With personal fitness and the desire to reclaim health and wellbeing high on many people’s agendas post-pandemic, one enterprising youth worker has decided to fulfil a lifetime ambition of opening his own circuit classes.

But, as with many other entrepreneurs, while Richard Moore had the vision and ambition, he knew that he was lacking in business knowhow, and so he decided to upskill himself.

“An increasing number of people are taking up circuit classes,” he said. 

“I liked the idea of going out on my own, but I had no sense of business and I don’t have a business mind set, so I knew that I needed to prepare myself better if I was to make my business successful.”

Richard decided to enrol on the Exploring Enterprise programme run by Enterprise Causeway to learn more about researching his business idea and structuring his work.

“Business, I’ve discovered, is about so much more than just pitching an idea. You’ve got to do a lot of research and cover many disciplines that you may not have thought of before – everything from marketing to finance.

“The enthusiasm of the people running the programme was infectious and they were really helpful. They had so many good ideas for me in terms of structuring my work and they had a real insight into what they were talking about. They offered a lot of advice and a lot of experience in their own field and were able to guide us through the whole programme. 

“What I found particularly useful was learning how to communicate effectively. We had to really listen to each other’s opinions and I think that’s a really key factor in running a successful business. You’ve got to be able to communicate with your client, regardless of the type of business you’re in.”

Now armed with the tools for running a successful circuit business, Richard is currently involved in youth work and is finding that the skills that he learnt on the Exploring Enterprise programme are proving useful in his current position. 

“Learning about structuring your work has really helped me structure programmes within my youth work,” he said. 

“I had to organise residential weekends and, in doing so, I had to do a lot of the administrative work and promote the youth work. I then had to pitch ideas to the North Eastern Education and Library Board. Previously, I would have found this difficult, but, because of the skills and tools that I had learnt on the programme, I was much more competent in structuring my work and I felt totally organised as a result. .

“What I found particularly useful about the programme was how practical it was. I really enjoyed the challenge of ‘This is what business looks like on paper and here’s how you can take it to the next level’. 

“Anyone who is very enthusiastic about setting up or running their own business will get a lot out of the programme. They’ll go onto the programme with their own ideas and the mentors are experienced enough to say ‘This is realistic’ or ‘This is not realistic’. You’ll certainly know where you stand. They will, however, come away from it feeling challenged, but will also have a sense of achievement. With the Exploring Enterprise programme, there’s nothing to lose and everything to gain.”

The Exploring Enterprise Programme is funded through the Northern Ireland Social Fund 2014-2020, Investment for Jobs and Growth Programme, The Department for the Economy, Causeway Coast & Glens Borough Council and Enterprise Northern Ireland.   

Do you have a business idea you want to explore? If so, call Robin on 028 7035 6318, email eep@enterprisecauseway.co.uk or go to enterprisecauseway.co.uk/project/exploring-enterprise-programme for more information.