Emily Davies is Student Startup Manager for Think:Try:Do.

Supporting businesses of the future

The University of Exeter’s Think:Try:Do Student Start-up Programme focuses on identifying and fostering the startup ambitions of Exeter Students and graduates; giving them the chance to develop enterprise and employability skills which all business need as well the opportunity to start their own business. The programme provides training, guidance and support, as well as being able to offer funding opportunities to promote and enable entrepreneurship in Exeter.

The scheme has recently awarded grant funding to two promising businesses, helping to take their ideas to the next level.

FreeMoovement is an open group for people who need some motivation to get fit and prefer to use the outdoor environment to exercise. It was started by Paul Mouland whose main aim was to get out in his local park and exercise to improve his health and fitness. He then realised that other people were seeking a similar outlet and started to be joined by other people for regular workouts.

FreeMoovement has slowly gained followers in a number of parks in and around Exeter, The sessions are open to all, free to attend, relatively low-impact and the focus is on keeping healthy and active in a fun, encouraging and supportive environment. More than that, perhaps due to its inclusivity, accessibility and visibility in public spaces, FreeMoovement has also become a way to reduce social isolation and build connections within local communities.

The grant will be used to support the setting up of a new free community based fitness group in Exeter. This grant will make a huge difference to the programme as it will allow FreeMoovement to be able to establish a professional training programme that will form the future template for franchising a new park programme.

Sexplain provides sex and relationships education for school pupils. They aim to develop a workshop for trainee teachers including how to deliver comprehensive and inclusive sex and relationships education, and how to support young people to feel equal and empowered.

Through the Think:Try:Do grant, Sexplain will acquire an appropriate brand identity, put in place structures to help operate efficiently as they grow and mitigate against future financial and legal risks.

The grant will also support Sexplain to develop and pilot a teacher training programme. This will involve designing a workshop for trainee teachers, covering not only how to deliver effective PSHE, but also how to build ethical and supportive relationships with young people - for example, recognising and tackling homophobic bullying in the classroom. Sexplain will offer this workshop to PGCE providers or Teach First, initially at no cost to them, allowing them to pilot and gather evidence of the impact of the workshop. The aim of training teachers is to significantly increase Sexplain's reach, impact, and provide an additional source of revenue.

Remarking on the recent funding awards, Student Startup Manager, Emily Davies said: “It’s always a pleasure to meet Exeter’s latest entrepreneurs and help them begin to realise their aspirations via Think:Try:Do.”

For more information on Exeter’s Think:Try:Do Support Programme contact Emily Davies: emily.davies@spaceforsuccess.co.uk

Date: 20 March 2018

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