportive community

Feel the joy of a supportive community who want you to succeed and who are there to support you both personally and professionally.

Experience

Gain valuable experience to help you start your career, switch careers or try new roles in a safe environment.

Case study

Ben G

“I leveraged the experience of working on our Start-up challenge to get my first full-time job in London where I had the opportunity to work closely with 100’s of early-stage start-ups as they went through the challenging journey of founding a company and raising funds.”

Ben joined Start-up to help relaunch Share Shop and used the experience to find his first full-time job.

New direction and energy

Discover what’s right for you and feel energised to move forward on your chosen path.

Case study

Camilla

“I joined Edventure because I wanted an education that really helps me find what I love to do and that teaches me about life. Edventure gave me a blank canvas to experiment on. The freedom and every growing opportunity that have come my way since being involved with Edventure has in turn challenged me to learn to recognise what is truly right for me.”

After Edventure, Camilla set up a traditional sign writing business, and went on to become a director at the Flameworks, a community arts center in Plymouth.

Edventure Start-up courses are made up of five modules and practical project work – either a group project or your own. Download this course overview for more information on how it works, what teaching is on offer, and to view a sample timetable.

Who are the courses for?

Everyone! We are looking to make teams of people with diverse backgrounds and skills who are motivated and are up for a challenge. Sign-up for a course because you want to learn from it, learn from each other and make the world a better place to be.

Previous participants have been a wide range of ages, from 19 to 59. Some left school at 16 and others have been to university. Some have just started work and others have had long careers already. Some have been or are craftspeople or artists and others have worked in the public or private sectors. Our courses are designed to be inclusive and welcoming environments and meeting people you might not normally meet is part of the fun and the learning experience.

What if I don’t live in Frome or Somerset?

You’re very welcome to enroll, though you’ll need to arrange temporary accommodation in Frome or nearby. We’ve hosted students from many different places, even as far away as California. While Edventure can assist in finding accommodation (often at a reduced rate), you’re responsible for arranging it. Please feel free to speak to us about this.

Participating in one of our courses offers a chance to immerse yourself in the course and Frome. There are many exciting and innovative community initiatives to discover – as well as past Start-up projects there is Green and Healthy Frome – an innovative partnership focused on community-led health and climate solutions – Sustainable Frome, The Independent Market, Independents for Frome who run our council, and many many more. Frome is renowned for the strength of its community action and will undoubtedly inspire you as to what’s possible in your life and future and where you live. Take a look at what’s on.

Are there any costs?

If you’re a Somerset resident (excluding BANES) then you don’t need to pay to participate in our courses. When you enroll you receive a bursary from Somerset Skills and Learning which covers the cost of your place. This is paid directly to Edventure.  

We also like to know that you are committed to the course and so ask each Somerset participant to make a pledge of support: this could be offering to bring a cake to the first day of the course, making a donation to Edventure or volunteering some of your time to support our work.

If you live outside of Somerset, or in BANES, Start-up costs £850. If this cost represents a barrier to you participating, please email hello@edventurefrome.org and we can look at making appropriate adjustments to help you participate.

What is the project or idea I’ll be working on?

It depends on what course you sign up for. On our Enterprising Women’s Start-up course, you work on your own idea or project. In our other Start-up courses, you work on a team idea or project. They typically involve starting up or developing a community enterprise. You’ll develop and share the idea based on what you discover during the Start-up process. Our aim is to grow the community and social enterprise sectors in Frome and address local challenges and needs. Details of the upcoming courses are shown above.

Who facilitates the courses?

The Frome Start-up facilitator is Colin Atkinson. He has a background in adult learning and facilitation and lots of experience running projects and making ideas real. 

Dates & times

Our courses currently run for approximately 16 weeks 9.15 – 2.45 pm on a Thursday or a Friday – please check the individual course. Individuals and groups decide how much they do outside of the course, though most groups plan some evening or weekend events. For dates please check the upcoming courses listed above.

Do I need to attend every week?

You should aim to attend every week, but we understand that sometimes you may not be able to.

Where is the course run from?

The course runs from the Edventure Hub, Park Hill Drive, Frome BA11 2LE. The Edventure Hub was one of our first Start-up projects. It’s a community co-working space full of activity, maker spaces, plants and much more. Feel free to drop in during a weekday and take a look – we’ll happily show you around. Unfortunately, access to the Hub is by a flight of stairs.

Can I try Edventure first?

Absolutely, you can drop in anytime for a tour of the Edventure Hub, which was one of our first Start-up projects. It’s a community co-working space full of activity, maker spaces, plants and much more. The address is Edventure Hub, Park Hill Drive, Frome BA11 2LE.

You can also drop into our Thursday evening Make:Shed sessions which are a fun way to learn about Edventure and meet some of the team while getting involved in something practical and hands-on.

How do I enroll , express my interest or ask questions?

It’s simple, let us know that you’d like to or are potentially interested in enrolling on one of our courses using this link. We’ll then arrange a time to chat or meet in person so that you can get to know Edventure and so that we can both check if your chosen course is right for you. Once we’ve met, we’ll confirm your place on the course and will look forward to seeing you on the first day.

Are you interested?

Leave your details with us below and we’ll be in touch to arrange an informal chat so that you can get to know Edventure and explore if one of our courses is right for you.

Enroll now or express your interest