Help your rural community thrive through enterprise development

Posted: 30th January 2017

germinateWhat is it all about?

In most communities there are people who would love to set up their own small business or social enterprise, but lack confidence and the practical skills needed to choose an idea and work out whether it is viable. pcb-229x300

See the Germinate Enterprise Website for more information about how to organise business start up workshops in your local area or email Jerry Marshall

Germinate Enterprise is a resource that churches or other groups can use to help their community flourish through job creation, retaining young and working age residents and tackling rural poverty.

Given the growing availability of high speed broadband, the need many farmers have to diversify, and the availability of business skills in many congregations, there is a unique opportunity to reach out and offer a resource of real benefit.

A grant from the Prince’s Countryside Fund has allowed us to develop the Germinate Enterprise programme and we are very grateful to them for their on-going support of the project.  Established by HRH The Prince of Wales in 2010, The Prince’s Countryside Fund is passionate about the countryside and exists to improve the prospects of family farm businesses and the quality of rural life.

Germinate Enterprise helps…

  • tackle hidden rural poverty
  • retain working age / young people in our villages
  • assist farm diversification
  • take advantage of high speed rural broadband as this becomes available
  • benefit existing businesses (through the “Multiplier effect”)
  • use business skills within congregations.

Germinate Enterprise is a simple but profound rural business start-up course suitable for those from any educational background. It comprises six two-hour sessions which help participants to consider whether to start an enterprise or become self-employed, what the right business is for them to start, and whether their idea is viable. It was written by successful small business serial entrepreneurs, people familiar with starting businesses with limited resources.

There is also material for an optional monthly follow up gathering called “Beer Mat Mentoring”. These are low-resource and enjoyable gatherings for both aspiring and experienced business people which also help tackle the isolation entrepreneurs often feel.

Who can set up a programme?

Running a programme doesn’t require any great experience of enterprise on your part. The workbook contains all the course content and exercises and there is a session plan and facilitator guide. The role of the facilitator is to guide participants through the course, introducing each section as explained in the session plan.

You may want to do the course yourself and gather a few friends around you to work through the workbook together. Or you may have some business experience and would like the enjoyment and satisfaction that comes from running a course in a church or village hall, making a tangible difference to participants’ lives.

The course can be run by one person, but we recommend that two people share the facilitation. This means you can take turns leading alternate sections and share your different experiences and knowledge.

There is no training needed, as long as you read through the materials before the course and go through each session in advance. However, we do run facilitator training seminars to introduce the material and build confidence.

What they say

I love the fact this course is for regular people to help them better themselves.
I learned a lot and now I feel more confident in starting a business.
This course really helped me think logically through the step-by-step of setting up a business for the first time.
The structure of the course is excellent – succinct and easy to understand and implement.