Start Your Business- Dedicated to social enterprises and charities

Hackathon event at Allia Guildhall

Do you have a business idea but don’t know where to start?

Who is this programme for?

Start Your Business is built for aspiring social entrepreneurs, dreamers or fixers, who have an idea for creating an exciting social enterprise, charity or impact organisation – that might solve problems from the everyday to the experimental.

You may have multiple ideas and want to narrow them down, or you may be interested in starting a business but don’t have an idea yet – whatever stage you are at, our team can help you get started!

Applicants must be living/operating in or benefiting Cambridgeshire, including: Cambridge, Peterborough, Huntingdon, Ely, Wisbech, March, St. Neots and St. Ives. 

The offer

Open to people with an exciting idea who needs a helping hand in understanding the basics of building a business. We’ll help you plan out the early days, what you need to do to get set up for success and identify if your idea has legs. Get your ideas off the ground with:
Diverse image of man and woman in workshop

“Start Your Business was very useful in helping us work through our early ideas and assumptions. Sessions provided useful insight into areas we need to focus on and we were connected to others who were going through the same thing as us, making us feel that we weren’t on our own. We’re keen to take part in other Allia programmes in the future!”

Sarah & Alex,
Founders of In Good Company

Important stuff

Still have questions?

If you’d like more information about the programme please get in touch with the team at or sign up to our newsletter to hear about future programmes

Supported by

Our programmes are fully funded so free for you to access. This project is part-funded by the UK government through the UK Shared Prosperity Fund.

Working in partnership with 


We’re welcoming applications from aspiring entrepreneurs from across Cambridgeshire, including: Cambridge, Peterborough, Huntingdon, Ely, Wisbech, March, St. Neots and St. Ives. 

Applicants must be living in, operating in or benefiting these areas. 

Building a venture is not easy. There are a whole host of challenges that will arise, and it helps to have someone by your side to give share an external perspective, give guidance on best practice and to help connect you with like-minded founders, mentors, and resources.
We select applications from people with great ideas and the passion to turn them into a business. Once you have completed the application form and we have reviewed your application, we’ll invite shortlisted candidates to an interview. Shortly after your interview, we’ll let you know whether your application has been successful.

Anyone who has an idea for a venture but doesn’t know where to start or just needs a helping hand in understanding the basics of building a business.

You may be interested in starting your own business, but do not have an idea yet. Or you may have multiple ideas and want to narrow them down. Whatever stage you are at, our team can help! 

We would expect that you have not yet registered with any of the governmental bodies regulating the creation of enterprises, charities, and the like.

We expect you to attend at least 70% of the course content as it is critical to ensure you have a comprehensive picture of the issues entrepreneurs face. You should dedicate 2-4 hours a week for the duration of the programme, except for the Minimum Viable product workshop in month 2, which will operate at a different time schedule. You should engage with your Business Advisor to ensure you are getting the maximum benefit and on occasion you will be set homework tasks.
The Allia enterprise support team will guide you through the tools and techniques to get a business idea out of your head, rapidly iterate on it and run it through some steps to see if it ‘holds water’. We will also give you helping hand to understand the basics of running a business.

Recommended for you

Case studies

Check out some of the stories from our previous programme participants, and hear how we helped them to accelerate and overcome challenges

Other programmes

If you’re not sure the Accelerator Challenge is right for you, check out our other programmes on Our Programmes page

Need workspace?

Have a look at what we offer at our Future Business Centre, from co-working to meeting rooms