Online learning platform for aspiring entrepreneurs launches

Welsh ICE, an innovation centre and co-working space based in Caerphilly, has launched an online platform to support aspiring entrepreneurs in achieving their business dreams.

Boma Camp is an online platform that uses workshops, articles and a community forum to bring together successful business owners with people who are just starting out with their firms.

The idea is that more experienced business owners and experts use the platform to share their knowledge in a bid to inspire the next generation of entrepreneurs and start-up businesses.

On the launch of the platform, Welsh ICE CEO Gareth Jones said:  “Our members are constantly collaborating and helping each other to grow their businesses, but we can only fit so many people into our buildings – we wanted to take that ethos and share it with all potential entrepreneurs.

“We hope that launching Boma Camp will allow us to connect more and more people in a way that helps them learn from a diverse and knowledgeable audience.”

To coincide with the launch of the platform, ICE is encouraging aspiring entrepreneurs to apply for the 5-9 Club, a 12-week course that’ll teach them the fundamentals to launching a business.

The scheme was set up in 2016, and it’s so far helped more than 50 people to start their own businesses. 9-to-5 will now be available as an online course through Boma.

Jones said: “We believe that you shouldn’t have to leave your job so you can start a business. That’s where the idea for the 5-9 Club comes from – being able to grow and develop an idea in your spare time, with the right support and information.”

Every week, the course will tackle different elements of business, such as marketing, finance and building a support network. The first will cost £20 and last for three months.

Boma derives from Eastern Africa, and it means palisade or meeting place. It’s a place where people sit and exchange information and knowledge, and this is the ethos of Boma.

Gareth added: “At one of the first Welsh Ice events we sat around a campfire and talked about our business ideas and inspirations. That was in 2011, and since then we’ve learned that people learn best with and from each other.

“Our partners all have different relationships with aspiring business owners, and they too want to encourage and support entrepreneurship. We’re excited to work with them to and ensure we’re reaching as many people as possible with the right advice.”