The team behind Wales’ largest innovation centre and co-working space Welsh ICE, are inviting users to trail a new online learning platform to help aspiring entrepreneurs to start and grow their businesses.
Boma Camp uses workshops, articles and a community forum to bring together future business owners with people who are already thinking about setting up a business, helping them share knowledge and advice.
Welsh ICE and Boma Camp CEO Gareth Jones said: “Our members are constantly collaborating and helping each other to grow their businesses, but we can only fit so many people into our buildings – we wanted to take that ethos and share it with all potential entrepreneurs.
“A ‘boma’ is an Eastern African word, meaning palisade or meeting place, where people sit and exchange information and knowledge. We hope that launching Boma Camp will allow us to connect more and more people in a way that helps them learn from a diverse and knowledgeable audience.
“At one of the first Welsh ICE events we sat around a campfire and talked about our business ideas and inspirations. That was in 2011, and since then through the same spirit of collaboration and conversation, we've supported more than 350 businesses to start.”
As part of the launch, Boma Camp is encouraging aspiring entrepreneurs to apply for its 5-9 Club, a 12-week course which teaches everything aspiring entrepreneurs need to know about starting a business, without leaving their job.
The 5-9 Club began at Welsh ICE in 2016 and has supported more than 50 people to start a business. Now the club is launching online, and will look at a different element of business each week, from registration, to marketing to launch.
Mr Jones said: “We believe that you shouldn’t have to leave your job so you can start a business. That’s where the idea for the 5-9 Club comes from – being able to grow and develop an idea in your spare time, with the right support and information.”
The platform has launched with a number of strategic partners, who will work to share their expertise.
“Our partners all have different relationships with aspiring business owners, and they too want to encourage and support entrepreneurship. We’re excited to work with them to and ensure we’re reaching as many people as possible with the right advice.”
The launch of the new service follows ICE’s national recognition at the Great British Entrepreneur Awards held in London last November. The campus was recognised for its outstanding commitment to its community, picking up the NatWest Boost Award for Entrepreneurial Co-working Space of The Year.
The first online 5-9 course has been significantly discounted for its trial phase and will cost £20 for three months, starting on January 16. Delegates can register now.
To sign up or find out more information you can visit www.boma.camp or call 029 2014 0040, or follow BomaCamp on twitter @bomacamp or facebook.com/bomahq.