Free Level 1 Qualification in Understanding Enterprise

Are you curious about self-employment? Do you desire to change your career? Are you interested in starting a business but not sure what the first step should be?

FIRST is here to help!

The Level 1 Understanding Enterprise course is tailored for those looking to go into self- employment or to discover and develop enterprise skills to help with a new career opportunity.

This course is fully accredited through SFEDI, the leading Awarding Body for enterprise, and is fully funded through the Adult Education Budget provision.*(subject to eligibility)

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?

The course is designed to help those who are either

  • looking to gain employment
  • pursue a new career opportunity
  • become self-employed
  • develop a business idea into a start up


To access the course free of charge you must be:

  • Aged over 19 (as of 1st August 2022)
  • A resident in the UK or Europe for the past 3 years
  • Live in Northumberland, North Tyneside, Newcastle, Gateshead, South Tyneside, Sunderland or Durham.
Entrecomp themes

What does the course cover?

The course is delivered both online and face-to-face so you can choose which option suits you best.

The course contains 3 modules.

Module 1:

  • Identify and develop essential enterprise skills you need to change your career, start a business or become self-employed

Module 2:

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

Module 3:

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

As part of the course you will also have access to:

  • 1 years FREE study membership to the Institute of Enterprise and Entrepreneurs worth £175 to continue your learning and access further tools.
  • 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.
  • Workshop with the National Careers Service to access FREE training and support
  • 121 support to help you with your next steps including access to our alumni network, advanced courses and our prestigious awards programme.


sign up today


Online and face-to-face courses are happening throughout the year and are delivered both on an evening 6-8 or during the day so you can choose the time when suits you best.

We have a number of delivery models to choose from:

Online Bitesize Course

  • Online
  • Over 5 weeks
  • 2 x 2 hour live sessions each week at 6-8 in the evening.

Online Short Course

  • Online
  • Over 3 weeks
  • 3 x 2 hour sessions each week at 6-8 in the evening

In Person Bitesize Course

  • Face-to-face
  • Over 6 weeks
  • 1 x 3 hour session each week during the day


We offer a range of bespoke opportunities to organisations. Please get in touch with Masud on 07856730408 to discuss your requirements.

All face-to-face courses will take place in venues which are easy to get to by public transport and fully accessible to accommodate any disabilities.

Sign up today


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. The course is delivered by the Learning and Development Team at FIRST, along with some expert associates and sector specialists from across the North East. The 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.

You will be working alongside other like-minded learners who are also wanting to develop their skills to help them with their career options. Tailored and designed to be interactive, the course will have you networking and connecting with other people in a fun and engaging way from session 1.

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

Contact for more information

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