Where Passion Meets Potential

At FIRST we empower students, founders and professionals to reach their potential and beyond

You are First

We are an accredited learning and development agency specialising in empowering enterprise skills for students, graduates, jobseekers, early stage founders and entry level staff.

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Whether you're ready to SkillUP, StartUP or ScaleUP, the Awards are now open for entries.

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The team are proud to announce our latest inspection result from Ofsted. Download the report here and read up about our experience by clicking the link below.

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Begin your startup story New course dates released!

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Our work with Students & Graduates

Working throughout the UK and beyond, we support students and graduates to develop confidence and essential skills so they can find a job, start a business or initiate a civil project.

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Our work with Jobseekers

We're working with Jobcentre plus, housing associations, large community organisations and employment agencies to empower residents to develop enterprise skills and access meaningful education, decent work or resilient self employment.

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Our work with Early stage founders

Self belief, commercial awareness and connections to customers, mentors and peers - we're working hard to improve startup business rates and essential skills for ambitious founders.

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Our work with Employers

From meaningful CSR opportunities to supporting your leadership and confidence training for junior staff. We get your business and staff team connected.

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Celebrating North East Talent

Alongside our partners, Startup Awards North East shines a spotlight, celebrates and connects ambitious, early stage founders to life changing opportunities and experiences.

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Meet the Team

Charlotte Windebank

As FIRST’s Managing Director, Charlotte is responsible for development, vision and quality. She supports the operations and communication managers and ensures all company outputs are aligned to objectives, values, and mission. Alongside her role as director, Charlotte is an advocate for social and structural change within entrepreneurship and is regularly invited to speak about research, innovations and positive actions towards increased inclusivity and empowerment for early stage founders, young people and junior staff.

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Masud Raja

Masud's role is to share our enterprise and entrepreneurial opportunities with stakeholders including learners, partners and clients. As an innovating 'intrepreneur' Masud works with the learning/development and communications team to empower communities to develop confidence, leadership and progression skills.

Ellie Short

Ellie works on assessment, pastoral care and coordinates all of FIRST's educational contracts to ensure learners develop essential skills and gain valuable experiences when working with us. She is passionate about inclusive education and loves a challenge!

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Jack Havver

Jack works across our projects to support FIRST's community of learners, making sure they are comfortable and can fully participate in our courses workshops and events. Jack loves helping people and watching their courage and skills grow as a result of developing enterprise skills.

Oliver Leach

Olly works with all learners to share information about our courses, events and opportunities. He is brilliant at supporting learners with their options and loves to see the people he has worked with go onto achieve great things.

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Julianne Percival

Molly McGoldrick

Molly, our Communications Officer at FIRST, is here to make your learning journey smoother and more exciting. She creates engaging content, shares success stories, and keeps everyone informed about our innovative programmes. By connecting our community and promoting our courses, Molly helps you feel motivated and empowered. With her support, you'll gain the confidence and skills to pursue your entrepreneurial dreams, further your education, or find meaningful work. Join us at FIRST, where Molly helps turn your potential into progress.

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Sam Clegg

Samuel Clegg is an advocate for entrepreneurship, business and innovation, and is highly passionate about supporting and helping others in their business journeys. He is a business owner, advisor, academic, and published researcher with over 10 years’ experience within the SME and Startup profession. Sam works as a tutor for our enterprise courses and brings energy, passion and first hand knowledge of what it's like to run a business.

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Nina Raja

As a creative entrepreneur and teacher, Nina's skill set is in engagement and accessibility of our enterprise qualifications. She brings charisma, vibrancy and uses her creative eye to innovate within courses and workshops to ensure they are fun and interactive for learners.

Lord Simon Jacobs

Simon is a caring, innovative and people focused entrepreneur who works with learners to refine their business thoughts and build confidence/self belief. He is a creative, unusual and inspiring tutor, instilling a can do attitude whilst challenging learners to think outside the box.

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FIRST are always on the look at for talented, training associates to join our team. For more information email hello@youarefirst.co.uk

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Upcoming Events

  • FREE Level 2 Startup : Customer Ready Qualification

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  • FREE Level 1 Understanding Enterprise

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  • Free course in enterprise skills

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