Blog post

Be The Boss - My experience

Sam details his experience on the Be the Boss programme and offers guidance to like-minded entrepreneurs. 

By Sam Chikowore - 8 July 2021

I’ve got an idea, what next?

So, you’ve been thinking through an idea, and you think you have a breakthrough business idea. Your moment of epiphany, your Gates, Jobs, Zuckerberg moment. This is it; you think entrepreneurship is your calling. But ‘where next’ you start to think? Where can I go that can support me to develop my idea into becoming a fully-fledged business? Well, trailblazing maverick, you’re in luck, I may just have what you need.

First consultation meeting

During my time at University, I have been studying two subjects at Bachelors level – Business Management and Geology. I joined the Be The Boss programme to develop my business idea to launch a recipe generating app that aids with convenience and food sustainability. Be The Boss seemed like a great place to meet the right people who could help me fine-tune my idea and support me with the various aspects of developing the idea and forming it into a business.

Be The Boss was of phenomenal help. Firstly, upon entering the programme, you meet with Oliver Stonier, Enterprise Manager and the go-to-guy for students participating in Be The Boss. You pitch the business idea to Oliver who works with you to help better construct your thoughts and shape your plan into something feasible with a call to action.

Workshop work through

After this, there are some online workshops to attend that cover all aspects of running a business from costing and financial accounting, marketing, constructing a business plan, and more. All this is essential to further refine your business idea, make it more holistic and help you to realise any other aspects you may not have considered that you can incorporate.

Drafting up a business plan

After working through the online workshops that are designed to give one a firm understanding of the different aspects when running a business, the onus is now on you to draft up a business plan to determine the commercial viability of your business idea. For many people, this is the start of a perilous but rewarding journey into entrepreneurship. It is the culmination of ideas put into a plan of action.

Personally, going through the business planning stage of the Be The Boss programme was a great landmark and point of reference in my business creation phase that I will always look back on fondly. It signifies the process of an idea becoming a plan of action waiting to be played out on the enterprising stage, ready to conquer the art of selling and gaining market value.

Meeting with a mentor

Upon completion of the workshops, Be The Boss provides a working professional that you, as the mentee, can choose to be your mentor who is able to provide invaluable business knowledge that is relative to your business idea and proposal. This was especially exciting as opportunities such as these are very few and far between, which made the experience all the more paramount to developing my recipe generating business, Soup’dUp.

More services

The Be The Boss programme was essential in helping to develop and evaluate the business idea while creating relationships with potential partners and business affiliates. There is also the East Midlands Chamber – Generation Next - that is a great networking platform to inform you of the exciting opportunities available for business growth and potential alliances within the area.

Innovation Hothouse is also a great platform that allows for networking with other businesses, not forgetting the Hub where Enterprise at the University of Derby is cultivated, the Enterprise Centre, that aids and facilitates exciting growth and support for businesses getting up onto their feet.

Innovation Hothouse also provides services such as a hotdesking service (COVID permitting of course) which people can use as office space without the cost of having to rent an office area. This is incredibly helpful during the infant stages of a business setting up shop with costs needing to be kept as low as possible.

The Final Verdict

All in all, the Be The Boss programme is an entrepreneur’s haven as it is full of minds that have the incredible business acumen that is tried and tested with years of invaluable experience backing them up. They are immensely supportive during the idea creation and validation of your business and will help you set up shop and kickstart your enterprising journey. So, hurry up, get creating, the world is your oyster!

About the author

Sam standing next to a mountain wearing a red anorak.

Sam Chikowore
Business Management and Geology student at the University of Derby

Business Management and Geology student at the University of Derby. I also work part-time as a Marketing Representative for the University.