Business Enterprise Certificate (BEC)


 A free, six week course for students interested in business start-up. 

Have you got a great business idea?  

Would you like to run your own business one day? 

Would to learn the practical knowledge and skills you'll need for business start-up? 

Would you like to develop your own business plan, based on your own idea? 

The Business Enterprise Certificate is a free, six week course for a selected group of 12 students who have a good business idea, plenty of passion and enthusiasm, and the ability to communicate effectively to others. 

Past BEC Cohorts

Philippa Seal 

Our trainer, Philippa Seal, has 20 years experience running a profitable marketing communications agency. She has worked with numerous start-up businesses and currently mentors and advisers young people and existing business owners on growing their profitability. Philippa is chair of the Mentor Panel at the New Entrepreneurs Foundation and coaches senior business managers through the Chartered Management Institute’s Management and Leadership Diploma.

Philippa holds a master’s degree in marketing and an MBA from Cass Business School. She is a chartered Marketer with the Chartered Institute of Marketing and a liveryman with the Worshipful Company of Marketors, a city livery company.

Business Enterprise Certificate Applications 

Week 1

Why you? Problem-Vision

What drives you to do what you do?

What skills/experiences/behaviours/culture do you have?

What is your ‘unfair advantage’ as a team? 

Why should an investor back you?

Who is your team?

What is the problem or market inefficiency you are solving?

Who has that problem?

Week 2 

Product or Service and its Value Proposition – Underlying secret sauce

Key features

Benefits of your products or services? 

Describe the idea, technology, secret sauce, or magic behind your product or service.

Will it scale or is it a lifestyle business.

Why will it work, and why would it be hard for someone to copy it?

Week 3

Target Market or Opportunity – Business Model

How big is the market for your solution?Is the size enticing to potential investors?

Is it large enough to provide a sustainable business to you?

How we plan to make money now or in the near future

Are there other potential revenue sources? 

If you are a tech business and pre-revenue – how have you arrived at this model and/or price point?

Week 4

Go to Market Plan – Validation – Traction – Road Map – Milestones

How you are going to reach your customers without spending all investment on marketing?

Who is using the product/service now, and what do they have to say?

What else do you have in the pipeline? 

Week 5

Competitive Analysis – Financial projections – Key metrics


Why is your offering better/cheaper/faster/more scalable?

High level cash flow projections for first year. 

Other key figures that will show you are on the right track (could be meetings, connections, users, customer retention, active users, etc.

Where are we now – where we will be in the near future.?

Do we need external investment now and what will we use it for?

Next Steps

Week 6 


This forms an essential part of the course. It can help consolidate your ideas and develop a means of effectively describing them to others. 

Your audience will be staff from the University of Sunderland in London and you will be asked questions, and possibly challenged, on your ideas, processes, finances, marketing plan etc. 

These events are usually an enjoyable and enriching process which past cohorts have benefited from.