'Start Your Own Business' Workshop

Northern Film & Media in partnership with Sunderland University is offering a free course on how to start your own business.

Aimed at people based in the North East of England who are either intending to start a business in the creative sector or have recently done so, and especially suited to recent graduates, this heavily interactive course will run over three days in Sunderland. It will be delivered by a trained business advisor/counsellor from expert providers Project North East, who have been assisting individuals, partnerships and groups in starting and running their own businesses in the region for over 30 years. 

This course will enable you to make a decision on whether your business idea is feasible and viable. It will help you understand business planning and what that involves, including Tax and National Insurance for you and your business; types of businesses; market research; insurance; finance; and, much more. You will be provided with the tools not only to write your own business plan, but also to help you understand what is involved in having your own business and making it a success.

Topics covered include:

  • Planning your business venture
  • Marketing
  • Market research
  • Online marketing and IT for business
  • Legal issues
  • Business finance
  • The secrets of making a successful business


As part of the course you will receive: 

  • Business planning support during and after the workshops with a named business advisor/counsellor
  • A course certificate (60% pass rate required)
  • A USB pen full of useful resources including templates and books
  • A promotional webpage for your business when you start up


Refreshments will be provided to all delegates. You will need to get your own lunch however. There are a variety of cafes nearby or you may bring a packed lunch if you prefer. 

To be eligible to undertake this course you must be working in the creative industries of the North East of England. Ideally you will be registered with HMRC for your work as a freelancer or sole trader, but it may be that you have already set up some kind of company, or that you have still to generate an income from your work and so are not registered at all. In the latter case you need to be working at least 21 hours per week on creative projects, paid or unpaid. To check your eligibility please download and read this document.  

When: Tues 22 – Thurs 24 July, 10am – 5pm 

Where: The Enterprise Place (Room 204), Sunderland University, St Peter's Gate, Charles Street, Sunderland, SR6 0AN.

Registration: To register please click here and complete the form. 

Thanks to the support of our funders there is no charge for this course for eligible applicants but an attendance deposit of £15 will be required to secure your place. This will be reimbursed fully immediately on completion of the course. We regret that we are unable to invoice or take deposits by cheque.





Day 1

Planning your business (ad)venture: the Business Plan, why we do it and how, and personal planning such as survival budgets and time management

Market Research: why we do market research, how do we do it, and why it’s important

And first half of ‘Marketing your business’: the different types of marketing for your business and how to do it


Day 2

Second half - Marketing your business: the different types of marketing for your business and how to do it

Online marketing and IT for businesses: social networking, websites and business IT


Day 3

Business law: employing people, different types of insurances, legal obligations as well as business types and how to set them up

Unravelling Business finance: tax, NI, pricing, start-up costs, cash flow forecasting as well as where to access finance

Making your business a success: covering team work, quality, motivation, for you and your team and keeping customers


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