Free Level 2 Startup: Customer Ready Qualification

When starting a business, taking that first step to sell to customers can be daunting. Not only are you sharing your ideas and passion to the world, but you are also going to be dealing with the ambiguity, uncertainty and risk that working with clients, customers and collaborators can bring.

At FIRST, we recognise this as a big step forward in your business journey and we want to empower you to make the best-informed decisions about your business progress so that you build a resilient startup that is delivering products and services to customers for many years to come.

Who is this course for?

With feedback from current learners, the expertise of the FIRST team and trends in the business ecosystem, the level 2 course has been designed specifically for startup business owners and freelancers who are ready to sell to customers but need that supportive nudge out the door.

Have you:

  • Decided that starting a business is the best option for you.
  • Explored business startup and understand what types of products and services you will be selling.
  • Ready to consider finance options to take that next step.

If you answered yes to all 3 then we think the level 2 course if for you! If you are still unsure of your business ambitions, then take a look at our level 1 Understanding Enterprise course as that’s all about exploring skills, ideas and passion.


Accreditations and Eligibility

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



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 – unless you have refugee or asylum status?
  • Live in Northumberland, North Tyneside, Newcastle or Gateshead


sign up today

Who will I meet?

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 business planning and be on call to ensure you understand and pass the qualification.

You will be working alongside other like-minded learners who are also early stage founders of startup businesses and wanting to develop their knowledge and skills to become customer ready and build a sustainable business model.

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.

What is the course content?

The course is delivered face-to-face and contains the following topics:

  • Turning business plans into action
  • Identifying ideas and opportunities in the North East business ecosystem
  • Strategic marketing plans with target customer profiles.
  • Business finance and funding – do you know your Venture Capital from your angel investor?
  • Skilfully negotiate deals with potential customers and suppliers to maximise income.
  • Navigate the laws and regulations affecting startup businesses.
  • Access a wealth of information, advice, and support to kickstart your business with courage.

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 business planner designed by FIRST for you to keep and use now or in the future.
  • Specialist experts throughout the topics to share hints and tips and answer your business questions.
  • Networking and feedback opportunities 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.

When and Where are these courses happening?

Level 2 courses are happening throughout the year.

Each course is delivered in 10 sessions , one day per week for 10 weeks.

Delivery time is 10.00am-3.00pm and all delivery venues are on public transport routes.

All face-to-face courses take place in venues which are fully accessible to accommodate accessibility needs.

How do I get involved?

For details on the next available course visit our events page

Places are extremely limited so register your interest today to save your place on the next course or contact for more information on course dates and times.

Take YOUR business from idea to reality and be ready to put YOUR customers FIRST !!!

Sign up today

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