How I found BIPC Devon’s free business support.
I teach English to refugees as a volunteer. Back before 2020 this was often in-person and because it is free we would usually meet in the library. One day I noticed a BIPC poster. I think it was for Start Up Day, at Exeter Library.
Starting with Start Up Day
I think that the first BIPC Event I went to was a Start Up Day in Exeter. My business ideas were still forming so I was quite nervous. Feeling like a fraud on my way through the door that morning as I wasn’t really even a start up at the time. I even downplayed my business plans when talking about them because I didn’t believe that I should take up space in the room. That began to change at that event.
The Start Up day that I went to was a series of talks that introduced several business topics including intellectual property, business banking, sales and marketing. The professionals presenting and the other attendees were all kind and approachable. Everyone was open and honest about the stage of their business, the doubt they felt, the hard parts, and the uncertainty of taking the business building leap. This was combined with practical advice and signposting at the level I needed it at the time. I realised later that it was spending time in nurturing and authentic business development environments like that one that were fundamental to me getting my venture off of the ground.
After that I booked some of the free one-to-one expert advice sessions available through BIPC Devon, having heard about them at Start Up Day. I think I had a marketing session, an intellectual property session and a session with Kalkidan Legesse which was invaluable in helping me to design my financial accessibility policy. I also accessed some of the databases available to help me with my market research during this time. All of which helped me to grow in confidence and helped me to develop my business. It is rare to find free-to-access business support that is so comprehensive and well-delivered.
Recently I have been on the other side of this supporting the work of BIPC Devon and its clients as a mentor on their incredible Women in Business course and delivering workshops on my areas of expertise. The recordings of all of these sessions and more are available here. I have also signed up to provide expert one-to-one sessions on creating digital education products as a part of businesses such as courses and workshops.
None of this means that I won’t be using the resources at BIPC Devon anymore however. There is still tons I am learning as a business owner and their networking and coworking events are great. Thank you to everyone at BIPC Devon for creating such a wonderful and practical community.
You can read more about the session I delivered for Women in Business at my blog: https://www.clairecollis.co.uk/blog/being-kind-to-yourself-as-a-women-in-business
If this has left you feeling inspired, book a 1-1 with Claire Collis, why wait?: https://bipc.librariesunlimited.org.uk/experts/claire-collis/