Huge take-up on Government-funded start-up skills courses

More than 12,000 people have registered for free online courses backed by the Government and run by the Digital Business Academy, which offers non-technical business skills, such as marketing, to start-up founders.

According to the Academy, more than half of the participants on their courses, although not including the new registrations, say they want to start their own business, while almost a quarter are aiming to grow an existing business and over a fifth want to acquire digital skills to get a job. Almost half of current registered users are under 30, with over a third being over 35.

The Academy, which is the brainchild of Tech City, started offering the courses last November and focuses on teaching non-technical business skills, as it does not want to overlap with organisations and businesses focussing on tech skills such as core programming.

The courses, which have content provided by some of the leading business schools in the UK, cover such areas as setting up a start-up, developing and managing digital products, drawing up a marketing plan and understanding business finance.
They have recently also introduced a new course entitled How to track performance in an early-stage start-up, with content supplied by Founder Centric.

Other course content is supplied by Cambridge Judge Business School and UCL, with steering organisation behind the Academy, Tech City UK, saying it is looking for further content providers.

In addition, associated course rewards and incentives, such as mentoring and internship opportunities, which aim to encourage course completion, are being provided by 43 partner organisations including the BBC, O2, Twitter and Techstars.

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