Welsh would-be entrepreneurs who want to put the 9 to 5 behind them to start their own businesses are being given a helping hand by innovative online accountants.
Mazuma is backing the Welsh Innovation Centre for Enterprise 5 to 9 Club, an after work hours course aimed at helping people work through what they need to do to establish their own businesses.
The eight-week course which begins with a pop-up session in Aberdare Rugby Club on February 11 looks at the business idea, the business model, knowing who the customer is, digital marketing, branding, social media, the law, funding, and pitching.
The course will also be at Ferndale, Ebbw Vale, Merthyr, Caerphilly, and Tonypandy in 2020.
On the final evening, the budding business owners share their ideas and their pitches.
Mazuma co-founder Lucy Cohen said:
“We are supporting the programme by offering free training on one of the sessions and six months’ free use of our service to all the people who finish the course.
“We want to support small and micro businesses and make sure that people get the support they need from day one.
“We know from first-hand experience that running a business can be tough, so we’re aiming to take the pressure off and give them the best start possible.
“Understanding your numbers and knowing your costs, profit, and cashflow are also the foundation stones for business survival and growth.”
Welsh ICE Community Outreach Manager Lesley Williams said:
“The 5 to 9 Club aims to support individuals with an idea and help them turn it into a fully-fledged business by equipping them with the skills and knowledge they will need to launch and grow.
“The workshops are held once a week from 5pm to 9pm, to allow those who work full time to gain the experience and support needed to grow their business idea without taking the risk of giving up full-time employment.
“It’s tough to start a business, especially when you are working full-time. So, the idea of supporting people after work to help them overcome early obstacles is only going to help more enterprises grow.
“We’re really hoping to give the next generation of founders the help they need to start and build a business in the South Wales Valleys for the benefit of the Valleys communities.”
The clubs are a key part of the Welsh ICE outreach programme and each week is hosted by a different expert who guides participants through different aspects of starting a business, from developing their business plan to seeking investment and launching.
“We have supported 81 individuals in less than a year, of which 85% are female, and on the back of these courses 39 have actually started up their enterprises.
“Our new partnership with Mazuma was a no brainer. They share our passion to support start-ups at their most fragile phases across South Wales; and the very generous discount they now offer our alumni adds a great value to the individuals who go through our course to help them get on their feet quickly following their 8 week journey with us.
“I believe this partnership will increase our already impressive number of start-ups on the back of the 5 to 9 Club course.”
Anyone who has an idea for a business but isn’t sure where to start is asked to get in touch with Lesley on [email protected] or call her on 02920 140 040 to find out when a 5 to 9 Club will next pop up in a town near them.
Lucy Cohen co-founded award-winning Bridgend-based Mazuma with childhood friend Sophie Hughes in 2006.
Lucy won Accounting Personality of the Year in 2009 and was a finalist in the Institute of Directors Awards 2019 after being named Wales Director of the Year in the innovation category.
Mazuma won the Account and Tax Adviser of the Year award at the British Business Awards 2019 and the British Small Business Awards 2018.