Free business workshops for Derby’s budding entrepreneurs

Published: 26 January 2022

Business owner Claire Zwozny Bestwick outside her garden shed office

Business owner Claire Zwozny-Bestwick in her purpose-built garden workshop

An intensive series of free online workshops aimed at helping people across Derby and Derbyshire to start their own business begins next week. 
The D2 Business Starter Winter Boot Camp is delivered in five consecutive days and aims to give would-be entrepreneurs all the knowledge and skills they need to take a business idea to the next stage. Sessions will run every day from Monday 31 January to Friday 4 February at 4pm to 6pm.
The Boot Camp is part of the D2 Business Starter Programme, which was launched to help people gain knowledge and skills to develop their ideas into commercially viable businesses. Workshops include subjects such as an introduction to self-employment, marketing, business planning, book-keeping and social media.
The programme is funded by Derby City Council and Derbyshire County Council and delivered by East Midlands Chamber (Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire, Leicestershire).
So far, it has supported more than 1,000 people and helped to create more than 190 new businesses and 220 new jobs. More than 10,000 hours of free support have been provided to those taking part. 
Cllr Steve Hassall, Cabinet Member for Regeneration, Decarbonisation & Strategic Planning & Transport at Derby City Council, said:

Small businesses are the backbone of our economy and bring so much variety to an area. We are proud to fund this scheme which supports and mentors the entrepreneurs of the future and encourages business ideas that will create a legacy of economic growth across Derby and the surrounding area.

Paul Stuart, the Chamber’s Head of Enterprise, said:

The D2 Business Starter Programme has been a huge success since launching in 2017 and has helped many people across Derby and Derbyshire to take the leap into self-employment and start their own businesses. 

We’re delighted to be able to continue to offer this free support to help even more people follow their dreams and make their business ideas a reality. 

There are no costs to take part. The only eligibility criteria are that people have a Derby or Derbyshire postcode and want to start a business.
Derby-based CRZyBest, a maker of eco-friendly bespoke jewellery, gifts and accessories, was one of the first businesses supported by the programme. 
Its founder, Claire Zwozny-Bestwick, enrolled on the programme to learn more about the fundamentals of starting a business, finance, sales and marketing, along with setting short and long-term objectives and developing and refining a business plan.
Within a year, she had moved the business full-time into a purpose-built workshop in her garden, developed her website and social media and diversified her product offering to suit a more online audience. 
Claire said:

The support I received was really useful in giving me the confidence and the skills to follow my dream of setting up in business. 

It also provided a vital support network and has enabled me to keep accessing advice and support to continue to grow the business.


Register for the next Winter Boot Camp 

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