It was my final year of university. The Christmas break was over and I was busy swotting for final exams. I was also plotting the launch of my first business. I had always wanted to be an entrepreneur and despite my business ultimately being a success (I sold it to a Private Investor), the first few years were a struggle. I had never run a business before, I lacked a network and I made A LOT of classic first time entrepreneur mistakes.
That’s why when I heard about New Entrepreneurs Foundation (NEF) I knew it was going to be a huge success.
NEF is a unique charity which includes a paid one year programme in a high growth business, allowing you to hone your business skills while minimising the risk of starting a business from scratch.
There are three reasons I would recommend any budding entrepreneur apply for the programme:
- The Phenomenal Network. The NEF network is unrivalled – by attending ‘fireside chats’ you get to hear directly from all the UK’s best entrepreneurs on how they made it including the likes of Luke Johnson, Charles Dunstone and Brent Hoberman. You're also in regular contact with the other entrepreneurs in your cohort (normally about 40) plus the wider NEF family of mentors, investors and trainers. This network may prove invaluable when you’re seeking funding for your own venture.
- Mentoring. By working in a high growth business alongside a proven entrepreneur you get to see what being an entrepreneur is really like and you’ll pick up hints and tips on how to manage high growth ventures. As part of the programme you will also be given your own business mentor – a successful entrepreneur dedicated to helping you develop your entrepreneurial skillset and an expert to bounce ideas off.
- Training & Development. As well as the ‘on the job’ training from the placement year, there is a training and development programme supported by world class teachers from the likes of London Business School. This means you’ll learn ‘hard’ business skills to help you get ahead.
So if you're really serious about getting the right skills to succeed as an entrepreneur, you should definitely be thinking about NEF.
Good luck – nothing ventured, nothing gained.