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Through a range of professional, engaging workshops, masterclasses, one-to-one advice sessions and mentoring sessions with experienced business owners who have been there and done it, we will help you build your business and develop your business plan as well as develop your sales and pitching techniques.



Building a Business Plan

A Business plan is a document that describes the details of your business – what you do, who you do it for and how you will reach your clients. Developing your plan will open up different market opportunities and help you define what makes you different to your competitors. It will include financial forecasting and will help you predict any potential issues you may not have yet considered. Once you have developed a business plan, you will fully understand your own mission and be able to convince others, including investors, potential business partners and clients, that they should do business with you.

Building a Business Plan

Through classroom style lessons with your peers we will take a deep dive into all the components required to develop a coherant business plan.

These include PESTLE analysis, Identifying customers and financial forecasts.

Focused Business Plan Development

Commit to working for half a day from our business hub, on your plan to give you true clarity on your business proposition. Work in our business lounge and soak up the atmosphere from other like minded driven entrepreneurs who use our space regularly.

1-2-1 Business Mentoring

Each delegate is paired with a volunteer business mentor. Our mentors are seasoned business experts and will give you guidance, insight and confidence to develop your plan in great detail. We recommend meeting with your mentor around four times throughout the process to keep you accountable and on track.

Pitch to Win Seed Funding

Develop a 5-minute pitch and deliver this to our board of trustees – a chance to practice your pitch in business opportunities. The top-scoring pitches win a small amount of seed funding which can be used to further develop your ambitions.

Have you completed our StartUp & Go Bootcamp or Introduction to Social Enterprise course and want to develop your business further?

Our StartUp & Go Bootcamp, and Social Enterprise courses are run by experienced, professional business mentors who guide you through everything from research and forecasting to business planning, finance and marketing.

Attending our StartUp & Go Bootcamp or our Introduction to Social Enterprise courses are prerequisites for applying for the incubator programme. If you haven’t already attended these but have some experience in starting and running a business before, please get in touch with us to arrange a 1-1 to discuss further.

“Learning how to be emotionally intelligent and what the mind-set of an entrepreneur needs to be gave me the confidence to go for it!”

How is the Business Incubator program successful?

Former successful candidates include Carol Hay of McKenzie Gayle Ltd who was recognised by the Global Travel Industry for her excellent multicultural interaction and Dunia Shafik, founder of A Life of Choices, whose business idea and commitment contributed to StartUp Croydon winning a national award in 2019.

All of our participants should be highly commended for taking a vital step towards realising their business potential by taking part in this programme.

“I see business in general totally differently – I value other peoples’ businesses, their time and the effort that goes into producing a good service.”


Demystifying the Business Plan

Here you will learn about the purpose and how to formulate a business plan and why it is important to any entrepreneur or new business.

Business Model Canvas

An entrepreneur must have a workable and sound business model from the outset. Building on the Value Proposition Canvas, you will draft and hone your business model through the Business Model Canvas. This will help you create an easy to understand business model to explain to stakeholders and customers.

Identifying Customers

An understanding of the business’ intended and actual customers and what they want/need is essential to be able to sell the products or services being provided. Using the Value Proposition Canvas, this workshop will help you understand and map how your business’s products and services help solve customers’ problems which is key to positioning the business in the market.

Finance and Budgets

Having a clear understanding of the financial forecasting, income and expenditure is a fundamental part of running a business. Through the use of a clear and easy to understand and interactive spreadsheet, this workshop will help you define sales prices, profit margins, personal survival budget and a cashflow forecast.

Marketing, Branding and Sales

Being able to get a product or service to customers is essential if a business is to be able to generate income and grow. Having an online presence through social media and having a website are key parts of your marketing plan. This workshop will provide an understanding of the different platforms available, creating relevant content and how to measure the effectiveness of your online activity.

Putting it all Together

This workshop will provide opportunities to bring everything learned and developed so far to formulate a coherent business plan specific to your business/social enterprise. It will also provide further information on the support available to continue participants’ development.


First impressions count and every potential conversation / meeting you have is an opportunity to sell your business. So you need to know how to talk about your business in a clear and engaging way. This workshop will help you structure and plan a pitch for when you need to talk about your business to new clients, investors or when hiring staff.

These will help you at the end of the programme where you will be able to pitch your business idea to a panel of experts to win up to £500 in seed funding.

But that's not all...

By participating in the programme you will also have the opportunity to use our state-of-the-art business lounge with high-speed broadband and PCs to help you work on your business plan, undertake market research and meet with other like-minded entrepreneurs.


DateDayTimeGroup EventMentors Meetings
22 March 2023Wednesday10am - 12:00pmBusiness Incubator Induction
Geoff Ranson, StartUp Croydon
12pm - 1:pmMeet The MentorsMeet The mentors
1pm - 3:30pmWorkshop 1: Demystifying the business plan
Jo Gumb, While Label Creative
29 March 2023Wednesday10am - 1pmWorkshop 2: Business Model Canvas
Geoff Ranson, StartUp Croydon
1pm - 4pmBusiness Plan Development
30 March - 4 April 2023Meeting 1
5 April 2023Wednesday10am - 1pmWorkshop 3: Identifying Customers
Mike Orchard, Skills Hive
2pm - 4pmSkills Hive Swarm
19 April 2023Wednesday10am - 1pmWorkshop 4 - Finance & Budgets
Geoff Ranson, StartUp Croydon
Paul Taylor, Taylor Dutton
1pm - 4pmBusiness Plan Development
26 & 27 April 2023Wednesday
Various TimesFinance 1-2-1s
Paul Taylor, Taylor Dutton
28 April - 2 May 2023Meeting 2
3 May 2023Wednesday10am - 1pmWorkshop 5: Marketing, Branding and Sales
2pm - 4pmBusiness Plan Development
10 May 2023Wednesday10am - 1pmPeer Learning / Focus Group
Saffron Saunders, StartUp Croydon
1pm - 4pmBusiness Plan Development
11 - 16 May 2023Meeting 3
17 May 2023Wednesday10am - 1pmWorkshop 6 – Putting it all together
Geoff Ranson, StartUp Croydon
2pm - 4pmPitching Masterclass
Geoff Ranson / AJ Dosani
w/c 29/5/2023 Half Term Break
6 - 8 June 2023Tuesday
Various Times1-1s with Richard Sumption
9 - 19 June 2023Meeting 4
21 June 2023Wednesday10am - 1pmPitching Practice Reviews
AJ Dosani
22 - 26 June 2023Meeting 5
27 - 29 June 2023Tuesday
Various TimesPitching Days

The cost to StartUp Croydon for running the Business Incubator programme is approximately £1,200 per person. However, we deliver this through our charitable aims, which enables us to offer a significant discount of 90% per person.

All we ask of each successful delegate is a financial commitment of £100 +VAT.

When you first apply to attend the Business Incubator programme, you will need to pay a registration fee of £35 + VAT which covers the costs of both the administration to process your application and the interview with you.

If you are successful at the interview stage and choose to continue, you will be required to pay the remaining £65 + VAT to secure your place on the programme.

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