Tag Archives: events

Our Smart start-up courses

30 Jul

Having just finished our latest free SMART Start up Business programme we are excited to start another this week, meeting new people wanting to start up their business and become self-employed. We have had a range of businesses from land management, jewellery makers to property services.

The course aims to give people the skills and confidence to start up their business, how to overcome some of the challenges of starting up and how to ensure that you have a successful business.

“It is a relaxed atmosphere where you are not bombarded with info but come out feeling very motivated”

The attendees really benefited from the support of others and felt happy to ask questions and share concerns as the learning is done in a relaxed friendly atmosphere.

Breaking the information down into 4, 3 hour sessions that build on each other makes the information clear and easy to understand and retain. The sessions cover Idea Development, Market Research, Finance and Funding and Marketing and Sales.

“I am due to meet my NEA Mentor next week. Really can’t wait to get things up and running now. Once again, thank you so much to you both for all your help, I found the course so helpful.”

The attendees came on to the course with a business idea and in some cases feeling a bit overwhelmed by how much they didn’t know and how much they needed to do.

One of the areas of concern for all was finance, with tax and registering with HMRC being the top worries. By the end of the session all felt much more confident and were surprised how simple everything can be.   By the end they all had a clear plan of their next steps.

“The finance side was my biggest concern but after today I feel more positive about things”

We really enjoy watching our lovely attendees start moving their dream to a reality, filed with motivation and enthusiasm.

There are courses running in Newton Abbot and Exeter and our ‘Get inspired’ Intensive start up programme is running in Torquay and Paignton and is just for women.  For more information, call Opportunity Plus on 0800 043 2440 or email info@opsw.co.uk

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A Micro-Teach experience – (Education and Training Course)

28 May

As part of the Education and Training course, all learners are required to conduct a Micro-Teach. A Micro-Teach assesses the more practical side of teaching – running a lesson.

This process may seem incredibly daunting to some (including myself at the time) but it’s in fact a great learning experience and thoroughly enjoyable.

I’m the kind of person who’s cheeks will rapidly become a deep shade of red just at the thought of addressing an audience. So the idea of teaching a class of adults really had me biting my nails. However, there was much more to it then standing and stuttering in front of my peers.

There is such a variety of talent within an Education and Training group so you are not given boundaries as to what you must teach in your class, and are encouraged to choose something you have good knowledge on or a hobby. I personally have a background in Art so for me it was an easy choice, at least that’s what I thought until I realised how broad this was.

Seemingly throughout this panic period I had forgotten the importance of planning within the teaching role. Everything started to come into place once we had been given a detailed example of a Micro-Teach lesson plan. Seeing the plan enabled me to think logically about each time slot of the 20 minute lesson and how I could fill it with something beneficial and relevant. Learners are to be engaged by the lesson and get fully involved, so I didn’t have to just stand at the front talking. In fact, it should be 70/30 Learner to teacher activity.

In the end I decided I would hold my Micro-Teach on speed portrait drawing, as this meant I could get everybody involved whilst fitting it into the small time frame. I was lucky that I had a background in such a practical activity as it made the ratio of talking and involvement easier to fulfil. When it came to the day itself there were still some lingering nerves but when I got started with my plan in close proximity it was all worth it.

If you prepare what you’re going to do and your subject then the Micro-Teach can be such a fun experience. The thing to remember is that all your learners on the day are going to be going through the same worried states and will be completely supportive of one another as they are in the same boat. Having the opportunity to watch the other teachers is also a fascinating part of the day and you may even leave with a lot extra knowledge.

All in all, do not fear the Micro-Teach, embrace it and enjoy all the possibilities it has!
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Please contact us if you want to know how to start an Education and training course.

OPSW Enterprise

2 Apr

“When you find an idea that you just can’t stop thinking about, that’s probably a good one to pursue.” – Josh James, Omniture CEO

Did You Know?

  • The South West ranks 2nd for the highest amount of self-employed workers.
  • 57,000 people in Devon are self-employed.
  • Nearly two-thirds of small business owners have no business or management experience.

Registering as a sole trader

Many of our customers ask how to register as a sole trader once they have decided to take the plunge and start their business.  This is done online here.  HMRC have a range of useful “webinars” available to teach you about a range of topics to do with tax, national insurance and Self Assessment.  You can even watch them live and ask questions.

Business Insurance

When you start trading, you will usually need some sort of business insurance, and if you are working from home or using your car, your house and car insurance may be affected too.  Simply Business is a good place to start, to find out exactly what insurance you will need and how much it will cost you. Call them on 0845 071 0270.

Start Your Own Business

We now run a range of Accredited Start Your Own Business courses at Level 1 and 2.  Visit www.opportunityplus.org.uk or call 0800 043 2440 for more information.

Case Study

Carole started a cupcake business, which she ran for four years on a mobile basis.  Following the success of the mobile business, she decided to open a cake shop in her home town of Teignmouth, allowing customers to see and sample her cakes.  She still caters for weddings and other events too.  Find out more at www.carolescupcakes.moonfruit.com

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Volunteering in Heath

18 Nov

Christmas Pamper & Shopping Evening
Raising funds for Volunteering In Health

Tuesday 19th November
6pm – 8.30pm
Bitton House, Teignmouth
FREE ENTRY

Craft Stall plus Kit & Kaboodle, The Hub and The Body Shop
Beauty Treatments provided by The Beresford Clinic, The Fountain of Health and Eutopia
50 / 50 clothes sale
Cakes & refreshments

Contact Volunteering on Health on 01626 774484 for more information or to book beauty treatments

Free Face Painting!

26 Aug

On Monday, 17th June, the OPSW team had a team building day where we were taught to face paint by Helen Eyre from Bristol based face painting company, Cats Whiskers.

Helen started her business in 2002 and it has gone from strength to strength, now offering a range of services on top of face painting: balloon modelling, glitter and henna tattoos,  pregnancy bump painting and photography, and courses like the one we attended.  Cats Whiskers is also available to buy as a franchise, so do check out the website if you are interested in starting your own face painting business.

We had a great day learning the tricks of the trade, and painting each other as tigers, pirates and dolphins!

We’d love to come and share our new skills at your community centre or fund raising event—offering free face painting to attendees to help raise awareness of your centre and of the services that we offer at Opportunity Plus South West.

Please get in touch for more information, call us on 0800 043 2440 or email info@opsw.co.uk.