BUDDING entrepreneurs are being given a boost through a free five-week course that teaches the essentials of starting and managing their own business.

Ignite is helping a range of in-development and new businesses, including a gaming development trio called Limbo Lime, a website selling bespoke friendship bracelets, a tennis consultancy and a speech therapy practice.

Topics covered include business planning, marketing, sales and branding, legal and regulatory matters, finance and insurance.

The course is financed by the UK Shared Prosperity Fund and facilitated by BCP Council.

To date, 40 students from Bournemouth University, Art University Bournemouth and the AECC University College have attended Ignite.

Benedict Newman, a final year sport management student at BU, said: “The Ignite course gave me a real helping hand, guiding me through the early stages of setting up my tennis consultancy business, learning about finance, how best to structure it, marketing and many other things.

“The biggest thing that Ignite gave me was a massive sense of confidence, connecting me with important contacts at BCP Council and Evolve and giving me the opportunity to discuss amazing ideas with other young businesspeople.

“Through Ignite I was able to claim a £250 grant which I've put towards professional indemnity insurance, which is something that I only learned about by doing this fantastic course.”

David Mutton, Ignite course leader and business advisor at Evolve said: “It’s been brilliant supporting BCP Council and the fantastic students at BU, AUB and AECC to refine business ideas and discuss how they can make it a reality.

“The importance of bringing individuals together with shared goals should never be underestimated and it will be fantastic to see their progress in the coming months and years.” The first and second cohorts have completed the course, with the council in discussions with Bournemouth and Poole College to roll it out to more students in the area.