Free Level 1 Qualification in Understanding Enterprise

3 engaging modules to develop ideas, access resources and put your plans action

If you are looking to change career, start a business or become a freelancer then you have come to the right place!

Understanding Enterprise is a short course that gives you:

  • An industry recognised accredited Level 1 qualification.
  • 3 essential modules that focus on professional development, confidence, and skills within business startup and employability.
  • Connections with peers, unique and fun course facilitators and 121 support from the FIRST team to help you reach your goals.

This course develops your skills and empowers you to pursue your passion to either get that dream job, learn about self-employment or explore entrepreneurship.


To access the course free of charge you must be:

  • Aged Over 19 (as of 1st August 2021)
  • A resident in the UK or Europe for 3+ years
  • Living in Newcastle, North Tyneside, Northumberland, South Tyneside, Gateshead, Sunderland or Durham.

Register today to book your place or chat to one of the team now to get the answers to those ‘what if’ questions.

Adult education learners

Who is this course for?

Has the pandemic made you reassess your priorities? Are you curious about self-employment, starting a business or changing your career but not sure what the first step should be?

FIRST is here to help! Since 2014 we have empowered thousands of students, job seekers, early stage founders and professionals to explore opportunities/ideas, gather/evaluate resources and turn plans into action.

Entrecomp themes

What does the course cover?

This free course is a mash up of live sessions, small group activities, peer to peer support, and independent learning delivered in a fun and interactive way. 

Exploring 3 essential modules to equip you with the confidence and skills you need to make a change, the course covers how to:


  • Identify and develop essential, commercial skills you need to change your career, start a business or become a freelancer


  • Analyse and understand the risks associated with changing career or starting up including financial implications and market awareness/analysis


  • Ask for help in your local business community with confidence, the value of networking and growing your professional contacts both on and offline.

As well as the modules, you’ll also receive: ADDED VALUE

  • A bespoke workbook designed by FIRST for you to keep and use now or in the future.

  • A networking and feedback session with industry professionals.

Course structure

We offer two session types so you can learn around your other commitments (work, study, family etc) and plan your learning at a time that suits you.


·        Over 5 weeks 

·        2 x 2 hour live sessions each week at 6-8 in the evening.


·        Over 2 full days of interactive online classes

·        Suitable if you want to develop your ideas and progress quickly to future work/business opportunities.


Places are limited to ensure that you get full support throughout so  register your interest today to save your place on the next session or contact for more information on course dates and times.

Sign up today


sign up today

Your course team:

FIRST have been supporting learners looking to skill up for the last 8 years with a dedicated team of experienced and passionate staff to support you on your journey.

Our learning and development team will help you with your personalised plan and goals, guide you through your workbook and be on call to ensure you understand and pass the qualification.

Our top team of associates will ensure your experience with us is meaningful, engaging and not death by PowerPoint!

Lasting legacy:

FIRST’s ambition is to provide you with tools for life and transferrable skills for whichever route you choose to go down. Once you have completed your course you will have access to our alumni network and with our permanent, open door policy we are always here to help with any startup or employment query you have.

For more information on the course and the support from FIRST team contact

Who will I meet?

During the course you will get to work with a range of learners from all walks of life, which will help you to grow your network but also to share knowledge and gain fresh perspectives

We encourage learners to continue to help and support each other through our alumni network via WhatsApp or Facebook. From listening to feedback we know learners have collaborated on projects, become suppliers/customers and have developed likeminded friendships meeting up in the pub or for virtual coffees to share updates and opportunities.

Sign up today
headshot of Lesley Calvert

“I joined the Understanding Enterprise Level 1 course because I had lots to say and energy to express, the ‘how’ was lacking. My confidence and self –belief at times held me back, I kept myself stuck. Having joined the course it really gave me a safe environment to build myself belief and confidence in that I can make a start."

Lesley Calvert

headshot of Amy Lou Clunes

"I feel I have connected well with the whole FIRST team, especially Sam Clegg who was amazing through the whole course and helped all the group with any questions, even out of hours, felt like he really was always there to help! I also connected with the most amazing group of like minded people and felt so uplifted and supported by a group of people I’ve never even met, it’s been an amazing experience."

Amy Lou Clunes

headshot of Lee Peacock

"Working as a freelancer, especially during lockdown, made me realise how much I love office/studio culture. I love having a group of peers that I can use as a sounding board to bounce ideas off and I wanted to use this opportunity as a way of meeting like-minded entrepreneurs."

Lee Peacock

headshot of Rachael Spiers

"I wanted to gain new skills and understanding of how to start and maintain a small business. I had just launched an online platform but wanted to gain more insight into the tools I need to continue to make it a success."

Rachael Spiers
Scottish Rach Draws

headshot of Jasmine Inaiyah

"I signed up for the Understanding Enterprise Level 1 Course for the qualification and to see if I learn anything new. Also, to have a chance to find other like minded people."

Jasmine Inaiyah
Making Changes NE

What do I get when I complete the course?

As well as your accredited level 1 certificate, you will receive:

  • 1 years FREE study membership to the Institute of Enterprise and Entrepreneurs (RRP £175 per year!) which provides you with resources and information, access to funding and mentoring support
  • A personalised progression plan, which is tailored to your needs and will help to signpost you to the relevant services you need make your passion reach potential
  • Assistance with work placements, hotdesking, further qualifications including the free SAGE accountancy qualification and software package and free networking events and activities.

Our support doesn’t end when the course does. If you have any questions feel free to call us and if we can’t help you, we will point you in the right direction for the relevant support or resources you may need.

Sign up today

Contact for more information

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Please let us know your preferences.

Please read our Cookie policy.